News Blog

Governor Inslee takes action on many PSE priority bills

Governor Inslee has taken action (signed, vetoed, or partial vetoed) on hundreds of bills before him with only a couple left on his plate.   The good news is the bills PSE worked on have already been signed and will take effect within the next 90 days.  Here is the summary of his actions:

Paraeducators – SB 6388 was signed into law.  It takes effect on June 7.

SEBB Improvements – SB 6241 was signed into law.  It takes effect on June 7 with a couple emergency clauses that take effect immediately.

McCleary Fix – SB 6362 was signed law with a couple of section vetoes that didn’t directly affect classified employees.  It has a variety of effective dates.

2018 Supplemental Budget – SB 6032 was signed into law with a couple of section vetoes that didn’t directly affect classified employees.  It has a variety of effective dates.

Pro union bills – HB 2751 (requiring union member dues deduction) & SB 6229 (requiring employers to provide unions access to new employees within 90 days of hire) have both been signed into law.  Both are effective on June 7.

Yes there were several hundred other bills that he signed but the bills noted above are the ones which will have the most direct effect on classified employees in the years ahead.

 

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Budget agreement includes final PSE objective

Budget negotiators announced their final agreement last night, the day before the end of the session.  Most of the major differences between the House and Senate budgets were ironed out previously so this final deal didn’t change any major issues.  PSE had one additional measure we wanted the legislature to fund: $250,000 to develop paraeducator training modules.  Good news is that the budget included that funding.

K 12 salary allocations will be fully funded in the 2018-19 school year at a cost of $776 million.  The classified employee salary allocation will increase from $34,180 to $46,784.33 starting September 1, 2018.  Normally, when there is an allocation increase, we get the same percentage increase to negotiate with our school districts.  However, this 37% allocation increase does not mean we will get that full increase.  In another bill, SB 6362, which hasn’t been voted on yet but must be voted upon before the end of the session, the legislature limits how much we can negotiate of the 37% increase.  More on that after we see what the bill looks like.

Other details that didn’t change but are important to note:

  1. Insurance allocation will go up to $843.97 from its current amount of $820.
  2. The retiree carve out will increase to $71.08 from its current amount of $64.07.
  3. $20 million to HCA (Health Care Authority) to implement SEBB (School Employee Benefit Board).
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Paraeducator bill on its way to Governor

On a final vote of 48-1 (Senator Hasegawa the only “no”), the Senate gave its final approval to SB 6388.  It now only has one step to go; Governor Inslee’s signature.  This fix-it bill gives paraeducators one additional year, until September 1, 2019, to meet the minimum employment requirements.  It also gives school districts a full year to implement the training if the legislature funds the four day course of study for paraeducators in the 2019-21 budget.

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Unanimous approval in House for paraeducator fix-it bill

PSE’s paraeducator fix-it bill, SB 6388, easily passed yesterday.  Because there was a small change in the House education committee, the bill will have to go back to the Senate to get their approval of the change.

As a reminder, passage of this bill will give paraeducators one additional year, until September 1, 2019, to meet the minimum employment requirements.

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House approves budget on party line vote

On a 50-46 party line vote, the House finally approved its 2018 supplemental operating budget last Monday.  Nothing changed from my previous blog entry other than they used a different number for the bill (instead of HB 2299 they are now using SB 6032).

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McCleary solution approved by another committee

Now that the Budget negotiators are meeting to fine tune the 2018 supplemental budget, the House Appropriations committee approved SB 6362 on a party line vote of 18-15.  Since this bill covers an issue near and dear to every classified employee, their 2018-19 school year salary increase, this is where things stand at this point.  Keep in mind that it still has to be approved by the House and then has to be approved again by the Senate.

What can you negotiate for the 2018-19 salary increase:

1…minimum salary increase of 3%.

2….maximum salary increase dependent upon each school districts average total classified staff salary.  If your district average is less than the amount the school district receives from the state, we can negotiate whatever increase is necessary to raise your school districts average salary to the amount they receive from the state’s allocation for your school district (including the regionalization factor).  The average allocation from the state is $46,784.33.

3…Step increases and increased time as a result of enrollment increases or changes to the state’s prototypical school formula are allowed as an addition to the calculation above.

Though we are near the end of the process, there may be last minute changes that may change the calculation process.

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House makes significant change to Budget

After wading through numerous amendments last night, the House came close but didn’t vote on a final budget.  However, the most significant amendment approved (because it cost nearly $1 billion) was moving the K 12 salary allocation forward by one year (instead of funding the allocation over the next two school years, the entire allocation will be in one school year).  With that decision, the House is now in agreement with the Senate (and the Washington Supreme Court) that the salary allocation will begin September 1, 2018.

Once they vote on Monday, the House and Senate budget negotiators will work over the remaining days of the session to iron out their differences (one remaining difference important to us is PSE’s budget proviso for $250,000 for paraeducator training modules that is in the Senate budget but not the House budget).

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Senate approves Budget

On a narrow 25-23 vote, the Senate approved its Supplemental Operating Budget yesterday.  Though there were a couple of amendments approved, none of them changed issues of interest to PSE.  They fully funded the increased salary allocation starting September 1, 2018, provided an additional $20 million to implement SEBB (School Employee Benefit Board), and funded $250,000 for development of paraeducator training modules.

Once the House has completed its budget, the House and Senate budget negotiators will iron out the differences in their budgets.

 

 

 

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Paraeducator bill easily passes another hurdle

PSE’s paraeducator “fix-it” bill, SB 6388, easily passed the House Education Committee this morning.  As a reminder, this bill gives paraeducators another year to meet the minimum employment standards and gives school districts a full year to train paraeducators if the legislature funds the 4 day course in the 2019-21 budget.

Next step for this bill: a vote on the House floor.

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Additional details in House budget

In a 400 page document (that is the typical size of a budget) there are always small details to note after the big issues are covered.  Here are three small but important details…

  1.  Insurance funding starting September 1, 2018, increases $3.97 (from $840 to $843.97).
  2. The September 1, 2018, classified employee salary allocation increases $69.16  (from $39,975.50 to $40,044.66).  As a reminder, the current salary allocation for the 2017-18 school year is $34,180.
  3. Effective September 1, 2018, the retiree carve out increases $2.41 (from $68.67 to $71.08).
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