Member News

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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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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Fund All Education Staff

The Supreme Court is clear that the state must fully fund the actual costs of providing a basic education to all of Washington’s students.

Tell your elected representatives to pass a state budget that fully funds the basic education classified staff that our public schools rely on today.

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In Loving Memory of Judy York

We are saddened to share that our beloved friend, Judy York, passed away on Friday, June 2nd. She was a wife, mother, union activist, paraeducator, and a fighter.

“Judy York fought against cancer with grace and dignity,” said PSE President Charlotte Shindler. “She found comfort knowing that her PSE friends and family were cheering for her.”

Judy served as President of Snohomish PSE Chapter and on the PSE Board of Directors. Recently, she was awarded Life Membership to PSE, one of the union’s most prestigious honors. She will be remembered as an influential leader in education who brought love, compassion, and wisdom to countless students, staff, and fellow members.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

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PSE Member receives 2017 RISE Award in Washington, D.C.

Jamie Manchester, K-8 Library Technician and K-12 Technology Coordinator for Davenport School District and a member of Public School Employees SEIU Local 1948, was honored in Washington D.C. May 3rd as one of the 2017 Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award winners.

The award was given to five individuals from across the country who are doing extraordinary and inspirational things in their schools and communities to promote quality education, foster positive learning environments, and ensure student success.

Manchester joined four other award recipients at a ceremony in Washington D.C. at the United States Botanic Garden.

Jamie Manchester Social Media

“Jamie’s dedication to her students is an inspiration,” said Charlotte Shindler, President of the Public School Employees of Washington SEIU Local 1948. “She sets an example for all members of the education team to follow, and her outstanding work can be seen not only in her school but throughout her community.”

Jamie has served the communities of Sprague, Lamont, and Davenport, Washington for over 10 years as a Library Technician and Technology Coordinator. During that time, she has been a strong advocate for technology in the classroom, creating her school’s first elementary computer lab, and implementing 1:1 Chromebooks for K-12. She has written grants that have helped introduce STEM-based curriculum and new technology to enrich her students’ experience in school and their lives beyond the classroom. Jamie also serves as the Vice President of the Creston Alumni Association, helping award over $240,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors in the community.

She has been a member of our union since 2006 and has held several positions in service to the membership. Jamie has served on the Education and Training Committee, as Chapter Vice President and Chapter Secretary, and as an Annual Convention Delegate. She has helped organize new bargaining units, assisted with campaigns to visit local representatives, and spoken on the issues facing classified school employees locally and across the nation.

 

The National Coalition of Classified Education Support Employee Unions (NCCESEU), a coalition of state and national unions that together represent a million school support employees, gives the award. The award highlights the individual contributions of school staff and recognizes the essential role that all education professionals play in shaping our public schools.

For more information, and to see all of this year’s recipients, click here.

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PSE Members Lobby for Higher Education

chamber1PSE members from all over the state met in Olympia yesterday to lobby for higher education. A very energetic group of members had great conversations with their respective legislators to advocate for the funding of higher education collective bargaining agreements.

Members made clear to representatives that the wage increases proposed in these contracts are vital to finally put higher education employees on a path to earning a more competitive, livable wage. PSE drove home the point that, with these wage increases, Universities will be better equipped to not only attract new employees in a competitive market, but to retain all of the talented employees who currently work there! Overall, the feedback from these legislators was largely positive and receptive.

Billig1While yesterday was a success by any measure, we all know and understand that our work is far from over! Make sure to contact your representatives and let them know how vital it is that these contracts be included in the final 2017-2019 budget! Here is the complete list of legislators. If you don’t know your legislative district, click here.

OrmsbyFinally, if you have not done so already, please join Zone 13’s Facebook page.

Zone 13 Director Angie Wedekind is always posting information relevant to higher education!

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New State Treasurer Elected

Earlier this month, former Zone 1 Director BJ Colvin was elected as our new State Treasurer.

“I am excited to continue to serve PSE’s 30,000 members from this new role,” said Colvin. “I believe that 2017 will be a great year for our union, as we work together to make a difference for working families in our state.”

State President Charlotte Shindler swears in BJ Colvin as our new State Treasurer.

State President Charlotte Shindler swears in BJ Colvin as our new State Treasurer.

Per PSE’s 2016-17 Bylaws, here are the duties and responsibilities of the State Treasurer:

It shall be the responsibility of the treasurer to oversee the management of, and report on, PSE ‘s finances to the Board of Directors and general membership. The treasurer shall monitor the budget and regularly review financial transactions to ensure compliance with all appropriate policies, procedures, laws, and regulations. The Financial Review Committee, under the direction of the treasurer who serves as the chair, shall advise and assist the Executive Director in formulating sound, prudent financial plans, controls, and funding priorities to be presented to the Board of Directors for approval.

BJ Colvin holds his new daughter Willow.

BJ Colvin holds his new daughter Willow.

The election comes at an exciting time for Colvin and his wife Sharis, who recently welcomed their first child Willow into the PSE family.

The Zone 1 Director election for BJ’s replacement is scheduled for December 1st at 6:00pm at the Kennewick Red Lion Columbia Center.

After the election, there will be a learning tour meeting with PSE Education and Training Manager Tom Krabbenhoft. He will be there to talk with the new Zone Director and hear feedback from the Zone 1 Members about what education and training they would like PSE to have in the future.

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Annual Chapter Financial Report

All chapters are required to file an annual Chapter Financial Report (990N) with the state office by October 31st, 2016. Click to download a copy.

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Latest Supreme Court Update

In early October, the Supreme Court issued its most recent order regarding the McCleary basic education funding lawsuit.

The Court decided that the Legislature has until September 1, 2018, to fully fund basic education from “dependable and regular revenue sources.” This is code-word for not paying for salaries and benefits from local levies. Meanwhile, the $100,000 per day fine continues for another year. You can read more about the order here.

For obvious reasons, the legislature has delayed making the most difficult decisions until the last moment: the 2017 legislative session. Though much of the legislative debate will be about certificated employee salaries and local funding, our salaries and benefits will be directly linked to that debate.

It’s time for us to stand together and get ready to raise our voices about the importance of our salaries and benefits. The legislature’s attempts to address the most difficult aspects of basic education funding will be a vital time for us all to get involved in PSE’s advocacy efforts.

A great place to start is by attending Legislative Conference. It’s an incredible weekend where you’ll network with fellow PSE members, learn how laws are made, how to talk to legislators, and how you can have your voice heard in Olympia.

As always, email action@pseofwa.org with questions, and text “PSE” to 787753 to receive legislative alerts throughout the session straight to your device. Standard message and data rates may apply.

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