February 5, 2021
Health and Safety Concerns Come First!
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.
From the Bargaining Table
 
SEA’s bargaining team sat down with the district twice this week to share SEA’s detailed proposals on health and safety. Whether we’re talking about a return to in-person spring, summer, or fall, we know that we are going to need robust and detailed health and safety language because we cannot just take the district’s word. SEA’s proposals include strengthening: district-wide public health campaign on community health and safety, district-wide COVID trainings, district-wide transparent communication systems with the school community, protocols for students/staff who present symptoms, how to address the disproportionate impacts of school closures due to outbreaks, protocols for quarantining, and protocols for positive COVID case notification.
 
SEA’s bargaining team continues the work on leaves and accommodations proposal language including a provision that anyone who intends to be vaccinated but is unable to attain full vaccination for COVID-19 due to state distribution schedule and/or vaccine availability would be able to choose to work remotely. We are also requesting SPS family survey data per building so that we can complete our own racial equity analysis of the district’s proposal to return to in-person schooling.
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Solidarity Action from Listening Session on January 29
Listening Session Jan. 29, 2021: [top row] Jessica Staire, Jennifer Matter, Nicole Sorensen, Daniel Westley; [middle row] Charity Kamau-Kisanga, Uti Hawkins, HuiLing Yang, Minerva Villegas; [bottom row] Chanel Moon, Karen Adepoju, Jacquiline Thompson, Reiko Dabney.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
 
If you have any additional questions or concerns related to the information below, please contact us at sea@washingtonea.org.
 
Question: I’m not an employee providing special education services and currently complete all of my duties 100% remotely. But, my supervisor asked me to submit a request for accommodations or leave in anticipation of returning to in-person instruction. Can they do that?
 
  • Answer: You do NOT have to submit for accommodations or leave until we have reached an agreement. Under the current MOU, we are still in remote learning. We don’t know what the instructional model will be until we reach an agreement. You cannot make an informed decision to apply for accommodations or leave until you are clear on what the workload impacts will be. Plus, accommodations and leaves are being negotiated for a return to in-person. There could possibly be new accommodations and leave available to you upon reaching an agreement.
 
Question: How do I apply for accommodations or leave if I am in a high-risk category?
 
  • Answer: WEA has provided template letter for employees who may need accommodations or a 504 due to the COVID pandemic. Access the accommodation template here. Also see pp.35-40 of MOU to read about Accommodations, Leaves, & Benefits and Alternative Work Assignments in more detail.
 
Question: Can my supervisor or administrator require me to prepare my room for implementing the district’s proposal for in-person instruction?
 
  • Answer: No, until we reach a new agreement, the current MOU and CBA are still in effect. You cannot be compelled to set up your workspace for in-person schooling if it is still undecided how in-person instruction will look. Furthermore, we may possibly negotiate provisions in a future agreement for those who are tasked to alter or prepare their workspace for a transition to in-person. If directed to do any of these activities by your supervisor, ask the question, “Are you directing me to do this (insert duty ask)?” If the answer is yes, comply and contact your SEA representative and sea@washingtonea.org. Do not risk insubordination.
 
Question: Can my supervisor or administrator schedule a meeting with me individually or the entire staff to talk about how to implement the district’s proposal for an in-person instructional model?
 
  • Answer: Your supervisor or administrator should not be contacting you in any way to talk about the district’s proposal for in-person instruction. That includes surveying or requesting meetings with you about a return to in-person instruction. It is unacceptable for principals to be direct dealing with SEA members on issues subject to negotiations. If directed to do any of these activities by your supervisor, ask the question, “Are you directing me to do this (insert duty ask)?” If the answer is yes, comply and contact your SEA representative and sea@washingtonea.org. Do not risk insubordination.
 
Question: What do I do if there is not adequate PPE or it’s missing?
 
  • Answer: Under our current MOU, SPS has already agreed proper PPE such as face coverings/masks, gloves, goggles, face shields, and disposable/cloth gowns will be made available to staff and distributed according to the activity/task performed. If SPS has not fulfilled their duty, this is a violation of Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). These violations need to be reported immediately, so please contact your immediate supervisor in writing and copy your SEA representative and sea@washingtonea.org. You may also want to file an L&I complaint here. See pp.8-10 of MOU to read about Health and Safety in more detail.
ACT NOW! Support Your Bargaining Team

400+ members rallied Wednesday, Feb. 3, to demand SPS leadership bargain in good faith and be more transparent with educators, families, and students. March 1 was the district’s goal- not created in collaboration with SEA. The district needs to be more transparent with our school community and stop adding to the stress we all feel during this difficult time.
 
Search Facebook and Twitter for the hashtag #SEAStrong to like, share/retweet, and comment on your colleagues’ messages and photos. Post or tweet your own message to the district using the hashtag #SEAStrong.
Upcoming Engagement Opportunities
Join us for the first Disability Justice Coalition meeting February 10, 5-6pm on Zoom!
We are so excited to build community through the Disability Justice Coalition. Our first meeting will be on Wednesday, February 10 from 5:00 – 6:00pm and will center around building community as SEA members who are experiencing, in solidarity with, or are curious about disability justice. All members are welcome! Please sign up here.
 
Zoom link:

How to Stay Connected:
The 2019-2022 Contracts are posted on the SEA Website!