In this Issue: Summer Bargaining
1 HEA Summer Hours
2 Listening Sessions Thursday, June 17 from 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
3 MS/Specialist Exec. Board Voting
4 District Surveys
5 HPS Budget (contact the School Board)
6 Long Term Care Insurance Webinar Wednesday, June 16 4:30 pm- 6:30 pm
June 11, 2021
Dear HEA Members,
This issue marks the last official EFocus of the 2020-21 school year. Congratulations on making it through the most challenging of times. You are among the educators from across the globe who have persevered to share this journey with your students. We celebrate you today!
We have completed the first year of our two-year CBA, however, the current MOU and related documents under which we are operating are expiring. All employees, including those working at Highline Virtual Academy and teaching in the elementary remote program, should expect to be working onsite during the 2021-22 school year. If you anticipate needing an ADA accommodation for the upcoming school year, please contact human resources. While we can’t anticipate everything the next school year has in store, we do know that it will more closely resemble a typical year. However, it is still quite possible we will need to monitor and adjust to changing public health guidance (though hopefully with much less frequency than this year).
HEA and HPS are set to bargain a new MOU beginning June 17. This MOU will address the impacts of programmatic features necessary for next year that are not covered by our existing CBA, as well as the establishment of both the Highline Virtual Academy and Maritime High School. In addition, summer negotiations will address the usual mid-contract reopeners, such as finalizing the calendar. Our returning bargaining team members are: Thara Cooper (chair), Jeb Binns (Eboard/HS), Veronica Fairchild (Specialist/HS), Edissa Jaramillo (SpEd/DL), and Shawna Moore (MS) with the wonderful addition of Sandra Aguila (ES/DL) who is an outgoing Executive Board member and K teacher at Madrona and Mike Whitfield who is a counselor at Tyee (representing ESAs). In addition, Elizabeth Beck, our WEA UniServ Director, and I are on the team. We have already held two planning meetings and are setting up listening sessions.
This year’s NEA Representative Assembly (RA) delegates will be representing HEA at another remote RA. Please join me in thanking returning delegates Emma Caro Bernal, Zanovia Clark, and Shawna Moore. Returning for a new term are Gabriela Olivarez, Leslie Sokolik, Deb Strayer, and Katie Utesch. Special shout out to new delegates Edissa Jaramillo, Joseph Thomas, and Brandice Tranholt, and to NEA Board of Director Jeb Binns who will be representing Washington.
All my best to each of you wherever your journey takes you. May you have a relaxing and rejuvenating summer!
P.S. Please note that hours for the HEA president during the summer are part-time. I will be working reduced hours through the last part of June and during the first part of August, and will be off the month of July! See below for more information about summer HEA hours.
1. HEA Summer Hours.
The HEA office will be operating with reduced staffing between June 28 and August 13 so please remain patient with response times. WEA PD can be accessed through their website
. HEA has member information on our website
and our HEA/UniServ Staff contacts are:
2. Special Education Listening Sessions. Attend Thursday, June 17 from 1:00 pm-2:15 pm.
We anticipate Highline’s educational program for next year to have ongoing impacts on teachers in special education programs. So it is critical for HEA’s bargaining team to hear from members working in Special Education and Related Services. Please complete this form
to receive the zoom link for next week’s listening sessions. Break out rooms are scheduled for Thursday, June 17 from 1:00 pm-2:15 p.m. to share your experiences from this year and thoughts for next. Other members, please contact Thara Cooper
for more information on additional opportunities for providing input for the bargaining team.
3. Executive Board Vote Closes Today. Voting closes at 5:30 pm on June 11th.
Middle School Teachers and Specialists including music/PE/library, those holding special positions in Schools/Central Office, ESAs, and Guest Teachers all have the opportunity to vote. Please check your home email for your Ballotpoint ballot and vote today by 5:30 pm.
4. District Surveys. Here are two optional surveys gathering your input.
- Data Literacy Survey. Share your thoughts and needs as part of a voluntary action research project using this link.
- Ethnic Studies Survey. With new legislation mandating Ethnic Studies, please share your thoughts with the district using this link.
- VEBA Votes. The HEA Retiree (8 ballots) and Excess Sick Leave (34 ballots) voters adopted the VEBA option with 100% voting yes
5. HPS 2021-22 Budget Adoption. The district will present next year’s budget at the June 23rd school board meeting and will vote to adopt at the July 7th meeting. You can continue to advocate for what our students need by emailing Kyle Minaglia with 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 the meeting. School Board meetings start at 6:00 pm (on zoom and in-person). 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.
6. Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance. Required LTC insurance is coming to Washington State so please prepare! Employees in Washington soon will have access to LTC insurance through a new Washington state program.
As a member of the HEA, alternatively, you do have access to purchase Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance through the NEA Member Benefits program. In addition, Highline Public Schools is working with their labor partners to explore offering employees its own LTC option.
To learn more about the first two options:
WEA is sponsoring a
Long Term Care Insurance webinar
Wednesday, June 16
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Panelists include Benjamin Veghte, director of the new Washington Cares Fund, Teresa Muench from NEA member benefits, and WEA staff Jennifer Silves and Julie Salvi. They will share information about the Washington Cares program including the coming payroll assessment, benefits, eligibility, and opt-out option. They are providing time for questions. They plan to record the event for those unable to attend that day.