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Washington Education Association: Strengthening Washington's Public Schools

Out and about is a monthly e-newsletter and a link to the efforts, activities and reflections of what our leaders are doing in their day-to-day work on behalf of you -- our WEA members.

This month has been abundantly full of activities for both Larry and me. We hope you spend time surrounded by friends or family and that you take time to rejuvenate over the next few days.

ESP strike, rally and conference

Larry and I got the opportunity to walk the picket link with ESP members in Sumner in late October. Their power and courage were enhanced by Sumner teachers, parents and other community members. It was an honor to hear their stories on the line that morning. Larry spoke at their rally later that day and I headed off to the WEA ESP ACT Conference.

While members all over Washington are finally seeing better compensation from the infusion of McCleary money, we still have some members who have not seen any change. Early this month, I attended a rally with Lake Washington office professionals who are determined to secure funding that was set aside specifically to ensure our students are supported by the people who make things run smoothly in schools every day.

Partnering with the Washington State Labor Council
One of the goals we have is to further strengthen our partnership with other labor unions. I am excited that I have a seat at the table as a Washington State Labor Council executive board member. Just as WEA members are supported by so many other labor unions, my work on the board will include identifying opportunities for our members to support our sisters and brothers in other unions.

Sparks energy
WEA Fourth Corner recently invited me to visit with their ESP Sparks. I really appreciate having time with smaller groups because I get to hear stories and it allows me the chance to stay connected with issues ESP members struggle with and tackle in their daily work lives. I even got to go on their Magical Mystery Tour which included painting! I always leave Sparks with a lot of energy and hope.

Racial justice
The theme for this year’s National Council of State Education Associations (NCSEA) Fall Conference was Changing the Status Quo. Attendees from all 50 states were encouraged to work on racial and social justice for students across the country. While we were in San Antonio, Larry, Armand and I got to spend time together continuing with our team building. And while we’re on the topic of racial justice, the work at home continues with our WEA Board, our staff and, of course, with one another.

Putting on the blitz
Larry and I both participated in a blitz with Evergreen EA educators in their schools as they are preparing for their upcoming contract negotiations. Blitzes help focus on priorities through one-on-one conversations and allow us to identify building leaders. Evergreen EA member concerns include student and staff safety, class size and workload. I loved talking with elementary school educators about how much they enjoy watching their students grow.

WEA Board minutes
WEA Board minutes from September are here. Highlights from the November Board Meeting are here. Our next meeting is in January 2020.

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