SPECIAL EDITION | www.seattlepipetrades.org
March 13 - April 24, 2020
Message from the Training Coordinator


We have been receiving a lot of questions regarding the upcoming Apprentice rotation that is scheduled to happen Friday, April 3rd.  Due to the fact that we were planning to rotate between 125 and 150 apprentices all on the same day, as well as the growing uncertainty with the current health crisis, I have decided to postpone our annual apprentice rotation.  This applies to all apprentice rotations, including 4th and 5th year apprentices who have requested placement at a previous employer.

Other Important News

Full-time instructors have started sending mandatory homework assignments via email to these groups in daytime training:

1st - 3rd Year Commercial Plumbers
1st - 3rd Year HVAC/Refrigeration 
1st - 3rd Year Steamfitters
1st Year Residential Plumbers

We're also finalizing a plan to reschedule or cancel nighttime classes impacted by this closure.  We will start rolling out modified schedules over the next few weeks. In some cases, it could take us longer to reschedule classes, as we don't know if in-person closure mandates will continue beyond April 24, 2020.  Thanks for your patience.

If you don't have computer access, we have printed copies of assignments available on tables at the top of 2nd floor front staircase.  We will open the front door of the training center so you can access needed printed copies Mondays - Fridays, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.  

Remember, the school closures between the K-12 system and the post-secondary system (us) is different.  The mandate for colleges, universities and apprenticeships is to provide distance or online learning.   Apprenticeship classroom learning has always been mandatory and we are preparing as if this compulsory education will continue.

Finally, we heard from many apprentices over the weekend who are apprehensive about working.  Many of you care for children or elderly people, and some of you have chronic health conditions.  As of this morning, March 23, Governor Inslee's Office has not issued a shelter-in-place order.  In cities where these orders have been enacted, many construction sites are exempted.  In part, these exemptions are made because primary infrastructure and public works are considered essential.  

We have told any apprentice who has contacted Heather Winfrey or I to make a decision based on his or her personal well-being.  If you choose to self-isolate for any reason, you must communicate your choice to your foreman and to the Training Coordinators.  

Keep in mind, if your employer has work available, you cannot request a Reduction of Force (RoF).  If your employer does not have work available or directs a worker/workers to self-isolate, then per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, you could request a RoF.  

Our partnership of the MCAWW and UA Local 32 wants to keep everyone working, or get everyone back to full speed as soon as it is healthy to do so.  We are fortunate to have such a great labor/management partnership in place during these times.  Information is going to evolve as this pandemic progresses.  If we all stick to CDC health guidelines, stay calm, smart and safe, we will get through this crisis.  

P.J. Moss, Training Coordinator

The JATC office is OPEN during this shutdown 
Mondays - Fridays, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm

We are NOT seeing walk-ins or appointments, so we can keep members and staff safe.   However, we are available by phone, email or text.

We are NOT taking applications during this shutdown, but we waive time constraints on non-DOT urinalysis results for people who completed this part of our prerequisites while we are closed to the public.
UA Local 32 Office Message 

The United Association - Local 32 Office has been working non-stop to make certain resources and information is disseminated to members.   Here are some critical messages for apprentices:

  • Please work through your Steward for information regarding specific job site issues.
  • The April 9, 2020 Union Meeting has been cancelled.
  • The UA 32 Office has a rotating, small staff but is available for calls, texts or emails Mondays-Fridays, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • The UA 32 Office has been communicating with Superintendents and remains diligent in tracking verified job site information.  ALWAYS go to the trusted resources for job site information, and don't give in to speculation.
  • Should there be a shelter-in-place order or massive shutdowns, UA 32 and MCAWW are working together to communicate plans.  
Apprentice Meetings Cancelled During Closure

These Apprentice Meetings have been cancelled due to the closure:

March 25, 2020 - Peer Review Board
March 30, 2020 - Bates College Loan Deferment Presentation 
April 6, 2020 - Class Representatives
April 14, 2020 - Veteran Network 
Various March - May - career fairs where apprentices were volunteering 

If this list expands, you will learn about it through this newsletter.

Frequently Asked Questions...As of March 23, 2020

We all have plenty of questions during this time.  SAPT will do its best to locate reliable information that impacts your training.  For non-training questions regarding COVID-19, PLEASE follow CDC and Seattle-King County Department of Health guidelines.  

We will update this FAQ as we can, on a weekly basis...

Please see LNI's full list of limited or closed services here.  We don't yet have information regarding delayed state tests.   As soon as we do, we will let you know!

You CAN do these things ONLINE:

Renew your Plumber Trainee Card
- when you do this online, make sure you print out a receipt, and make sure you are paying the $45.20 for the annual renewal.  Link is at the bottom of the page.  If you have an issue with someone asking for Continuing Education Units (CEUs), call the office at 425.271.5900 so we can assist.  Your apprenticeship counts towards your CEUs.

- when you do this online, make sure you print out a receipt, and make sure you are paying the $46.20 for the biannual renewal.  If you have an issue with someone asking for Continuing Education Units (CEUs), call the office at 425.271.5900 so we can assist.  Your apprenticeship counts towards your CEUs.

Please DON'T assume you'll have a reprieve from the state if you let your trainee card expire during this closure.  You will have a lapse in hours, and it will take you longer to sit for your eventual license test. 

We are being asked ESD unemployment benefit and Washington Family & Medical Leave Act questions, and the information, eligibility and resources are evolving. 

As of March 18, the Governor did issue an Executive Order waiving the initial, one-week wait period for payment on claims.  You must file online - there is not an in-person option and ESD telephonic applications have extensive wait times.  Additionally, those claims can be made retroactively to March 8, provided you were out of work at that date.  We HIGHLY recommend you watch these websites for information:

ESD/COVID-19 Newsroom - this web page provides considerable links regarding Unemployment Insurance Benefits and eligibility during this pandemic.

Washington FMLA  - this web page is specific to FMLA eligibility during this COVID-19 outbreak.  

Seattle Area Pipe Trades is an eligible training provider for veterans who wish to access their Chapter 33 benefits, or Chapter 31 entitlement.  

Chapter 33 - DVA is preparing guidance for schools that have changes in training modalities and operation statuses due to COVID 19.  However, Congress has introduced legislation that, if enacted, will alleviate the impact to GI Bill beneficiaries for a switch to pursuit solely through distance education.  We expect to receive guidance this week.

Chapter 31 - those of you who access Chapter 31/Voc Rehab must work 120 hours or more per month, and continue to turn in evaluations, pay stubs and related forms to receive this entitlement.  If you do not meet those minimum monthly hours, you may not get the benefit.

You can register for MDLive through Kaiser or Aetna (our insurance plans) through a secure text to communicate with a doctor without going to an emergency room or office:
  • Text the word "ZENITH" to 635483 to register for MDLive.

Seattle Area Pipe Trades Apprenticeship Program 
595 SW Monster Rd, Suite 100| Renton, WA 98057
425.271.5900 | Main Office
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.