January 22, 2021
Bargaining Update and SEA Survey Results
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.
Take Action: Join a listening session!
Do you provide services to students with IEPs? Do you want to have the opportunity to ask questions about the SEA survey results? Attend TODAY, Jan. 22, 5:00-6:30pm: https://washingtonea.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEkcO6rqj0pHNaNOclLSSHvi3BVbuVINvdE

Do you work with students in preK, kindergarten, or 1st grades? Do you want to have the opportunity to ask questions about the SEA survey results? Attend Saturday, Jan. 23, 3:30-5:00pm: https://washingtonea.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0pd--urDoqGN3u5HCFI6MaFIlAIuueggIT

SEA Survey Results Informing the Bargain:

Thank you to the 3,012 members who took the SEA Survey to Inform Bargaining!
It was a good representation from across our departments and across all schools and programs. There were 458 paras, 151 SAEOPs, 68 substitutes, and 2,335 certificated members who responded.

Getting back to being in-person with students is important, here is what our membership said was necessary to get there. Five percent of the total respondents are ready for a return to in-person instruction March 1 under the current conditions. The other 95% have significant concerns about a return to in-person. These are the top things members need to see in SPS's plans before feeling safe to return (members could mark more than one priority):

  • Clear protocols in the event student or staff test positive for COVID-19 (84%)
  • Clear plans for how students move around the school building and maintain social distancing/cohorts (81%)
  • Clear schedule that accounts for additional planning time and other added duties due to COVID (such as sanitizing, individual student material prep, etc.) (80%)
  • Distribution and quantity of PPE (78%)
  • Evidence of HVAC systems meeting or exceeding recommendations for good indoor air quality (78%)
  • Increased testing and a clear contact tracing protocol (71%)
  • Clear health and safety protocols for student transportation (67%)
  • Daily temperature checks for staff and/or students (currently there is only an attestation form required) (66%)
  • A full-time nurse on site (65%)

In addition, 62% of the members stated they would not return until educators have the option to be fully vaccinated.
Further, 37% of the members do not believe a return to in-person instruction should be considered this spring regardless of vaccinations and other issues. The benefits of returning to in-person do not outweigh the costs (e.g. disruption to learning, unknown health risks).

It is important to remember, given how rapidly information is changing during this pandemic, this is a snapshot of what members were thinking at the time of the survey (Jan. 12-20). For this reason we will resurvey mid-bargain and will be caucusing to continue to understand the needs of our membership.

SPS Vaccination Update
We have received many questions about Superintendent Juneau’s vaccination email from Tuesday, Jan. 19. Governor Inslee’s office published this update, “Effective immediately, the first tier of Phase 1b for vaccine distribution is changing to include those who are 65 and older. The change aligns with new federal guidance from the CDC and makes the vaccine more accessible to more people in high-risk categories.” Source: https://medium.com/wagovernor/inslee-announces-state-plan-for-widespread-vaccine-distribution-and-administration-62196dcf5ecf

What this means is, regardless of occupation or health condition, anyone who is 65 and older is now eligible to get a vaccine. In addition, according to OSPI Superintendent Reykdal’s letter (linked here),“The state will now allow providers flexibility to offer vaccines for individuals who are eligible for Phase 1B tier 2 through tier 4. This means all school employees are now eligible at the same time. We do not know exactly when there will be enough vaccines available to move to phase B2-B4, but it will likely be when about 50% of those in B1 have received their first dose of the vaccine.” Public Health - Seattle & King County wrote in an email dated Jan. 21, “This is great news – but it is important for everyone to know that due to limited supply of vaccine nationally and locally, not everyone who is now eligible will be able to access a vaccine right away. Access will improve as the supply increases and providers in King County receive more doses.”
Big Thank You to Our Core Bargaining Team
The SEA Core Bargaining Team is beginning their work in preparation for the first session with SPS on Tuesday, January 26! SEA has been called to the bargaining table to negotiate the impact and implementation of the SPS proposed in-person services for students in prek-1st grades and certain special education service pathways.
How to Stay Connected:
The 2019-2022 Contracts are posted on the SEA Website!