JULY 30, 2018

Bargaining for Racial and Educational Equity
"We need support, training, and commitment to working in high needs schools.  It takes a lot to work in
schools like mine and we need educators to be ready." said Dazanne Davis-Porter, Kindergarten Teacher, MLK Jr. Elementary
Amplifying their colleagues' work in buildings over the past year, on Thursday SEA bargaining team members shared stories about the positive impact ethnic studies, restorative justice, and focused social and emotional support can have on educational equity.
"Ethnic Studies has shown through research to have positive effect on engagement and graduation rates because kids themselves reflected in what they are learning." said Alma Alonzo, teacher at Van Asselt Elementary. SEA members are working on curriculum this summer to pilot this coming school year and we are looking for how our bargaining can support robust implementation
As the district noted that we pay stipends to teachers in Level I schools even though that designation actually doesn't exist any longer, Len Hill, teacher at Hawthorne Elementary reflected, "I work in these schools.  While the stipend makes a difference, we need supports for our newest educators and highest needs students.  Counselors, IA staff, and additional service would go a long way." (What's your opinion on stipends in high need schools? Take this quick survey.)
SEA team members also initiated discussion on how we expand and strengthen Racial Equity Teams.

Strong Building Based Decision Making Processes
SPS and SEA reaffirmed our commitment to site based decision making with training for over 80 schools and programs in the past year - the first such BLT/PLT trainings in over 12 years.
"The training served as a collective reset for the district to ensure that BLT's operate in a consistent manner across our buildings/programs and to ensure that educator's voice is upheld in the decision-making process," said Michael Tamayo, SEA Vice-President and Bargaining Co-Chair.
A number of technical and philosophical questions about voting arose in those trainings, and we began discussing those in bargaining on Thursday.
"There needs to be a high level of buy-in from staff." stated Lynn Oliphant School Nurse, Interagency Academy.  "We want to make sure we have consensus or at least a 2/3 affirmative vote so what we are trying to move forward has as much buy-in as possible."
The teams spent time working through the issue of abstentions in school votes. One distinction that emerged was that there is a difference between not voting and actually choosing to abstain. For example, sometimes staff may be leaving the school and may refrain from voting in order to leave the decision to those who will be impacted.
Our contract currently handles those situations differently depending on what is being voted on. That can lead to confusion, and then predictably schools start inventing their own approaches! Some of those were shared in bargaining - perhaps we can learn from them to revise or clarify our procedures so that we can better meet our interests of strong buy in, participation, and quality of site-based decision making.
SEA bargaining team members also timely budget information is critical for buildings to make well informed decisions.

What's Next?
Make sure to like and follow the SEA Facebook and Twitter pages. We will be sharing bargaining team testimonials and additional updates there. In addition to 35+ members of our bargaining team, we have another 25 Zone Captains (by high school feeder pattern) who are connecting with building reps on a regular basis so that we remain well organized!

SEA General Membership Meeting
Vote on Agreement or an Action Plan
Tuesday, August 28
5PM - Benaroya Hall
Downtown Seattle

If you would like to help ensure smooth sign in and process for the GMM, please let your building rep know ASAP that you are willing to help. The Zone captains will be looking to recruit folks in the coming weeks.  
After working summer school or taking a little bit of time off, our 35 member bargaining team was back at the table last week, and we'll be bargaining 10 or more of the next 15 days! Our sister WEA unions around the state are also heading back to the table in their local districts. We have
Bargaining sessions this week:
Tuesday, July 31st: Bargaining on compensation, Nursing, and other issues TBD (we usually identify a couple of main topics for each day and then work other issues in as we can).
Wednesday, August 1st: Special ed bargaining.
Thursday, August 2nd: Bargaining on substitute issues, parental/personal leave, and ESA concerns.
It's a challenge to publish a Unity when we are at the table several days in a row, so watch Facebook for updates all week until our next Unity!


>>>>> QUICK NOTES <<<<<

Pearl Jam is partnering with  Donors Choose to support educators creating classroom projects focusing on students experiencing homelessness.
Here is the link to the Pearl Jam web page with the link to the Donors Choose site. There you will find the criteria for the grants.
Within schools, educators are often the first point of contact. Wherever you teach, student homelessness exists. In fact, children and youth experience homelessness in the United States at the same rates in rural, suburban, and urban areas. Educators who know they have students experiencing homelessness are especially encouraged to post projects, while educators in any community can play a role by working with students to help children and youth experiencing homelessness in your district or community.
The full-year school calendar and work calendars for 2018-19 have been  posted! Click here to view.

Don't miss out 
on breaking SEA text alerts: text SEATTLEEA  to 41411 to stay informed!


Thank you all for your generous donations to those who share their need for leave. 

Members can access the shared leave form to donate hours by clicking HERE. Forms can be submitted to HRLeaves@seattleschools.org or FAXED to 206-252-0021 or mailed to Seattle Public Schools, MS 33-380, PO Box 34165, Seattle, WA 98124-1165.

Seattle Education Association
5501 4th Ave S, Ste 101
Seattle, WA 98108

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