January 23, 2020
In this Issue...Freedom Foundation Update, Nominations Open Now, Bargaining & Listening Sessions Update, HEA & SpEd Surveys, Black Lives Matters in Schools, Powerful PD, WEA Caucuses-LGBTQ+, CBA FAQ-January 27th for Secondary Educators (March 13 for Elementary)
WEA is in regular communication with members about steps our staff is taking to block the release of our personal information to the Freedom Foundation (see message below). Here’s how you can help. Please use this link and take 30 seconds to ask your representatives in Olympia to fix this public records problem during this legislative session with HB 1888. If you did not receive the email below or if a colleague is not receiving these E-Focus Newsletters or WEA updates, please first check junk mail/spam folders, and if that is not successful, have them contact Lori Fleck at the Rainier UniServ office to register their email address.
This is an update about the outcome of the latest court hearing regarding the Freedom Foundation's public records request. On Friday, Jan. 17, the Judge granted our motion to add all school districts to the injunction to delay release of the records on the same timeline as the DRS request, which is Mar. 31.
There are two pending issues. The first: if you or a family member are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, please send us a confidential email (if you haven't done so already) to learn about next steps to prevent the release of your information.
The second question concerns the possibility that the foundation requests a subset of the information from school districts, such as simply name and date of birth. The union tried to convince the Judge to add language to his order to say that any subset of the requested information was also enjoined. He declined to do so because that issue was not yet before the court. Should the Freedom Foundation attempt that move, we will be back in court to argue that point.
WEA Legal Department
Nominations are OPEN! Nominations are now open for positions on the WEA Board of Directors representing Rainier UniServ, Directors on the NEA Board representing Washington State, and State Delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly (NEA RA). Information for each position, including responsibilities and terms of service, is available on the WEA website. Online nominations are open now through February 2. All candidates must also submit their relevant biographical information by the Feb. 2 deadline. Online voting through your home email will occur Feb. 9 through Mar. 1. Results along with the need for any runoff elections will be announced at the Mar. 6 and 7 WEA Board of Directors meeting. Successful candidates will take office July, 2020.
In addition, due to an error on my part, we are re-opening nominations for NEA RA Delegates for two weeks (January 24-February 3, 2020) with an online election running from February 5-12, 2020. Given this is a special election, the Representative Council will certify nominees as ‘elected by acclamation’ if the number of nominees equals the number of open delegate positions. Please email Portia Robinson if you need a nomination form or complete one at the HEA Rep Council meeting on February 3 at 4:15PM at the PSSC at 18010 8th Ave S.
Bargaining Update. Your HEA Bargaining Team worked all day on January 16 preparing for listening to our members and administering a bargaining survey. As a reminder, the team includes: Thara Cooper (Chair/ DL MS/ Specialist), Jeb Binns (HEA VP/ HS), Veronica Fairchild (HS/TOSA/EOC at large), Julie Mahieu (ESA/multi-level), Richard Dunn (Elem/New Teacher Mentor/Bilingual Fellow Mentor), Claudia Conroy (DL Elem), Edissa Jaramillo (SPED/Elem/DL MS), Rich Coker (DL HS), and Elizabeth Beck (UniServ Director). You can read short biographies for each team member here. Please see below for specific times & locations for our bargaining listening sessions and keep an eye out for the bargaining survey in February. Your ideas and input are critically important to our team as we prepare for this year’s negotiations.
Bargaining Listening Sessions. Please attend a Listening Session, facilitated by members of the HEA Bargaining Team. We want to know your issues in order to identify our bargaining priorities.
• Monday, February 10: Secondary DL (3:30) & Elementary DL (4:30) in the North Classroom at Central Office (please note date correction)
• Wednesday, February 12: Sessions at 4:00 and 5:00 for Special Education teachers in the South Classroom & ESAs in the Board Room at Central Office
• Thursday, February 13: Secondary General Education (3:30) & Elementary General Education (4:30) in the Board Room at Central Office
• Thursday, February 20: Sessions at 3:45 and 4:45 for HEA Educators of Color at the Downtown Burien Library (Shorewood room)
School Surveys Half Way There! HEA Rep Teams from half of our schools have collected data on your experiences with student behaviors and schoolwide supports. We will be reviewing the results at our February 3rd Representative Council Meeting prior to sharing it with HSD Leaders. Please work with your building reps and shared leadership team members to share your experiences and needs. Reps, if you need help accessing the survey, please contact me.
Special Education Teacher Surveys Sent. A Google form survey was sent to all self-contained special education classrooms educators this week through their Highline email accounts. Your HEA Leadership appreciates you taking the time to share your experiences. Your representative council and executive board will be reviewing the results to identify a multi-pronged approach to addressing the issues you and your colleagues identify. Please stay in close contact with your building reps and watch for updates here starting in February. Please contact me if you prefer access to the form at a different email address.
Black Lives Matter at School. NEA is participating in Black Lives Matter at School again this year with resources, and opportunities for engagement to our members and allies. The Week of Action is Feb 3-8 – but we are focusing on heightening awareness and action all through the month of February. HSD has given educators the go-ahead to participate at their discretion this year. NEA EdJustice is going to post a 2020 map soon with events, and they need your help! Can you please add any union, organization, and/or community events you know of to the 2020 map? Also, share the NEA EdJustice page on BLM@School, our pledge (with downloadable poster), and our 2020 map.
Registration Open for Power PD in the Area
(Remember: Fees for Union-Sponsored Events will be reimbursed by HEA after attendance.)
RECN Equity Conference. The Rainier Educators of Color Network is sponsoring a free Equity Conference for educators, students, and the wider community on Saturday, February 1. Sessions on intersectionality equity topics will be offered for educators, students, families and community members. Register here.
GLSEN Washington's LGBTQ Youth Leadership Conference. Here is another can’t miss event. In its 16th year, the WEA LGBTQ Caucus is Co-Presenting GLSEN Washington’s annual conference on Saturday, March 28th, 2020 from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm at Seattle Academy. NEA will be presenting a session on Employee Rights and Intersectionality. Student sessions are still being finalized. The conference is open to Students, Educators, and Community members. Register here.
WEA Caucus Corner
As a WEA member, you may wish to join an affiliated caucus of like-minded members to promote issues, awareness, and knowledge of importance to you. Watch here for information in upcoming weeks on other caucuses you can join for a small fee. You must join each caucus annually and pay each fee separate from your union dues.
The LGBTQ+ Caucus. Membership is open for the LGBTQ+ Caucus! They are in the process of moving to a new system so, for now, renew or join here. You should receive a confirmation after your payment has gone through. Please contact Joe Bento if you experience any problems registering. The WEA LGBTQ+ Caucus is working on finalizing its website. Suggestions from experienced web designers are invited.
CBA FAQ - January 27 & March 13
Q: I’m a secondary educator, and Monday, January 27 is a non-student day. Is it a paid day? Do I need to show up at work?
A: Congratulations Secondary Educators-you have made it through the first semester! Monday is not part of our 185-day work calendar and is not a paid day. You are NOT required to be in the building or to work from home. Elementary educators have the same situation at the end of their second trimester on March 13.