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In this Issue:  Freedom Foundation Active Again- don’t be fooled!
1. Contract Clarifications:  SLC Safety-Zoom Option for Families Required
2. Your Input Is Needed: WEA RA will be virtual-please consider running for a 1 or 2 year term
3. Upcoming Events: Parental Leave Workshop (Nov 16) & Behavioral Health Workshop (Dec 6)
4. Fighting for Educational Equity:  RECN (Nov 18) & Bargaining and Beyond Conference (Nov 20) 
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November 12, 2021
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Dear Members,
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This fall, we are seeing some new tactics by the Freedom Foundation, as they try to undercut the value and protections of union membership. But their end-goal is the same, to reduce our power in fighting for public education and limit the successes of strong unions in advocating for our students and ourselves. They don’t like our union precisely because we are successful in achieving the things they oppose.
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Together, we have successfully fought for higher pay, smaller class sizes and maintaining the right to bargain. We have fought and won more ESSER funds being spent on the health and safety in our schools and worksites. We have fought and won full funding of counselors at every building.  And we will continue to listen to you and fight for improvements during our open bargain this spring.
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Contrast that with the Freedom Foundation, which discounts science, opposes smaller classes sizes and caseloads and wants to cut funding for public education. They don’t care about our members, they only want to stop our ability to successfully fight for students, public education and union values.
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When we remain united and strong, we can maintain the progress we have made, and continue to advance our efforts to provide more student supports and eliminate inequities.
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Please check out the HEA, RUC, and WEA offerings coming up soon!  We would love to see you there!
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Take care of yourselves and each other,
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Sandy
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1. CONTRACT CLARIFICATION

Student Led Conferences.  Section 4.13 of the CBA continues to apply along with district visitor guidelines.  
Families must clearly understand how to access a remote conference option to attend SLCs. We are actively working with the district to addressing COVID transmission concerns during conferences. Ask your administrator to put this topic on your staff meeting agenda next week.  Review district requirements and involve your COVID Co-Captain and safety teams to ensure your building SLC plans follows district requirements.  If you continue to have concerns about your school’s safety plans and staffing during conferences, please reach out to your HEA Representatives who are in communication with us.  We are in the process of working with administration of individual schools to limit members’ exposure to the public.
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2.YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED

  • HEA’s GUEST TEACHER SURVEY.  This short survey is designed to help us identify celebrations and address the concerns of our Highline Guest Teachers.  Guest teachers, please submit your feedback and attend the WEA Guest Teacher Meeting. Save the date: Friday, December 3 during PCT for our next meet Guest Teacher meet up!
  • WEA EDUCATOR SURVEY.  WEA is conducting a statewide anonymous survey on special education and inclusion topics. The first part of the survey is for all members and is relatively short (about 5 minutes.) It is about inclusionary students' services and supports). The second part is for only those who work in special education most of the time.  Because these questions are more in-depth, please plan to spend 15 minutes until Sunday, November 21, 2021.
  • The survey is designed to gather input from all members who work with any students enrolled in a district special education program. Our joint Special Education Team would love to get a high participation rate so our member results could be used to:
    • Inform HEA’s advocacy in our Special Education Bargain and Open Contract Negotiation.  
    • Inform professional support being planned by our UniServ Council.
    • Inform WEA’s statewide educator advocacy around special education issues. 
  • HEA DELEGATE NOMINATIONS OPEN.  Attend these Representative Assemblies and shape the future of your union.  HEA building reps can provide more information.  You can also email me.  Nominations are open until January 10:
    • WEA Representative Assembly Delegates (one and two-year terms are open) to be held virtually this year (dates TBD) and in Spokane (April 7-9, 2022 and April 13-15, 2023).
    • NEA Representative Assembly, if it is held remotely or somewhere other than Texas, (July 2-6, 2022) and in Orlando the following year (July 2-6. 2023).
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3. UPCOMING EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS

Here are some items of note.  Please reach out if you have any questions.
  • NEW!  PARENTAL LEAVE WORKSHOP Tuesday, November 16 (4:30-5:30 PM). Considering expanding your family? Attend the virtual HEA-HPS Parental Leave Workshop. Representatives from Highline Human Resources and HEA/WEA will walk you through things you should research and consider in advance, or as early as possible, if you are considering having, adopting, or fostering a child. Topics will include the different types of leaves that may be available to you, the impact of those leaves on your income, benefits changes you may want to think about, and more. The Zoom link is available here, and if you need dial-in access, please email Elizabeth Beck, WEA UniServ Representative. 
  • NEW! WEA BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ZOOM WORKSHOP.  Monday, December 6 (4:00-5:30 PM).  The Behavioral Health Impacts of COVID-19 for Educators & The Back to Classroom THINK Toolbox will be presented by Dr. Kira Mauseth.  The COVID-19 Back-to-Classroom THINK Toolbox includes:  Understanding the mental health impact of COVID-19 on youth, the importance of resilience, and an awareness of what to expect as we return to the classroom.  Learn about the value of and how to effectively practice self-care.  Leave with tools and resources for teachers, educational staff, and families that mitigate the effects of trauma. Use this link for registration.

4. Rainier Educators of Color Network 

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Monthly Meetup ! Thursday, November 18  4:30 PM-6PM
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RECN hosts monthly meetups to support our BIPoC members and to increase our work in White Ally & Accomplice trainings to push forward.  We can not stop. We must keep pushing forward while taking care of our beloved communities of color. We come together for next steps of action to move us forward in anti-racism work. White allies meet separately to discuss our responsibilities of anti-racism -- how do we engage white educators and our community to hold ourselves accountable and engage in changing racist policy and laws ?
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Bargaining and Beyond:

Uniting to Dismantle Systems of Inequity

Saturday, Nov. 20, 9:15 AM to 2:45 PM

With our open bargain coming this spring-let's renew our commitment to educate, agitate, organize and inspire to dismantle systems of inequity and take collective action. Learn how to engage your members and your communities to implement educator-led solutions that work for our students and our schools.
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Keynote Speaker: Elise Bryant, Labor Leader and Educator
After working 35 years as a labor educator, Bryant retired from her professorship at the National Labor College to start her own consulting service, the E.L.I.S.E. Consortium. Her areas of expertise include Communication Skills, Effective Committee Training, Leadership Training, Teaching Techniques, Labor History and Culture, Diversity Training, Organization Development and "Arts as a Tool for Organizing." Bryant currently serves as the executive director of the Labor Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization that is the "art and soul of the labor movement."

Register for this free, WEA-member only conference!