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In this Issue: Access Your Mitigation 

  1. HEA Executive Board Elections 
  2. Contracts Must Be Signed End of Day Tuesday, May 10 
  3. HSD School Board Meeting, Work Sessions, and Retreat
  4. HEA Events
  5. Safety Concerns Reporting Form:  Monitored weekly by HR/HEA
  6. Mitigation for Workload Issues and Lack of Substitutes- all positions
  7. MLK Labor Council: Social Housing Initiative (I-135) and Philippines Human Rights Act 

May 6, 2022

Dear Supporter, 

We continue to pursue strategies for addressing workload issues due to lack of coverage and unfilled certificated and classified positions.  Please review the table linked in section 6 to determine what mitigation measures you are eligible for whether you are a classroom teacher (including K), teach in special education, librarian or a guest teacher.  This information was reviewed with the HEA Building and Program Reps during Monday’s meeting and sent to all Reps on Wednesday.  It is also in today’s Admin Packet.  Your principal is welcome to reach out to HR if they have questions around how to get you the mitigation you deserve.

Please work through your building or program rep if there are instances where you should have received mitigation.  For special education/inclusion services mitigation, Gaye and Darren can also provide clarification.  As indicated, librarians and kindergarten teachers can reach out directly to me and Elizabeth. 

In solidarity,

P.S. Wearing your HEA T-shirt at school on Wednesdays is a great way to show union solidarity and support your bargaining team. T-Shirts were delivered to buildings last month. If you still need one, please email Portia Robinson directly with your size.

1. HEA Executuve Board Elections

Executive Board Elections (May 16-May 20@5:30PM). A BallotPoint Ballot will be sent to personal emails on May 16 and must be cast by 5:30 on May 20. 

  • All members will receive an individualized notice to vote from BallotPoint based on their position/role in HSD that is on file with WEA.
  • When you are ready to vote, select the button in the BallotPoint email in order to receive your secure ballot.
  • BallotPoint will then send you your ballot by email within a few seconds.
  • If the ballot does not work for you, then use the link provided to email BallotPoint to receive a replacement ballot.
  • Problems or questions about your personal email needed to vote or to access the correct ballot based on your position in the district, contact Lori Fleck.

Here are the open positions and who will vote for which positions. 

Please watch for an upcoming Special Election Edition of the EFocus with Candidate statements.

  • HEA Secretary is elected by all members (two candidates):
    • Veronica Fairchild
    • Katie Utesch
  • Elementary School Representatives A and Rep B are elected by PreK-5th grade teachers on elementary rosters, Valley View and other PreK certificated teachers, and Virtual Elementary Teachers.
    • Rep A (1-year term):  Katarina (Katie) Reka Schmidt
    • Rep B (2-year term):  Brandice Tranholt
  • High School Representative is elected by those members on high school rosters:
    • Amanda Stanley

2. Contracts Must Be Signed End-of-Day Tuesday, May 10

You should have received directions on how to access your contract for the next school year in your district email.  If you plan on returning to Highline, your signature is needed by 11:59PM on Tuesday to indicate you are accepting your contract.  Use your Employee Online Account (find that under the STAFF tab on the district website).  Once you have gotten through the password page, use the menu to navigate to Personal Information and then in the far right column access CONTRACTS under Job Information.

The deadline was extended to Tuesday due to technical problems.  District leadership has indicated that once you have signed your contract, HR is not inclined to release you if you are offered a new position in another Washington State school district.

The voluntary transfer window is open until the end of June, after which time, transfers can still happen but open positions must be applied for directly.  As mentioned last week, based on contract language, placements will start with Southern Heights educators who will be displaced due to their school’s closure.  This will be followed by any other mandatory displacements.  Voluntary transfers will be placed last and can occur through the end of June.  Again, if you see a job opening over the summer that you wish to transfer into, you will need to apply directly.   Sending an email to the receiving principal about your interest is also helpful.  HR will continue to allow transfers into early August so don’t hesitate to apply in-house for jobs that open up even after you sign your contract.  If you are in a special education/inclusion role, please reach out to Gaye Bungart (elementary) and Darren Spencer (secondary) to discuss your in-district placement and transfer options.


