News Blog

PEBB Board Approves Plans, Premiums for 2018

The Public Employees Benefits Board approved the 2018 health care plans and associated premiums at their meeting this week.

The materials from the meeting, including information on how much each plan will cost, can be found here.

Highlights are on the following pages:

  • Page 32 is the most important since it shows the dollar and percentage increases (or decreases) for each plan. UMP Classic premiums are rising 8.5% on average, while UMP Plus is going down 31.5%. Enrollment for the UMP Plus plan grew significantly in 2017 – going from 10% of enrollments to 16%. With this premium decrease, enrollment is expected to go much higher in 2018.
  • Page 36 has a good layout showing the plan changes from the previous year.

Open enrollment is in November 2017. Please let us know if you have any questions.

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Gov. Inslee signs McCleary school funding bill; School Employees Benefits Board included

Senator Steve Hobbs, Governor Jay Inslee, and PSE President Charlotte Shindler at the McCleary funding solution bill signing in Olympia, WA.

Senator Steve Hobbs, Governor Jay Inslee, and PSE President Charlotte Shindler at the McCleary funding solution bill signing in Olympia, WA.

Today, Governor Jay Inslee signed the historic McCleary school funding bill. Amidst the details of state property tax, increased salary allocations, changes to levy collections, the solution also includes a new insurance system for K-12, the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB).

Under SEBB, basic education employees who work over 630 hours per school year will receive full state insurance funding. For the thousands of classified school employees drowning in health insurance premiums, SEBB will provide much-needed and long overdue relief. All insurance plans, employee and employer insurance payments will be decided by the SEBB beginning in 2020. Additionally, K-12 insurance funding will equal that of state employees.

“Health insurance is a critical issue for classified school employees,” said PSE President Charlotte Shindler. “With premiums rising dramatically year after year, many of our members spend most of–if not all–their entire paycheck on insurance coverage. For the thousands of classified school employees struggling with health insurance premiums, SEBB will provide affordability, stability, and long overdue relief.”

This victory for our state’s 60,000+ education support professionals wouldn’t have been possible without the advocacy and lobbying efforts of PSE members. Your calls to the legislative hotline, letters sharing your personal health insurance stories, and conversations with your elected representatives were vital to this success. Thank you for stepping up and having your voices heard!

For more information on SEBB and other details of the McCleary solution, click here.

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Show your support for HB 2242 and SEBB

It’s time for affordable health insurance. Call 360-902-4111 and tell Gov. Inslee to sign HB 2242 & School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) into law.

The legislature’s plan to fully fund education (House Bill 2242) includes a new insurance system for K-12, the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB). Under SEBB, basic education employees who work over 630 hours per school year will receive full state insurance funding. For the thousands of classified school employees drowning in health insurance premiums, SEBB will provide much-needed and long overdue relief.

Governor Inslee has until Wednesday to sign HB 2242, which includes SEBB, into law.

When signed into law, all insurance plans, employee and employer insurance payments will be decided by the SEBB beginning in 2020. Additionally, K-12 insurance funding will equal that of state employees.

For more information on SEBB, click here.

Support-HB-2242-and-SEBB

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McCleary solution approved

Governor Inslee now gets his chance to approve the hard fought McCleary solution after the House and Senate easily approved HB 2242.  House vote: 67=26.  Senate vote: 32-17.

 

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Budget all done

In quick order the House and Senate have both approved the 2017-19 operating budget.  House vote: 70-23.  Senate vote: 39-10.  Governor Inslee is expected to sign the bill long before the deadline of midnight tonight.

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Budget details and McCleary solution updates

Read what it all means for PSE members in Doug’s legislative blog.

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Budget details finally published

Just a couple minutes ago, legislative leaders released the budget.  At that site you can click on different displays of the budget documents.  Plenty of good news!

  • PSE’s higher education contracts funded
  • State employee and higher education employee coalition insurance agreement fully funded
  • 2.3% salary increase effective 9-1-17 for K 12 employees (see LEAP 2 for each school districts salary allocation).
  • 17% salary allocation increase to $39,975.50 effective 9-1-19 for K 12 employees.  However, unless you have already agreed to salary increases for 2018-19 on the effective date of HB 2242, your salary increase will be different based upon your school districts average basic education classified employee salary (see LEAP 2).  The salary increase will be the Seattle CPI (current law) or how much would be necessary to raise each school districts average basic education salary calculation up to the amount allocated by the State.
  • Effective 9-1-18, K12 regionalization salary factor for certain school districts goes into effect (see LEAP 3)
  • Insurance funding increased to $820 ($40 increase or 5.1% increase) effective 9-1-17 and $840 (2.4% increase) effective 9-1-18
  • Retiree carveout $64.07 (.5% decrease) effective 9-1-17 and $68.67 (7.2% increase) effective 9-1-18
  • $1.9 million to fund paraeducator board and startup grants
  • $8 million to fund the SEBB (school employee benefit board)

If I find more details in the 617 page budget, I will update in a future blog.

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3rd special session starts

In 2 hours, Governor Inslee will start the 3rd special session.  With only 9 days left before the current budget expires (and therefore all funding for state funded programs), budget negotiators have as much pressure on them as possible to reach an agreement.  Strategically, they will need to announce the agreement by the 26th, no later than the 27th, in order to get everybody to town, brief them on the agreement and to get the staff to prepare the paperwork so they have all the information necessary for the final votes.  Will they make it in time?  My guess, and it is only a guess, is they won’t.

Will there be a government shutdown?  My guess, and it is only a guess, is there won’t be a government shutdown because they will pass a one or two month extension of current state funding.

Sitting on the sidelines impatiently watching this is the Supreme Court demanding that they reach a conclusion to fully fund K 12 education. Will they add another sanction to the $100,000 per day fine to get the legislators to take their order seriously?

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Donate to the Sponsorship Fund

Donate to the Betty Rankin Sponsorship Fund and help send a delegate to Convention! The cost to fully sponsor two delegates (registration and two nights stay) is about $650. Donations in any amount are greatly appreciated!

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Budget Details Released; Contracts Funded

The legislature has released the details of its new 2017-2019 operating budget.

Thankfully, PSE’s collective bargaining agreements at WWU and CWU are included in the budget and funded, as is the health care agreement. Among many other improvements to working conditions, the WWU and CWU contracts provide a 6% wage increase over the course of the biennium. The legislature is scheduled to vote on the budget later today, just hours before the deadline.

For more details on the budget, please visit Doug Nelson’s legislative blog. PSE will provide an update once the budget is approved.

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