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In this Issue: HEA Elections and Transfer Window 

  1. HEA Executive Board Elections (May16-20) 
  2. HSD School Board: Provide Your Feedback
  3. HEA Events
  4. Safety Concerns Reporting Form:  Monitored weekly by HR/HEA
  5. Mitigation for Workload Issues and Lack of Substitutes- all positions

May 13, 2022

Dear Supporter, 

On Monday morning, our HEA Executive Board Elections get underway.  Please take a few moments to vote next week.  Candidates were invited to submit a slide to this PowerPoint. Their statements appear on your electronic ballot and on Monday's, 05/16 Special Edition eFocus. Access to your ballot begins Monday morning at 8:30 AM through your personal email and closes next Friday at 5:30PM.   

For those of you who have signed your contract for next year, HSD is very interested in ensuring you have a position in the district that fits your needs and interests.  They have indicated, however, they are not inclined to release you from your contract.  The voluntary transfer window remains open until the end of June so please use the transfer request process if you have an interest in moving buildings or changing roles.  Principals (typically in conjunction with a hiring team) make the determination for transfers into their buildings and programs.  Starting in July until early August transfers can still happen however, you must apply for it directly.  Finally, don’t hesitate to send an email to the principal where there is an opening to express your interest in and qualifications for their position.  

In solidarity,


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

1. HEA Leadership Nominations and Elections

HEA leadership elections will be held May 16-20 for secretary, high school representative and both elementary representative positions.  Each member with a personal email on file with WEA will be able to access a Ballotpoint electronic ballot from May 16-20.  PLEASE locate your ballot in your personal email.  Open and then navigate from the email to a personalized ballot.  It takes just a few moments.  All members will receive a ballot based on their position on file with WEA.  Email Lori Fleck if you can’t find your ballot in your spam folder. 

  • All members vote:  HEA Secretary
  • High School Rostered Members vote:  HEA High School Rep 
  • Elementary School Rostered Members vote for these positions:
    • HEA Elementary Rep (1-yr term)
    • HEA Elementary Rep (2-yr term)

2. HSD School Board Meetings: Provide Your Feedback

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 by using the links below.

·       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

This past Wednesday, the School Board interviewed three candidates for the open school board director position representing Des Moines.  Each candidate brings valuable experiences and unique perspectives to the governance of our district.  I encourage you to set aside some time to access the interviews, of Chad Harper, HEA member and Chinook librarian, along with those of the other two candidates. Provide your input here by Sunday at Midnight.  

Candidate Interviews can be seen at the following time marks below.

  • 57 minutes: first candidate-Azed Hagos
  • 1 hour, 52 minutes: second candidate-Hamdi Abdulle
  • 2 hours, 11 minutes: third candidate-Chad Harper

Chad is a long-time Des Moines resident whose active support of HSD as a community member began long before he was hired at Chinook.  In addition to bringing his perspective as a former classroom teacher/current teacher librarian, HEA Building Rep, and active community volunteer, Chad would be the first openly LGBTQ+ director in our district.  The school board is expected to announce their decision ath the May 18th Board meeting.

3. HEA Events: Find details and links here

  • 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.  You must move 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.
  • RECN: Rainier Educators of Color Monthly Meetup! (05.19.22 4:30 PM- 6PM) REGISTER HERE FOR ZOOM LINK 
  • NEW! WEA Substitute Professional Development (05.21.22 @ 9AM-1PM). Please attend to sharpen your skills and get free clockhours. REGISTER HERE 
  • 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 with more than 180 days of sick leave will be voting on their sick leave cash out next month and so are particularly encouraged to join us. 
  • Representative Council Meeting  (06.06.22 from 4:30-6:30PM). Email Secretary Katie Utesch for zoom link or location information. 
  • HEA General Membership Virtual Meetings (June 30 and/or August 30-Time TBD).  All members are invited and strongly encouraged to join in the information session and ratification vote.
  • 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!  

Join the caucus here!

  • HEA MEMBER BENEFITS: Spend your summer making memories…Not auto insurance payments. Great news, our friends at California Casualty are offering NEA members a $25 gift card when you complete a new eligible auto quote. You can also skip payments in two summer months! Click here to get started.

4. 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

Last week, at the school board meeting, VP Jeb Binns spoke powerfully on the impact of the lack of substitutes, advocating for a policy as to when a labor shortage would require us pivoting to remote instruction. 

Yesterday in the Highline Insider, HSD presented a plan to pivot the five comprehensive middle schools to remote learning, in the event of a staff shortage, in order to free up substitutes to cover elementary and high school absences. Still under discussion with the district is the number of absences that would lead to this pivot, the minimum length of time the middle schools would remain in remote, and parameters around deploying non-classroom teachers from those middle schools to cover high school and elementary absences.  Please contact your building rep with any input and additional considerations.

Finally, remember to take 5-10 minutes to review the table here to learn more about extra service contracts and workload mitigation for all positions who are losing planning time (INCLUDING SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS).  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.