3. Upcoming HSD School Board Meetings,

Work Sessions, and Retreat

HSD School Board May Meetings (05.18.22 and 06.01.22). These meetings are held live at Central Office and live streamed to access remotely.  This month, there will be an important appointment of a new School Board Member to replace Fa’izah Bradford.  Please show your support for the appointment of HEA member and nominee Chad Harper, Chinook Librarian and HEA Building Representative, by emailing the school board. Chad will step down from working as an employee of Highline if he is appointed.

·       May 11, 2022 4:30 PM School Board Work Session

·       May 14, 2022 9:00 AM School Board and Cabinet Retreat

·       May 18, 2022 4:30 PM School Board Work Session and Meeting

·       May 25, 2022 5:00 PM School Board Work Session

·       June 1, 2022 6:00 PM School Board Meeting

·       June 22, 2022 5:00 PM Budget Hearing and School Board Meeting

4. HEA Events: Find details and links here

  • Calm Afternoons with KP for Educators and School Staff (May 11 & 18 from 3:30-4:00PM).  This 30-minute series is designed to help you find your calm using meditation and other techniques.  Read about the details here. Space is limited so RSVP.
  • LAST CALL!  Employee Contract Electronic Signature Deadline (05.10.22).  Your signature is needed if you plan to return to work in Highline next school year. The deadline was extended to next week Tuesday due to technical problems.
  • HEA Executive Board Elections (05.16.22 through 05.20.22).  Your BallotPoint ballot will be sent to personal emails.  PLEASE locate your ballot in your personal email.  It does taking moving from the email to a personalized ballot but it takes just a moment to navigate over.  Email Lori Fleck if you can’t find your ballot in your spam folder.
  • Executive Board Meeting (05.23.22 4:45-6:30PM).  Email Secretary Katie Utesch for zoom link or location information.
  • VEBA Vote Explanation & NEA Benefits Bonanza (05.31.22 4:30-5:30ish). REGISTER HERE. Get your questions answered about VEBA and hear how to access a lifetime of financial benefits by joining WEA Retired. All members welcome as you learn ways to get your financial house in order over the summer break.  Retirees and those who will have more than 180 days of sick leave who will be voting on their sick leave cash out are particularly encouraged to join us. 
  • Representative Council Meeting  (June 6 from 4:30-6:30PM). Email Secretary Katie Utesch for zoom link or location information. 
  • HEA General Membership Virtual Meetings (June 30 and August 30-Time TBD).  All members are invited and strongly encouraged to join in the information session and ratification vote.
  • NEW!  Seattle Pride Parade. (06.27.22 Morning).  WEA is planning to bring back our WEA Pride Parade Contingent!  It’s more important than ever for educators and staff to be visible advocates in schools…and supporting our students as public school educators in front of our 500,000 neighbors at Seattle Pride!  WEA’s LGBTQ Caucus working on finalizing parade registration, but please save the date and RSVP for Pride 2022 here if you plan on joining!  
    • Finally, all members are able to join the caucus here.  There is a separate annual fee to support the work of the caucus within WEA and the community (like organizing entry into the parade!)

5. 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.

6. Mitigation for Workload Issues and Lack of Substitutes

We continue to meet with all levels of the district to problem-solve on the substitute shortage.  The $100/hour emergency coverage rate will continue. Additional ideas are being considered and will hopefully be released soon.  Please take 5-10 minutes to review the table linked here to learn more about extra service contracts and workload mitigation for all positions.  If you are missing your lunch due to lack of paraprofessional coverage in your role or your building, contact your principal immediately and cc the HEA president to request relief.  Your 30-minute lunch is a legally required break that your employer must provide. Discussions on protections for CO specialist use of time next school year are underway.

Here are the absences and coverage rates for last week.

7. Martin Luther King Labor Council Updates:

Social Housing Initiative (I-135) &

Philippines Human Rights Act 

HEA Rep Council voted to officially support Social Housing Initiative (I-135) because we believe that everyone should be able to afford housing. Social housing ensures renter and worker control-of-rent (free of the market), creates cross-class communities, and ensures housing stays affordable by keeping it public. See more coverage in the Seattle Emerald.

HEA Rep Council also voted to support the Philippines Human Rights Act to show solidarity with all workers. President Duterte’s so-called “War on Drugs” and Anti-Terror Law have resulted in tens of thousands of deaths including educators and labor leaders. Filipino leaders and activists have asked for help from fellow workers to know what is going on and stand in solidarity with them. HEA is donating $100 to their efforts this month.