MAY 24, 2019

SEA Interim Executive Director!

SEA Executive Director, John Donaghy resigned his position in April in order to take on new responsibilities as an organizer for the NEA. Peter Aiau has been hired to serve as the Interim ED while a search for the new director occurs.

Peter served as a UniServ Director for 30 years (23 in Washington and 7 in Arizona) before retiring in 2016. Since then he has taken on various assignments for WEA including Coordinator of Field Services, facilitating a pilot of the new paraeducator professional development program in Yakima, bargaining during the Tacoma strike, mentoring new staff, and filling in for a vacancy in Lake Washington. Before retiring, Peter worked with associations in south King County and northern Pierce County.

Peter was raised in a military family so traveled a lot growing up, went to school in Oregon and was a middle school teacher there before shifting to union work. He and his wife have lived in the Rainier Beach area for 26 years. His interests include gardening, travel, and wine.

"I am happy to have the opportunity to support the work of SEA during this period between Executive Directors. I have been impressed by how SEA has restructured itself to increase member participation in their union. The association is leading the way in addressing racial inequity and the impact of institutional oppression on students and the community. I am honored to contribute to this critical work.

Legislative Highlights

Due to the persistent hard work of WEA members and leaders both chambers of the legislature were composed of pro-education majorities. The legislature not only achieved a 2019-21 budget without the need for an extended session, they passed new legislation that benefits educators and students. Highlights of the legislative session include:
  • $4.5 billion in additional funding for K-12 education (nearly 20% increase)
  • School districts were granted additional levy authority. 
  • A new health care system for educators that increases state funding for benefits and provides the same funding for most part-time employees as full-time employees receive (more information in next month's Unity)
  • Requires school districts to provide professional developoment for paraeducators.
  • School Safety provisions recommended by WEA and community leaders.
None of this success would have been achieved without member contributions to WEA PAC. This political action fund supported pro-education candidates resulting in strengthening the pro-public education majority in the House of Representatives and shifting the Senate from being anti-public education to being supportive of schools. In order to continue this legislative support, we will need to maintain these majorities and elect a supportive governor in 2020. You can contribute via payroll by completing this form
More information can be found at: 


On May 30, 2019, the Seattle Education Association and Seattle
Public Schools
will begin
the 2019 contract negotiations. The SEA bargaining team has met several times to review the bargaining survey, information gathered from the Building Bargain Sessions, input from the Representative Assembly as well as input from the SEA Board of Directors in developing the priorities for this year's bargain.
  •    Professional Compensation and Fair Workloads:
    • The soaring cost of living in Seattle means educators work additional jobs or leave for districts or professions with higher pay and reasonable workloads.
    • Educators in our front office and classrooms struggle with a lack of reasonable workloads and support for their students.

  • Meeting the Needs of the Whole Student:
    • Educators are supporting students with -ever-increasing social-emotional needs.
    • Investments in restorative practices are helping with student success, but consistent investment is needed.
    • Implementing ethnic studies with fidelity and authenticity so that ALL students are reflected in our curriculum.
    • Safety protocols that are clear and consistent across all schools for ALL students and educators.

  • Supporting the Professional Growth for All Educators:
    • Paraprofessionals facing new state certification requirements must have adequate support and resources.
    • All educators need consistent and focused professional development.

  • Centering a Lens of Racial Equity Across all we do (School Board Policy 0030):
    • Recruitment and retention of educators of color must be a top priority, specifically focused on targeted support for our current educators of color.
    • Expand and increase support for building-based Racial Equity Teams.
    • Support for reflective racial equity practice for ALL SPS educators and staff.

Seattle Education Association has been at the forefront leading in racial justice within Seattle public schools, building classrooms that support educators, which directly results in a positive learning environment for students. We will continue to change the landscape of public education in Seattle Public Schools with the Schools Seattle Deserve.
Dust off your SEA T-shirt to show your support for the bargaining team, and to show SPS we are united for the schools Seattle deserves! Wear your red SEA t-shirt on May 30, 2019! Take pictures of your school wearing red, post them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and send the pictures to SEA!
The Association Representatives in each building and program have received a poster board with our bargaining priorities attached, please sign the bargaining priorities board and join your AR at the June 12, 2019, School Board meeting at 4:30 pm at the JSCEE.
During the 2018 bargain, we received feedback on the communication of the bargaining process. For this bargain, we have put together a communication team made of SEA members from across the district. WEA communications department will support the SEA communication team. The SEA communication team will enhance the line of communication through the Zone Captains, who will be in constant contact with the Building Bargaining Support teams in each building and program. The SEA communication team will be developing a newsletter that will come out once a week, they will help with social media and ask members to get involved! Watch for the newsletter throughout the summer! It will include information about the bargain and important dates for you to participate in this bargain.
In solidarity,
SEA President 

A new feature: Meet the Bargain Team!

