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March 6, 2020

In this Issue...Stay Healthy, Powerful PD Postponed, SEBB Appeals, EB Nominations, Luv on Our Guest Teachers, Pop Up in Burien, Smack Down on the FF, Bargaining Update, CBA FAQ-Seniority & Placement

Stay Healthy During Uncertain Times: 
It is important to work with your healthcare provider to make decisions that meet your unique needs.  Your health must come first as we work with HSD to respond to changing regional, state, and national health recommendations and local safety conditions.  We are in regular communication with HSD decision-makers as well as WEA and the districts surrounding us.  Together, we will continue to advocate for your needs.  Thank you for your flexibility and patience as everyone responds to what is a rapidly evolving situation, and remember to give yourselves, your colleagues, and your students grace during this stressful time.  Below are links to a few resources that have been shared with us.  If you need additional information to make decisions about your situation, please email HSD Human Resources and cc us (Sandy & Elizabeth) if you have concerns about the response you are receiving.
WA State Dept. of Health (DOH) School Resources & Recommendations

WA DOH "Classroom Cleaning Tips for Teachers" 
King County Public Health Insider

CDC Prevention & Treatment

OSPI’s COVID-19 Resource Page

Powerful PD Postponed. 
WEA and Rainier UniServ Council (RUC) have cancelled/rescheduled all non-critical meetings, conferences, and trainings for a 30-day period. Non-critical meetings, conferences and trainings are those that are not time-sensitive and necessary to the organization's ongoing operations. WEA will monitor and reassess after 30 days to determine next steps.  Please check registration details or contact organizers for specific changes.  HEA is modifying our events to limit the length of time and size of group coming together in public spaces. 

Update on SEBB Appeals. 
The Health Care Authority will no longer process any appeals filed in response to the SEBB Program's first annual open enrollment.  If you need to appeal a SEBB decision, please submit your appeal to HSD Human Resources for review and/or a decision.  

Nominations for HEA Executive Board Open. 
Nominations for HEA Secretary, HEA High School Representative, and HEA Elementary Representative (position B) are now open and will close at the HEA Rep Council meeting on Monday, March 30th at 4:30pm.  Email Portia Robinson today for your nomination form. 

Guest Teachers-We want You! 
Invite your guest teachers to stop by Angelo’s of Burien on Thursday, March 26 anytime between 3:00 and 6:00pm to pick up information on our union, learn about changes to guest teachers benefits that are going into effect, and have questions addressed by HSD HR. Grab a slice to eat there or take home! Please RSVP to Portia Robinson.

Pop Up at The Point. 
Pop in anytime between 3:00-6:00pm on Friday, March 20 at The Point in Downtown Burien to pick up your BST (Bargaining Support Team) Packet and a quick bite.  This is your chance to stay connected to our contract negotiations over the summer. 

When We Fight, We Win! 
This week, WEA was excited to report that HB 1888 has passed both the House and the Senate, and they expect the governor to sign it!  This bill protects our identify from groups like the Freedom Foundation by excluding the release sensitive personal information.  In addition, a whole new section was added that also excludes the release of voluntary personal information (sexual orientation, disability, immigration status etc.).  Legislators did respond to media complaints and so the Media can have access to our full birthdates but release to others in prohibited.

Bargaining Update
Due to the cancellation of all HSD Professional Development this week to provide additional substitute coverage for COVID-19 related absences, HEA was asked to reschedule this week's bargaining caucus, which we agreed to do. We will keep you posted on our rescheduled caucus date. We have Joint Sessions scheduled for March 23, 25, and 27 - but since the C-19 situation is still fluid and evolving, this may change, also. Continue to watch for updates in the e-Focus, as we will keep you informed of schedule changes and other bargaining news here.

What is seniority? How is it used?
Per contract, seniority is "length of contracted certificated service with the District as of the employee’s first working day, provided that any employee shall be granted full seniority credit for each year or portion thereof for contracted certificated experience from any public school district(s) in the State of Washington. Less than a full year of experience shall be computed as the actual number of days contracted by a district(s) excluding substitute service unless performed under a continuing contract and one hundred and eighty (180) actual days will equal a school year." (CBA Section 9.5)

In other words, seniority is the length of time someone has worked in any Washington public school, including Highline, not including substitute teaching unless performed under a continuing contract. Last month, some members found their seniority went the wrong direction.  After an internal audit, HR found flaws in how they calculated seniority last year. Primarily, many people's substitute teaching should not have been included in seniority calculations last year. 

Seniority is an important factor during displacements out of buildings, program closures, and when, on occasion, there are lay-offs (RIFs) and recalls.  However, seniority is not the only factor the district considers when placing educators to meet program needs, for example, when Spanish or Vietnamese speakers are needed in a DL school or when a secondary school needs teachers with specific subject area endorsements or CTE certification. HR’s goal is for most current HSD educators to know their initial placement for next year by early May. 

Keep in mind that seniority is not the same as experience credit. Experience credit is used for placement on the salary schedule and includes both certificated out-of-state experience and substitute teaching. So be sure to provide the district with documentation of any substitute teaching you have done outside the district, as well as any out-of-state teaching experience.  For more information about seniority, displacement, transfers, RIFs, etc. see Articles 8 and 9 of our CBA