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In this Issue:  Advocacy Needed, Sub Rotations, Exec Board Nominations, Transforming HEA, WEA Retired Membership, Out of Olympia (and into your pockets)

April 30, 2021

Dear HEA Members,

Our students need people and activities in their lives that help them feel good, feel centered, feel successful.  We know that each of you is providing those relational supports to students. In addition, access to librarians, art, music and band are critical for our students’ health as well.  These experiences along with the supports that counselors, social workers, and other social and emotional support providers must be readily available for our students.  

Contract language requires that budget discussions should be happening as part of SLT and all educators should have had the opportunity to tell principals that they want counselors amply funded at their schools.  Shockingly, elementary counselors are being reduced at some schools while our district will be receiving an immediate influx of $24 million.  Now is the time to be advocating with our school board, with your principals, through your SLT, on social media and local blogs.  You know your students and you know what they need.

Please email Kyle Minaglia  your 4-minute (or less) statement to be read at the board meeting or to sign up to speak in person by noon on the day of each school board meeting.  The next two meetings are May 5 and May 19 starting at 6:00pm.  Speakers who sign up ahead of time are given 4 minutes. Those who sign up at the meeting, receive 2 minutes at the end of the meeting.

Thank you,

Sandy

P.S.  Please remember to sign your 2021-22 contract found in Employee Online if you intend on returning to HPS next school year.

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Emergency Substitution Rotation. Your school’s plan should have been developed by your SLT and emailed to Sandy Hunt and Chris Larsen for review by now.  No emergency substitute should be covering for more than one teacher per week (although you may spend more than one day in the same teacher’s classroom). Please review the applicable MOU for details.  Our CBA pg 25 (Section 4.12.E) presents additional decisions and duties our SLTs are charged with.  

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Our Executive Board Needs You:  Nominations are open for Elementary Rep and Specialist Rep until June 1.  Educators should share their names with Julie Kastien.  Electronic elections will be held on June 7-11 through personal emails.

Transforming HEA.  Much of how the union operates is governed by our constitution and by-laws, written over 80 years ago and revised periodically.  If you think now is the time to transform the union so it works for all members as an anti-racist institution, we are forming a team to do that.  If you would like to be part of this exciting work, please email me. Our goal is to have new language to bring forward to the General Membership for a vote in August.

WEA-Retired Lifetime Membership.  Between now and May 31, the fee for life membership to WEA-Retired is reduced from $550 to $495. This is a temporary price change. Join as a Pre-Retired member now and ensure that your connection to your Association will continue seamlessly whenever you retire.  Join WEA-Retired online and take advantage of the one-time special $495 life membership.

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School Funding and Educator COLAs.  Lots of news has been trickling (or pouring) out of Olympia this week depending on where you look.  The 2021-23 operating budget is the largest budget in Washington history and contains the most progressive legislation as well.  WEA is currently analyzing what this means for us and will be sending that out soon.  Of note, under the McCleary decision, annual increases for K-12 salaries are now required as part of the state’s definition of basic education.  Our funded increase is 2% for the 2021-22 School Year and is projected to be 1.6% for the 2022-23 School Year.

WEA-backed Bills Pass in Olympia.  When educators unite and let lawmakers know what our students need to have great schools for all students. This week, lawmakers passed several bills that will improve equity and address racism in our schools. Despite Sen. Mullet's attempt to undermine the bill's intent with a terrible amendment, the Legislature this week passed HB 1028 to eliminate the requirement for student teachers to take the edTPA. Lawmakers also passed SB 5044 to train educators in cultural competency and anti-racist practices. The governor already signed a bill to eliminate school lunch co-pays, too. Congratulations and a special shout out to WEA members who sent thousands of messages to legislators to help push these bills to fruition and on making an impact to advance school equity this session! We need more members to support this progressive work so please join WEAPAC today!