SEA Bargaining Team: Katie Bishop, SEA Lead Bargainer; Michael Tamayo, SEA Vice-President; Peter Aiau, SEA Interim Executive Director; Caritha Blair, SPED Paraprofessional; Carolyn Hostetler, Admin Assistant; Carrie Alefaio, SAEOP Vice-President; Celina Austin, Paraprofessional Board Secretary; Dazanne Davis-Porter, Kindergarten Teacher; Derek Grandbois, 3rd Grade Teacher; Edmund Trangen, Humanities Teacher; Elizabeth Ward-Robertson, SAEOP President; Erin Carroll, OT/PT; Guillermo Carvajal, Family Support Worker; Gwendolyn Jimerson, Paraprofessional Vice-President; Herminia Helms, SPED/ELL Paraprofessional; Jennifer Matter, Humanities Teacher; Joyce McDonald, Substitutes; Kara Golgert, Pre-K Teacher; Kate Eads, Librarian; Kathryn Korch, Conselor; Kelly Robideau, SPED Teacher; Laura Lehni, Humanities Teacher; Lynne Oliphant, Nurse; Marquita Prinzing, Director of Center for Racial Equity; Megan Isakson, 4th Grade Teacher; Micheal Melonson, Paraprofessional President; Peter Henry, Substitutes President; Rachel Sanyal, ELL Teacher; Shelly Hurley, Consulting Teacher; Stan Strasner, Substitutes Vice-President; Summer Randolph, SPED Teacher; Teresa Olmstead, Admin Secretary; Uti Hawkins, SPS DREA; Vallerie Fisher, SEA Treasurer/Family Support Worker; Veronica Nuno, ELL Paraprofessional

Each Unity Newsletter we'll tell you more about the team members. Here are a few for May: 
Herminia Helms, Pathfinder K-8 1:1 Sped IA

Ms. Helms wants to help represent the Paraprofessionals in Seattle Public Schools. She loves being informed and sharing knowledge. Ms. Helms wants to advocate for herself, staff members and students. It's important to see the whole student and find better ways to support them to be the adults they want to be.

Summer Randolph, Rainier Beach HS Sped Teacher

"I care about caseloads in the sped classrooms, I want to be a voice for high needs schools in our district. High needs schools have specific needs that must to be addressed, I want to share their stories. I need to feel like I tried my best to make things better for colleagues and students"

Guillermo Carvajal, FSW Northgate

Very proud of the work that is being done and wants to be a part of a dynamic team. When he asks people to be engaged, the more he knows about the process the better I can explain and encourage others to be involved.  Been privileged to work with powerful women they have given him a reason to do more.   "You have to stand up sooner or later." '" We have to choose to save ourselves instead of waiting for someone to save us."  He was inspired by the words of Martin Luther King Jr.

Debbie Judd, 2nd grade teacher from Laurelhurst Elementary survived a shooting in North Seattle in March will be on medical leave until the end of the school year.
Ms. Judd brought awareness of community safety to the larger Seattle community with her comments in the media.

"I didn't want to just be the woman that got shot, because there's a real person that got shot, and they have real family," said Deborah Judd, a teacher at Laurelhurst Elementary School. "And  "I don't want it to be my identity for the rest of my life, but for now I want to own it so I can move on."

She will be in need of 440 sick leave hours. Please support Ms. Judd

(See below for the link to how to access the form needed.)

The new SPS Full-Year calendar has been posted to reflect the snow days caused by "Snowmageddon".  Here's the link.

The 2018-2019 Contracts are posted on the SEA Website! 
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. 

Lori Forrest, 2nd Grade teacher and single parent at Green Lake Elementary, is in need of sick leave donations as she continues chemo treatment. Her sick leave has run out and she'd appreciate any sick leave hour donations to help her during this time. Lori says: "Thank you for helping in any way you can!"
Matthew Hestad, 2nd Grade Teacher at Graham HIll is currently on medical leave, and diagnosed with a very rare type of brain cancer. This will cause him to out for the remainder of the year.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Members can access the shared leave form to donate hours by clicking HERE. Forms can be submitted to 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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