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  1. Fully Fund Our COLAs- Contact Olympia Today (state budget finalizes this weekend!) 
  2. Recruiting Guest Teachers
  3. COVID Safety Concerns Form- Report Your Needs Here
  4. Upcoming Events and Activities | Note: new WEA Guest Teacher PD
  5. MLK KC Labor Council Report by Delegate Renee Agatsuma

February 25, 2022

Dear Supporter,
As you know, the HSD Board has selected Dr. Duran as our next Superintendent.  A take-away you may not have considered is the importance of supporting pro-education, pro-union candidates for election to public office.  This year Board Director Garcia, a candidate actively endorsed by HEA, was elected president of the board by his fellow directors.  Your WEAPAC contributions are critical in getting him and others like him elected to our school boards, city councils, and to seats in Olympia. 

Our WEAPAC contributions are needed now more than ever, as local and state elections impact our workplaces, paychecks, and leave options.  Last week, moms in blue shirts organized at the HSD school board meeting.  They expressed a variety of concerns including opposition to masks, CRT and student vaccinations.  Please join fellow union activists today by signing up or raise your contribution rate for WEAPAC! Contribution options are stepped and start as low as $2.25/month.  And please consider attending or zooming into our district board meetings to stay apprised of the situation. 

Finally, regarding masking at schools, last week local EA presidents met with Seattle King County Public Health to discuss member concerns over the removal of universal masking as a layer of protection.  In our recent survey, continued mask wearing was important to over two-thirds of our members.  King County public health officials explained their decision for mask removal within the county schools would be based on hospitalization rates.  We reminded them of their commitment to equity and the unequitable vaccination rates in South King County.  We will continue to communicate that additional layers of protection must be readily available to staff when the health department makes masks optional.
In solidarity,

1. Contact Your Senators Today Without Delay!

Hold Olympia Accountable

In this day and age, I think we can agree on this!  We can never return to the time before McCleary when Olympia underfunded or failed to fund our COLAS year after year. 
The State Senate needs to close the gap with the House and fully fund the IBD 5%. With inflation steadily growing, now is our moment to make educator voices heard loud and clear… all the way to Olympia.  
With House and Senate budget reconciliation THIS WEEKEND, use this link to record your opposition to a Senate budget plan that underfunds our COLA.  Tallies of pro and con are kept, so keep the pressure on and share this link with your family and friends.

We need our lawmakers to direct state funding to ensure all our students can thrive regardless of their socio-economic status, ethnicity, race or zip code. Now is the time for Washington lawmakers to invest in staff recruitment and retention through a fully-funded COLA.

Take a moment now to email your Senators using your personal device during duty free time

Once you enter your address, your elected officials automatically receive your response.  


2. Attract and Retain Guest Teachers

On Wednesday, HR and HEA discussed strategies for recruiting and processing more substitutes.  HR has ramped up applicant processing so send people their way. The next job fair is March 5.
Don’t hesitate to place substitute recruitment on your staff meeting agenda to brainstorm ways your school might recruit more family members, volunteers, or community members into the emergency substitute pool for your building.  Bachelor Degrees, (not teaching certificates), are required.  Those without BAs/BSs can apply to substitute for our beloved paras. You can refer a friend here.
Please have substitute folders with student seating charts, classroom management information, and emergency substitution plans prepared ahead of time in case you are out unexpectantly.  These are part of professional and contractual responsibilities.  Stop by and check on your fellow teacher’s substitute.  Those actions are the two most consistent requests made by our guest teachers.
Finally, WEA Guest Teacher Professional Development will be offered on zoom March 12 @ 9:00AM-1:00PM.  This is a benefit provided to our guest teacher members so please promote this 4-module PD designed specifically for guest teachers.  An attendance stipend will be provided to HEA members, after attendance is verified. Email Mike Accord for registration details and to get the zoom link 

3. Use Our Safety Concerns Report Form

You are not alone! Share your COVID SAFETY CONCERN with your covid co-captain and your building administrator, (send one email to both). If it is not resolved, report the issue to HR using the “Safety Concern Form”.  This link is actively monitored by HR and HSD to resolve member COVID SAFETY issues. Please navigate through the Frontline Central to access and complete the link.

4. Upcoming Events and Activities

Find details and links on the HEA Events Page 

  • HEA Executive Board Meeting (2.28.22 @ 4:30). Members can email HEA Secretary, Katie Utesch at least 24 hours in advance for the zoom link.  Note: Executive Sessions are closed to members.
  • NEW! HSD School Board Meeting March Meetings (03.02.22 and 03.16.22 @ 6:00PM)  Held at Central Office and Live streamed.  Please sign up to speak by noon on Wednesday.  
  • HEA Representative Council Meeting (03.07.22 @ 4:30). Appointment Ratification Vote for HS Executive Board Representative Amanda Stanley.  Nominations will open for HEA Officer Positions for SY 2022-24 (HS Rep, Elementary Rep, Secretary) To attend, members email HEA Secretary, Katie Utesch at least 24 hours in advance for the zoom link.  Note: Executive Sessions are closed to members.
  • NEW! Student Behavior Support-Your Input Needed (March 8 @ 3:00, 3:30, 4:00 repeated March 10 same times and March 11 @ 2:00).  The new Student Behavior Support Committee needs to hear from  you.  Join us to give your input as we work with the district to plan for building level supports and professional development.  ESCs are provided to all who attend and complete our survey.  Same zoom link for all three dates.
  • NEW! Secondary Student-Led Conferences (March 11).  Meeting times with families may be split between Thursday evening and Friday morning.  Secondary student-led conferences safety protocols should at a minimum match what was worked out for November if no additional work is being done by the SLT or Safety Team to revise those protocols.  
  • Elementary Trimester Non-paid Day (March 11).  This is not a workday for those who work in elementary schools.  Those with split assignments should either place a non-work day on January 28 or March 11. Please talk with your administrator.  
  • NEW! WEA Guest Teacher Professional Development (March 12 @ 9:00AM-1:00PM on zoom).  Please attend and promote this 4-module PD designed specifically for our substitute members.  Stipend provided for HEA members, after verification of attendance.  Email Mike Accord for registration details
  • VEBA Retirement Readiness Seminars (March 21, repeated March 28 both @ 4:30).  This is designed to help you get the most out of your VEBA account. See the HEA Events page.
  • Gold Star Bash (March 24 @ 6:00-7:00PM).  An in-person event is planned for the SeaTac Community Center. Doors open at 5:30PM with the event running 6:00-7:00PM.  Preordered tickets $25/at the door $30.  The address is: 13735 24th Ave S. SeaTac, WA.

5. Report from MLK KC Labor Council Notes-February 

By HEA Delegate Renee Agatsuma
  • Many of our union siblings are having a really hard time with their 3 month long concrete workers strike. They shared that some members have died by suicide. Here is a  link to support our union comrades.  SEA gave $1000. Our delegation will propose that the Rep Council donate at least $500.