In this Issue: Update Personal Contact Information and Place your Red for Ed T-Shirt Order
- Bargaining Listening Sessions Breakout Rooms: March 28 @ 4:10 PM , April 12, April 21
- Summary of Revised Guidance: HEA access to additional protections
- Financial Benefits Bonanza !: Meet your VEBA and Financial Representatives, Save $, win prizes
- CommUnity Art Build for Public Education: April 15-17 REGISTER HERE
- HEA Events
- Safety Concerns Reporting Form: Monitored weekly by HR/HEA
March 28, 2022
Many thanks to the Highline Schools Foundation who hosted the Gold Star Bash on March 24. A full house at SeaTac Community Center celebrated the nominations of over 70 Highline School District employees and volunteers. As Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Marianne Scheeman, stated—this year we all are gold star winners! I couldn’t agree more. HEA congratulates her along with Outstanding Rookie Teacher of the Year, Alejandra Silva-Avendano from Pacific Middle School.
Access the district webpage to see all the winners and read about their contributions to our district. Congratulations to them all!
As we look ahead to spring break, our bargaining team and joint committees are busy preparing for this year’s negotiations. Our contract expires on August 31, 2022. Please support our team by attending one or more breakout rooms set up for your job, program or group. Details are below. We will be scheduling a June and an August General Membership meeting in anticipation of reaching an agreement after this school year or just prior to the next. Please register when those dates are released and help us out by updating contact information (snail mail, personal email and cell phone numbers).
One week to spring break—you got this!
P.S. Wearing an HEA T-shirt is a great way to show union solidarity and support your bargaining team.
Please place your T-shirt order here, if you don’t already have one or need a new one.
1. Make Time for Bargaining Listening Sessions
Open Bargain Listening Session Breakout Rooms. An important part of planning for the open bargain is sharing your stories with members of the bargaining team. These sessions are for HEA members only. If you know of someone who is not a member, please encourage them to join. This is a great reason to do so! Zoom link for HEA Members is here. (Dear Elementary Members - we know 4:10 PM is a bit early, so please join when you can. We will move you into the appropriate room when you enter.)
- Session 1 (March 28 @ 4:10-5:10PM): Elementary Classroom Teachers, Secondary Classroom Teachers, ESAs (Counselors, Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, OT/PT/SLPs, Special Services)
- Session 2 (April 12 @ 4:10-5:10PM): BIPOC Educators/ESAs, Central Office Specialists, Special Education/Inclusionary Practices Educators including ECE and IK. If you are a general education teacher who co-teaches with a special educator teacher or is in the inclusionary practices pilot program, please join in.
- Session 3 (April 21 @ 4:10-5:10PM): Elementary Classroom Teachers, Secondary Classroom Teachers, Special Programs (CTE, Dual Language, Learning Centers/ALE, Remote/Virtual Instruction)
2. Summary of Revised COVID Guidance for Schools
& Impact Bargaining Results
New safety guidance was issued on March 8, and revised again on March 10. Keep in mind that – unless something has specifically changed per the guidance or these agreements – things remain in place. For example, the HPS guidance around remote options for meetings remains as it has been all year.
Listed below are additional protections HEA was able to bargain that DOH allowed but were not specifically required. See the March 21 Efocus for details.
- A negative COVID test to return from isolation after day 5 and before day 10.
- Additional PPE available.
- Portable HEPA-filter air purifiers for all high risk individuals. All others may submit a request.
- Leave options broadened to include staff who reside with a “high risk” individual.
- Responding to COVID “Clusters” and “Outbreaks” with a temporary mask requirement pending guidance from public health. This requires monitoring the covid absent rate in core groups, such as your classroom, after school programs, sports group, a school staff, etc (over 14 day period) with the key metrics being 10% infection rate OR at least 3 cases within a specified core group. Details are found in the appendix of the new guidance on p. 15-16.
- Masking and bell covers still required for Music and Band.
- Planning ahead for spring break continues: HSD has agreed to increase access to COVID testing immediately after spring break and also to communicate with staff and families to remind them of the CDC’s travel guidance. We continue to work on additional layers of protection.
There are topics we continue to discuss as we respond to ongoing challenges and changes (e.g. substitute shortages, planning for the next surge, spring break responses, etc.). Incorporating responses to infectious disease into our CBA is also a priority.
3. Financial Benefits Bonanza
Monday, April 11 (4:30-5:30PM), join fellow HEA members to save more and maximize your member benefits. (And win one of several $50 gift card give-aways!) Register here and learn how to connect with discounts, access travel benefits, activate and use your VEBA account, meet your personal financial planner and insurance guide. All because you are a member. Spend one hour with your NEA Member Benefit specialists and starting leading your best financial life.
4. Community Art Build for Public Education
Come join fellow union members for an indoor/outdoor event to create awareness around our open bargains while we build community and create art!
Join us at next month’s CommUnity Art Build where we will create great art while standing up for our rights and getting down with some very cool fellow artists and unionistas from the Highline, Federal Way & Seattle Education Associations.
Drop in on April 15-17 (times listed below) @ the NEW Highline High School (225 S. 152nd St.)This is an indoor/outdoor family event to build power and strengthen community connections around the contract bargaining occurring across Seattle and South King County. Come Rain or Shine. Food trucks are free! Meet the Artists! Print-making! Solidarity! Families and community members welcome!
Register here. and take your art home with you.
5. HEA Events page: Find details & links here
- VEBA Retirement Readiness Seminars (March 29 @ 4:30). This is designed to help you get the most out of your VEBA account. Learn how to send your money, register your account and select an investment. Registration links are here on the HEA Events page.
- UPDATED! Bargaining Listening Session Breakout Rooms (March 28 @ 4:10-5:10PM). Session One: Elementary Classroom Teachers, Secondary Classroom Teachers, ESAs (counselors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, OT/PT/SLPs). Zoom link for HEA Members is here. Watch for an additional listening session scheduled for special roles and programs coming in mid-April.
- Members Benefit Bonanza and $50 Gift Card Give-Aways! (April 11 @ 4:30-5:30PM) Learn more about the travel benefits, financial savings, insurance, VEBA and retirement benefits you are eligible to access by being an HEA member and HSD educator. Register here for your zoom link and get your questions answered. Presenters are also available to schedule individual follow up meetings with you to address your personal financial needs.
- NEW! Bargaining Listening Session 2 (April 12 @ 4:10 PM- 5:10 PM) Zoom link here for HEA Members.
- Pre-retirement Seminar. (April 15 @ 4:30-7:30PM and April 16@8:30AM-3:00PM) Join the experts on Friday evening and Saturday to learn how to make successful retirement moves. You have many decisions along the way that will affect your pension and your healthcare so all members are recommended to attend 2-3 times throughout their careers. (Consider the 5/3/1 year plan-attend the session five years into teaching, at least three years before you might retire, and finally a year before you will retire.)
- Unity Art Build with Federal Way & Seattle Education Associations (Drop in on April 15 @5-9PM/ April 16 @10AM-9PM/ April 17 @ 10AM-6PM) At the NEW Highline High School. This is an indoor/outdoor family event to build power and strengthen community connections around the open contract bargain occurring across Seattle and South King County. Come Rain or Shine. Free Food trucks! Artists! Print-making! Solidarity! Families and community members welcome! Register here
- NEW! Bargaining Listening Session 3 (April 21 @ 4:10 PM- 5:10 PM) Zoom link here for HEA Members.
6. Use Our Safety Concerns Reporting 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.