Spread the word » Facebook Twitter

In this Issue: Summer means...Bargaining  

  1. Bargaining Update
  2. Red Rally Time: June 24 @ 7:30AM- 8:15AM Central Office
  3. Bargaining Support Team- find out more
  4. VEBA Vote Results
  5. Seattle Pride Parade
  6. Continuing the Tradition- meet our amazing members
  7. SY2022-23 Calendaring and Planning
  8. HSD Bond and Budget Votes June 22nd 

June 17, 2022

Dear Supporter,

This issue marks the last official EFocus of the 2021-22 school year.  This year has been a long and winding road.  We honor that you have persevered with courage and grace, laughter and tears, and care for the students in your charge.  Once again you are among the educators from across this planet who are bringing hope to students that they too can persevere!  

As we move into summer mode, the Bargaining Team will be negotiating at the table until they reach a Tentative Agreement (TA), whether that takes until June 30, August 30 or beyond.  Your Bargaining Team is asking for your involvement over the summer. We are looking for Bargaining Support Team leads and building based members to communicate with our members.  We have a cheer tunnel scheduled.  We have two general membership meetings planned.  And maybe we will even have a ratified contract by the end of June! For these to happen, we need each of us to show up and be part of these historic efforts.

We need Bargaining Support Team Leads.  We need Building Leads.  And we need you on June 24th at Central Office from 7:30-8:15AM.  Please email Katie Utesch and me if you can support our bargainers 

Be safe!


1. Bargaining Update

Bargaining Update. The HEA and HSD Joint Bargaining Teams, met last week in four full days of productive and collaborative bargaining. They continue to work productively and collaboratively. This week, several bargaining subcommittees have met, and official joint subcommittees are finishing up their reports and recommendations to the joint teams. We have another four full days of bargaining scheduled next week. As mentioned in the most recent update, some of the major issues under discussion at the table include compensation, student support, and leaves, along with the impacts of unfilled absences and vacancies, professional responsibilities, and ongoing COVID impacts. 

We also have multiple targeted issues to address, including all of the joint committee recommendations, language to address new and transitioning schools and programs, and a myriad of LOAs (Letters of Agreement) and MOUs (Memoranda of Understanding) that must be updated, replaced, or “sunsetted” (deleted). While the HEA Bargaining Team is cautiously optimistic that we may be able to reach a settlement next week, we are committed to continuing to bargain over the summer.

2. Red Rally Time


We need you on June 24 @ 7:30AM-8:15AM at the Central Office Parking Lot ! 

Please bring your friends, family (including your dog!).  Join in support of our bargainers who are meeting most of next week!  Meet the bargainers.  Sip some coffee and down some donuts.  With members of our team are cautiously optimistic that we can reach a settlement with HSD by the 24th, we need you to be part of the process now.  Come let the joint team know we support their efforts and care about the outcome.

3. Bargaining Support Team - Find Out More!

Share Your Enthusiam!  Find out more! Join our Building-based and Lead Bargaining Support Teams.  Email Sandy and Katie to join in the fun.  Our first planning meeting will be Wednesday, June 22 4PM-5:00PM on zoom.  Email for the link.  All interested BSTs are asked to meet for our first strategy session in Burien after the Rally.

  • A planning meeting for BST Leads is set for June 22 @ 4:00PM on zoom Please email to let me know if you are interested.
  • A rally is set for 7:30AM on June 24th at Central Office Please come to build a cheer tunnel across the Central Office parking lot.  Come rally to cheer on our joint bargaining team on their last SCHEDULED day of bargaining for the school year.  Bring your family, pets, colleagues, and friends.  Coffee and pastries while supplies last. Hope to see you there!
  • An organizing meeting for building-based BSTs will follow directly after the rally on June 24th at 8:30AM.  Katie Utesch and I are leading this effort so reach out for more information.  Email Katutesch@gmail.com or me.
  • TIME TO REGISTER! HEA General Membership Virtual Meeting (June 30 @ 5PM | REGISTER HERE).  All members are invited and strongly encouraged to join our information sessions and/or ratification vote.  A registration link will be sent to your home email address on file with WEA in mid-June (and mid-August).  Please update your personal contact information anytime using this link.  This includes changes to your work location, position, address, email, phone and if you change your name with the district. 

4. VEBA Vote

VEBA Vote.  The annual sick leave cash out vote for retirees and those with 180+ sick days resulted in a sick leaver conversion to VEBA for both groups.  As far as renewing our VEBA deductions, the HEA Rep Council voted to bring the topic to the general membership meeting this summer.  Plan on attending BOTH General Membership meetings this summer.  At one we will vote on ratifying the CBA and at the other we will vote on reauthorizing VEBA.  (This is what democracy looks like-please attend both June 30@5:00 & Aug 30-time TBD). Join our next Benefits Bonanza in August.


