Member News

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!

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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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Victory for WSU employees

The Public Employment Relations Commission just ruled in PSE’s favor on a crucial case involving PSE’s chapter at Washington State University!

Immediately after PSE organized a group of custodians at WSU-Pullman in October 2014, WSU unilaterally decided to reduce the wages of 34 of those custodians from Step M to Step L on the salary schedule, resulting in a significant loss of money for each employee. WSU did not give PSE notice or an opportunity to bargain the reduction in wages.

PSE promptly filed an unfair labor practice against WSU with PERC. The Hearing Examiner who first heard the case sided with WSU. On appeal, however, PERC overturned that decision and ruled in favor of PSE. In doing so, PERC ordered that WSU must give back pay to each of the 34 custodians who were affected, with interest, to make them whole. WSU must also post notices around campus stating that it violated the law. A full copy of PERC’s decision is attached.

“This is a great day for not only our members at WSU, but for all employees who choose to join a union,” said Jason MacKay, Higher Education Administrator. “This decision is so important because it preserves the rights of employees to collectively bargain over their wages, hours, and working conditions.”

This is a big victory for PSE and the rights of employees to collectively bargain their wages, hours, and working conditions!

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PSE members receive national recognition in Washington, D.C.

President Obama and The White House launched Champions of Change in 2013, a program that recognizes outstanding individuals from across the United States who have made a change in the field in which they work.

Through our work with the National Coalition of Classified Education Support Employee Unions (NCCESEU), two outstanding PSE members will receive this national recognition on May 11th, 2016 at The White House:

Doris Hominda

DORIS HOMINDA
Career and Technical Education
Bethel School District

Bio Excerpt:

“As an integral part of the Career and Technical Education Department in the Bethel School District near Tacoma, Doris provides innovative career exploration opportunities in under-represented fields, like “Girls in Engineering and Technology,” as well as “Boys in Health Care.” Doris takes initiative to organize events that encourage non-traditional career paths, provides her students with real-world experience by taking them on field trips to worksites, and offers assistance in making the connection into higher education.”

Ed AmmonsED AMMONS
Computer/AV Technician
Bethel School District

Bio Excerpt:

“The Bethel School District believes that digital learning compliments the excellent teaching and learning that is already happening in the classroom. Each day Edward Ammons, a Computer/AV technician in the Bethel Technology Department, models this belief and has for the past 22 years. His focus each day is to provide the students, staff, and teachers with technology expertise that supports a positive learning environment. He realizes the importance of keeping the technology running, otherwise the learning stops.”

The event will be live streamed on the White House website at www.whitehouse.gov/live/ on Wednesday, May 11, at 2:00 PM ET. The program will feature remarks by Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett. 

We will also be live tweeting the ceremony from Washington, D.C., so follow @PSEClassified on Twitter and join the celebration of these leaders in education all this week using #WHChamps.

During our time in our nation’s capital celebrating the incredible work of Doris and Ed, we will meet with members of Congress to discuss and lobby issues important to all classified employees, including funding for key educational programs. Take a look at some facts about our union that we will be sharing with lawmakers during the week of May 9th.

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In Washington, D.C. last year, PSE President Reen Doser and Zone 13 Director Tom Krabbenhoft met with SEIU President Mary Kay Henry. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is PSE’s affiliate organization and one of the fastest growing unions in the country, with over 2.1 million members.

The National Coalition of Classified Education Support Employee Unions (NCCESEU) also includes the California School Employee Association, Minnesota School Employee Association, SEIU Local 284 (Minnesota), the National Education Association, and the Ohio Association of Public School Employees.

Being a part of this coalition gives a powerful, united voice to PSE members in the other Washington. It is also a chance for national and local unions to work together and share issues affecting other states and identify common concerns and problems facing classified employees.

PSE State President Reen Doser chairs a meeting of the National Coalition of Classified Education Support Employees (NCCESEU) in Washington, DC. Pictured to her right is Kyle Lierman, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, discussing strategies to raise the national profile of school workers.

PSE State President Reen Doser chairs a meeting of the National Coalition of Classified Education Support Employees (NCCESEU) in Washington, D.C. last year. Pictured to her right is Kyle Lierman, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, discussing strategies to raise the national profile of school workers.

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2016 Regional Classified School Employees

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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn and PSE State President Reen Doser came together at OSPI to celebrate the 2016 Classified School Employee of the Year!

PSE Members Donna Young from Wenatchee School District and Cindy Barlette from Edmonds School District were selected as 2016 Regional Classified School Employees, and were recognized for their years of dedication and passion for their students and their communities.

Congratulations to Donna and Cindy, and to all of the outstanding classified employees who were recognized for their vital contributions to Washington’s schools.

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