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September 3, 2021
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In this Issue:  School District and Union Leadership Opportunities/COVID Related Leave
1. Assignments
2. Leaves
3. Temporary Remote Work
4. Extra layers of protection
…and what you might have missed last week
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Dear Members,

We’ve launched into a new school year, and so has Carrie Howell, a Meridian Middle School educator in the Kent School District.  Carrie spent 18 years as a HPS teacher, and she is our newest School Board Director.  Please extend a warm welcome when you can spare a minute. 

Our union’s gratitude to all who have stepped up to be HEA Reps this year.  Contact your Rep to learn who is your HEA Covid Co-Captain (CCC)—or make a difference at your school and sign-up for this stipended position.  If you are a CCC, please share your contact information here.  I will be reaching out to learn what support you need. Please know that your union leadership is working as one to ensure you have a safe, successful, and deeply satisfying new school year.

Here are some items of note coming up this month.  Please reach out if you need something.

  • On September 11 (10AM-2PM), MLK Labor Council is sponsoring school board candidate endorsement interviews.  Do you live in Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, Federal Way, Kent, Tukwila, and of course live (or work) in Highline? You can have a voice in who gets endorsed.  Different races will be featured on different zoom links. 
  • For HPS, we will be interviewing WEA member Jennifer Fichamba who is running against Board President Angelica Alvarez.  Director Alvarez did not respond to labor’s invitation.  Email Leslie Sokolik for details and the zoom link. Sign up for WEAPAC to participate. 
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  • The WEA Board of Director election is underway for Rainier UniServ.  Please look for your Ballotpoint ballot in your personal email.  While there are three great candidates to select from, our very own Shawna Moore is running, so vote today.  Contact Lori Fleck if you can’t find your ballot after checking your filter. 

Nominations remain open for HEA Elementary Representative and High School Representative on the Executive Board.  Email Sandy if you are interested. 

All my best to you,

Sandy 
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COVID-Related Reassignments & Leaves-from the MOU

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1. Assignments: The District will maintain existing staff assignments to the greatest degree possible during the crisis. Requests for alternative assignments will be considered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) and the Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA) for employees with legally-recognized disabilities or high risk worker status. 
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2. Leaves: If alternative assignments are not available or if an employee is unable to fulfill their professional responsibilities, the District will work with affected employees to identify available paid and unpaid leave, insurance benefits, and other governmental benefits available under law or this Collective Bargaining Agreement. The employee may elect to combine all these leaves in a manner that is most generous in providing leave for the duration of any incapacitation or unavailability.
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3. Temporary Remote Work: Certificated staff may be allowed to shift to temporary remote work during quarantine for work-based exposure or illness on a case-by-case basis as outlined below. …
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  • Classroom teachers: If a teacher is required to quarantine as the result of a school-based exposure that leads to a classroom quarantine or a switch to temporary remote instruction for a single class, they may continue to teach remotely, from quarantine, for the duration of the quarantine. 
  • Teachers who are not required to quarantine in these scenarios would continue to work in-person even while teaching remotely. 
  • If a teacher is required by the district to quarantine but their students are still in person, and the teacher is well enough to continue teaching remotely, they may choose to do so with a proctor supervising their in-person students or through other viable options. 
Arrangements to allow teachers to continue working remotely in this situation will be coordinated by HSD Central Office.
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  • Other certificated staff: If a certificated staff member is required by the district to quarantine, but the staff member is well enough to continue working remotely, they may work with their direct supervisor to develop plans to work remotely on a temporary basis, with notification provided to HSD Human Resources. 
  • If remote work is not an option for a particular employee in this situation, the alternative would be for the District to provide up to three days of administrative leave, pending a COVID test. If the employee tests negative, they may return to work; if the employee tests positive, they may file an L&I claim under HELSA and/or access any other available leaves, as referenced above.

4. Possible Layers of protection if your room is over-capacity 

(students are spaced closer than 3-ft.)

Talk with your principal about additional layers of protection such as the following:

  • You can request a ventilation check.
  • You can request a portable HEPA filter.
  • You can work with students outside or in an available alternate space (following school policy).
  • You can access additional layers of PPE by request

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Here’s what you may have missed last week! 
  • 3-foot Distance Guidelines and available mitigations-what makes sense for you?
  • Commitment to Continued Problem Solving
  • HEA Building/Program Reps
  • HEA Covid Co-Captains
  • HEA Executive Board Members
  • General Membership Meeting-VEBA Changes Coming
  • Family Connections (September 13 Explained)
  • New Schools/New Programs