With the  Seattle Pride Parade back in-person we are bringing back our WEA Pride Parade Contingent! Kids, families and friends are all welcome!  The parade will be held June 26, so in case you haven’t yet, please RSVP here. It’s more important than ever to be visible advocates in schools…and as public school educators to be marching in front of our 500,000 neighbors at Seattle Pride!  With registration, you will receive all the information you need to  join up in the parade.

Join the caucus here!

6. Continuing the Tradition

During the pandemic, a new tradition was started in which we honored our retirees by sharing their stories in their own words.  With much going on, we hope to hear from a few more of our distinguished colleagues before the summer is out.

Richard Dunn, Central Office, Beverly Park, and Midway

During my 26 years in the district, I have had the honor to work with a wide range of wonderful students and educators. After starting at Midway, I spent the bulk of my career teaching kindergarten at Beverly Park Elementary with an amazing group of colleagues. During that time, I became a National Board Certified Teacher and have supported candidates since. For the last five years, I supported first year teachers across the district as a peer mentor and worked with the Bilingual Teaching Fellowship supporting bilingual teacher candidates. I have deep appreciation for the Highline Education Association and have represented members at the bargaining table and through committee work. I will continue to be involved in education as I work with Western Washington University building out teacher certification programs in South King County.

Edward Etherington, M.Ed., Animation Instructor, Puget Sound Skills Center

Prior to joining Puget Sound Skills Center (PSSC) I taught for 10 years at Erindale Secondary School (ESS) in Mississauga (west of Toronto), Ontario, Canada. I coached track & field and football teams along with teaching Phys. Ed, Math, and Business. It was one of 29 high schools at the time in the Peel Board of Education in 1977. Every summer I also added more certifications and ended with my Ontario Principal’s Certificate in 1982. One player from ESS you may have known in the early 1980’s, Sterling Hinds, played for the Washington Huskies as a tailback with two Rose Bowl victories. I also worked with Kirkwood & Associates a research company and internet marketing company during summers off and weekends to earn enough hours to qualify for teaching in the Career & Technical Education field. The move was made as I married a local woman, Celeste, from Burien, WA who later became Clinical Manager of Highline Medical Center Emergency Department. Celeste has since moved on from that position and now she is Dr. Etherington. In my 35 years at PSSC I started with a PDP DEC 1134 mainframe in my office teaching Computer Technology and after 7 more program name changes am ending with Animation using Adobe CC software and Wacom tablets. I worked hard at engaging students and treating them with respect. After this many years the thousands of students I have interacted with many of whom are well along in years and trust I positively affected them in some way. The future holds many more frequent golf games, trips to other states to visit friends and possibly a couple more cruises.

 With much appreciation for all you have shared with students and with us, for all the highs and lows we have shared together…we honors these professionals.  Enjoy your next adventures!

Sandra Aguila, Martine Wagnor, Shannon Martin, Richard Dunn, Tracy Richards, Cheryl Cochrane, Miriam Reed, Mary Legate, Timothy Shaffer, Cindy Bennight, Marianne Schneeman, Angela Lewis, Stacie Latimer, Karen Sticklin, Carol Hamos, Kevin, Plough, Susan Wood Megrey, Jill Christoffel, Edward Etherington, Linda Maxwell, Frank Gagliadri, Nancy Pappas-Barnhart, Lisa Matsui

7. HEA Summer Support

HEA Summer Support.  We will be operating with reduced staffing between June 17 and August 8 so please remain patient with response times.  WEA PD can be accessed through their website.  HEA hosts member information on our website and our HEA/UniServ Staff contacts are:

  • Portia Robinson for checks & accounting
  • Lori Fleck for updating your contact and school location, membership issues & enrollment
  • Lani Nguyen for event registration such as the general membership meeting and for HEA website issues
  • Elizabeth Beck  for contract questions & representation

8. Calendaring and Planning

Calendaring and Planning Our Union Work for SY 2022-23

9. HSD 2022-23 Budget Adoption and Bond Renewal Vote

HSD 2022-23 Budget Adoption and Bond Renewal Vote. The district will present next year’s budget at the June 22rd school board meeting with adoption likely at the July 6th meeting.  You can continue to advocate for what our students need with your emails to the board or sign up to speak in person before noon on the day of the meeting, by calling the District Office at 206-631-3070 to get on the agenda.  

  • School Board works sessions generally start at 5:00PM, meetings start at 6:00pm (on zoom and or live streamed). Speakers who sign up ahead of time are given 4 minutes. Those who sign up at the meeting receive 2 minutes at the end of the meeting. Scheduled speakers are alotted four minutes. 

  • Mark your calendar with next year’s HSD School Board Meetings: 8.3.22, 8.17.22, 9.7.22, 9.21.22, 10.5.22, 10.18.22, 11.2.22, 11.16.22, 12.7.22, 1.4.23, 1.18.23, 2.1.23, 2.15.23, 3.1.23, 3.15.23, 4.5.23, 4.19.23, 5.3.23, 5.17.23, 6.7.23, 6.21.23.