February 26, 2021
The Seattle Education Association is the voice for educators and our students, standing united to address the needs of our community during this pandemic and to transform our district into an anti-racist school system where every student thrives.
ACT NOW!
Our SEA bargaining team continues to advocate and bargain on behalf of members with a focus on health and safety, and racial equity.
 
1. Read the side-by-side comparison of SEA and SPS's proposals regarding Health & Safety, Accommodations, Leaves, and Benefits, and Cohorting. Please discuss and share the side-by-side comparisons with your colleagues and families from your school and beyond. Feel free to post links on your social media. Send your questions and comments to SEAbargainingteam@washingtonea.org.
 
2. Plan to attend one of the Upcoming Engagement Opportunities listed below. Join us to hear bargaining updates and to provide feedback to inform the bargaining team’s work. All members are welcome!
 
Friday, February 26, 5:00-6:00pm. Register in advance for this meeting:
 
Saturday, February 27, 1:00-2:00pm. Register in advance for this meeting:
 
3. Post this video to your social media account with the hashtag #SEAStrong and message: We are all one school community - educators, administrators, families, and students – trying to survive and working to address multiple pandemics. 
Core Bargaining Team: [top row] Karen Adepoju, Jennifer Matter, DaZanne Porter Davis, Kara Golgert; [2nd row] Marla Rasmussen, Elizabeth Swarny, Uti Hawkins, Maggie Mattmiller; [3rd row] Libby Black-Walker, Vallerie Fisher, Chynna Jeremiah, Stan Strasner; [bottom row] Yvette De La Cruz, Reiko Dabney, Jose Vargas; [not pictured: Elizabeth Ward-Robertson & Patrice Robinson]
From the Bargaining Table

The bargaining table is a unique space where SEA and SPS are able to have frank conversations and ultimately reach agreement on extremely complex and difficult issues. It is never easy but the fact that we successfully accomplish this work year in and year out shows it can be done.
 
The Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) is an agency in Washington State that regulates labor law for public sector unions. They are not an educational organization, nor a workers’ rights organization. PERC can be helpful in circumstances where, for example, the parties are arguing over a 3% or 5% annual raise and need to compromise. Once an agreement is reached, the language is clear and unambiguous, there is very little to further interpret and there is minimal complexity to implementation. That is not the case with reopening buildings for in-person instruction, which is complex and ever evolving.
 
Calling PERC indicates an unwillingness by the district to do the hard work and collaborate directly with SEA, which we find disappointing. In our opinion, calling in PERC at this stage seems more like a PR move rather than a good faith attempt to work with SEA, particularly when we have not even finished exchanging proposals.
 
It is also disrespectful to the work of our bargaining team. There are complex issues, and thoughtful language, to converse around at the table based on approaches being done across the country right now. Our team is led by two women of color who have been working with a committed, diverse team around the clock, nights and weekends, to develop language for an MOU that would provide for an equitable and safe return for school communities. We believe that with SPS being inclusive of more SPS leadership of color in conversations, we will live up to our strategic plan and safely ALL be able to do the work necessary to come back to school buildings.

Finally, bargaining the reopening of school buildings is about more than just reaching an agreement. It is about developing trust and a long-term working relationship, as reopening school buildings requires continuous collaboration to implement correctly, to quickly address any new or unforeseen circumstances or concerns, and to course correct when needed, none of which can be facilitated by PERC.
 
We remain willing and committed to bargain in good faith with the District. We are open to calling in PERC in the future, but do not want to slow down negotiations. We can make significant progress if the District is willing to come to the table in good faith.
How to Stay Connected:
The 2019-2022 Contracts are posted on the SEA Website!