Member News

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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2016 General Election Endorsements and Contributions

With the General Election approaching on November 8th, download a list of candidates that were recommended by PSE’s Legislative Council and endorsed by PSE’s Board of Directors. This list also contains all contribution amounts by candidate, decided upon by the Board of Directors.

Important Election Dates & Deadlines

October 10
Deadline for voter registration, address change and other updates.

October 21
Start of 18-day voting period (through Election Day). Ballots are mailed out and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) are available at voting centers.

October 31
Deadline for new Washington State voter registration (in person only).

November 8
General Election

Questions? Email action@pseofwa.org.

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State Treasurer Election

Donna Foley has resigned as PSE Treasurer. In compliance with Bylaw Article X, an election will be held at the PSE State Office.

Date: Saturday, November 5th 2016
Time: 1:00pm
Place: PSE State Office

Any member in good standing may nominate themselves to run for this position. The candidate must either submit a letter in writing (if they are unable to attend in person) or attend the meeting. Before the election, each candidate in attendance will be given 3 minutes to speak. Submitted letters will be read aloud for those not able to attend. The Board members will then vote by secret ballot.

Statements should be submitted to Jody Davison at jdavison@pseofwa.org or mailed and received no later than October 28th, 2016.

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.

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It’s time for Open Enrollment.

Because PSE represents over 30,000 public school employees and their families, affordable, available health insurance is a high priority for our union. Paying careful attention to ALL the options available to you during the open enrollment period could prevent you from facing serious consequences that could raise your out-of-pocket responsibility and/or require you to change medical providers.

Rates are going up again, continuing a troubling trend over the past several years. Rising costs hit everyone hard, especially lower-wage workers. I want to call your attention to a few critical areas of our health insurance options so you can make informed decisions for yourself and your family.

If your open enrollment period has already closed, this is for information purposes only.

Preferred Providers

In addition to premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, a critical issue is the “preferred provider list.” A doctor who is “on the list” has agreed to accept the insurance company reimbursement and co-pay amounts. An “out of network provider” does not. The insurance company pays the provider a fixed amount and the additional cost is the responsibility of the patient’s family.

What is different this year is that some plans are changing their preferred provider networks. As such, hospitals, clinics, and doctors that have been participating will no longer be “on the list” after January 1, 2017.

Out of Pocket Maximums

There are annual out-of-pocket maximums that apply to the preferred provider network. After you spend this amount on deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, your health plan pays 100% of the costs of covered benefits. The out-of-pocket limit doesn’t include your monthly premiums. It also doesn’t include anything you may spend for services your plan doesn’t cover. Going out of network is considered a “non-covered” expense. The maximum out-of-pocket limit for any 2016 marketplace plan is $6,850 for an individual plan and $13,700 for a family plan.

Get more information here.

Keep in mind, these impacts will be different for each employee. Those members with serious, ongoing health issues in their family should pay special attention during open enrollment.

PSE has been addressing the high costs of health insurance and inadequate funding for benefits with the Legislature for many years, and will be doing so again in January 2017. It is important to let your union leaders know about the kind of health care issues you are encountering.

Thank you for everything you do for our students and our public schools and universities. Have a great year!

Sincerely,

CharlotteShindlerHeadshotPresident

 

 

 

 

Charlotte Shindler
PSE State President
Paraeducator, Rosalia School District

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PSE Members elect new Zone Directors

This week, chapter leaders elected two new Zone Directors to PSE’s State Board of Directors.

Zone-2-Charlotte-and-Susan

Paraeducator Susan Olson (left) is the new Zone 2 Director. Pictured with PSE State President Charlotte Shindler.

Susan Olson from Deer Park Paraeducators was elected as Zone 2 Director.

Olson replaces Charlotte Shindler, who was elected as State President at Convention 2016.

Zone-13-Charlotte-and-Angie

Angie Wedekind (right) was elected as Zone 13 Director. She is the newest member of PSE’s Board of Directors.

Angie Wedekind from Central Washington University was elected as Zone 13 Director.

Wedekind replaces Tom Krabbenhoft.

Both of their terms begin immediately. Please join us in welcoming Susan and Angie to the PSE Board of Directors!

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Join us for fall training opportunities!

2016_MEET_logo1

You are invited to attend the first training in PSE’s brand new MEET (Member Experience, Engagement and Training) Program!

Over 5,000 new folks will be hired in our worksites this year. We know we will be stronger when we make a strong connection to each of our new hires. We want to make sure every new hire gets a personal greeting from an active PSE member in their first week on the job.

We will be holding trainings across Washington for members who want to help welcome new hires and make our union even stronger:

Bremerton –  Oct. 22 – 9am to 1pm – Fairfield Inn and Suites, 239 4th St. Bremerton, WA 98337.

All trainings are four hours on Saturday morning. Specific locations and start times to be announced. Please plan to attend if you:

  • Want to be a greeter yourself
  • Want to recruit more folks in your chapter to be part of this effort
  • Want to get ideas that you can share with others in your chapter
  • Want to be part of a fun and rewarding session that will help you build your personal leadership skills for everything you do

Click here to sign up!

