PSE History

Public School Employees of Washington (PSE SEIU 1948) is a labor union dedicated exclusively to representing Education Support Professionals in Washington state’s public education system. Our 30,000 members play a vital role in the operation of early learning, K-12 and universities throughout the state.

No other labor organization in Washington represents Education Support Professionals with the power and might of PSE. We are constantly working on the front lines to improve the quality of our public education system and to gain better recognition for those who often work behind the scenes to help our students succeed.

Mission Statement

It is the mission of PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES OF WASHINGTON, SEIU/LOCAL 1948 to improve the lives of our members and their families, empowering them to have a greater impact on their communities and the next generation.


Washington Public School Employees, PSE’s precursor, was created in 1948 by a small group of classified employees. In 1960, the organization changed its name to Public School Employees Association. That same year, the organization president pushed to replace the term “non-certificated” with “classified” to follow the lead of other states.

In 1967, the same year that Washington’s collective bargaining act was passed, the organization officially became Public School Employees of Washington.

Over the following decades, PSE has continued to fight for classified employees across the state.

In 2005, PSE affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to gain more strength by working with other classified school employees and union members in the state and nationally. We became PSE SEIU Local 1948, and combined with other SEIU locals, we comprise the largest labor organization in the history of our state. To learn more about SEIU, click here.


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