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Convention 2016 Election Results

Delegates attending the 2016 Convention in Kennewick, WA voted on leaders for PSE SEIU Local 1948.

Here are the results of this year’s election:

President

Reen Doser/Lake Stevens Chapter
Election: 227 Runoff: 232

Lee Novak/Evergreen Chapter
Election: 91 Runoff: N/A

Charlotte Shindler/Rosalia Chapter (WINNER)
Election: 202 Runoff: 235

Secretary

Jennifer McMaster/Tahoma Chapter (WINNER)
Election: 303

John Lohr/Tumwater
Chapter Election: 221

Zone 2 Director

Mike Rathbone/Central Valley Chapter
Election: 6

Susan Olson/Deer Park Paras Chapter
Election: 11

Lynda Ford/Cheney Chapter
Election: 6

Charlotte Shindler/Rosalia Chapter (WINNER)
Election: 26

Zone 4 Director

Emma LaVallie/Glenwood Chapter
Election: 17

Michelle Weier/Yakima Chapter (WINNER)
Election: 18

Zone 6 Director

Gina Coleman/Tacoma NS Chapter
Affirmed by Motion in Zone Caucus

Zone 8 Director

Dick Sanderson/Meridian Chapter
Affirmed by Motion in Zone Caucus

Zone 10 Director

Deb Lewin/Wenatchee Chapter
Affirmed by Motion in Zone Caucus

Zone 12 Director

Dave Douglass/Aberdeen Chapter
Affirmed by Motion in Zone Caucus

 

Stay tuned for pictures and a full recap from Convention weekend this week!

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Together Everyone Achieves More

The 2016 attendees of T.E.A.M. Conference.

The 2016 attendees of T.E.A.M. Conference.

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Margell Caillier, a paraeducator and Methow Valley Chapter President, shares her experiences with organizing training opportunities at the local level with attendees.

Over 100 classified school employees came together in Kennewick, WA to participate in T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More) Conference and step up as leaders in our union.

During workshops and trainings throughout the weekend, members from across Washington State shared their powerful experiences organizing and educating ‪new members on how we WIN when we stick together, and how to tackle the challenges we face on the job.

Together, members grew as leaders in the labor movement, and took an active role in shaping a brighter future for working families in Washington.

Thank you to all of the amazing leaders who attended T.E.A.M. Conference 2016, and stay tuned for more information on next year’s conference and T.E.A.M. III!

13522971_1024230080958237_3164807850207330089_o“What you do matters. To SEIU, to the labor movement, and to the kids in your schools.

What you are doing is being noticed from the Washington on the west coast to the Washington on the east.”

– Former international Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina of the 2.1 million member Service Employees International Union, addressing ‪‎union‬ leaders at PSE TEAM Conference.

 

 

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Burlington-Edison classified staff fights for fair contract and quality student services

DSC_3104-bwIt was a sea of blue as over 120 classified school employees picketed the Burlington-Edison school board meeting on Monday, May 23rd. School employees are concerned that as the district struggles to retain staff, students aren’t getting the quality services they deserve.

“A lot of those quality employees that have been here for so long are being left with no other choice but to go to other places to earn higher pay,” said Mary Lou Rodman, a 15-year employee of the Burlington-Edison School District. “We really can’t survive on what we are making. I can say that personally. I live paycheck to paycheck. I’m a single person and it is very very hard to be able to survive.”

After four months of negotiating their contract, school employees have been left waiting for a meaningful response as the district continues to cancel bargaining meetings. With no apparent answer or offer in sight, many longtime staff members are left wondering what to do as they took up picket signs to send a message to the district and the community.

“I love my job, but it’s hard to stay here,” said Rodman.

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“We’ve gotten so far behind, added Lori Turner, a 27-year administrative assistant with the grounds/maintenance department. “I want to make this team strong and get this contract through. We can’t go backwards anymore.”

Both Rodman and Turner worry that if the district doesn’t offer its classified staff a livable wage increase to support their families, it’s the students in the district that will suffer. School districts in surrounding areas offer their employees higher wages for the same jobs, an appealing opportunity for employees who are struggling and often living in poverty.

DSC_3081-bw“You’re losing all these people that have been here for so long that know how to take care of these kids and know how to do everything,” said Rodman. “If they leave, then you are bringing in people who are really beginners. You get somebody off the street.”

“I hope they listen and are able to help these people out,” said Dick Sanderson, a bus driver from neighboring Meridian School District and PSE Zone 8 Director who came down to support the Burlington-Edison employees. “Everybody has to survive.”

“Hopefully they took notice tonight that we’re not going to take a contract that’s not fair to all of us. It’s our turn,” said maintenance employee and PSE Chapter President Rey Salinas. “We need to get paid just like everyone else, so we can take care of our kids, and so we can take care of other people’s kids–which is what we are here for.”

The district and classified staff have their next bargaining session scheduled for Wednesday, May 25th.

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