News Blog

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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Candidate statements due May 31st

To have your statement published on the PSE website and included in the convention brochure, your candidate packet must be received no later than May 31st, 2017 by Close of Business (5:00 pm).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paraeducators finally achieve State recognition

This morning, Governor Inslee signed ESHB 1115, PSE’s paraeducator bill.  Inslee’s action puts an end to PSE’s five year effort to convince the legislature that paraeducators need to be recognized by the State as a critical member of the instruction team.  However, there is plenty more to be do as the paraeducator board is formed and the Board starts to work on developing the standards, training modules, career ladder, and, advanced paraeducator standards.

Additionally, we will be seeking state funding for the board and training ($23 million) in the next budget cycle two years from now.

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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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Waiting for Governor Inslee to sign paraeducator bill

I expect Governor Inslee to sign ESHB 1115 sometime over the next two weeks.  If we are lucky, we will get 12-24 hours notification that he has decided to sign it.  Then we drop everything so we can attend the signing ceremony and thank him for his support.

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Governor Inslee approves extension of interpreter deadline

Governor Inslee has signed into law SB 5142, the bill to give deaf and hard of hearing paraeducator interpreters additional time to meet standards.  Dependent upon what stage the paraeducator is at, they will have an additional 12-18 months to meet the standards.  At the latest, a deaf and hard of hearing paraeducator interpreter would have until February 28, 2019, to meet the standards.

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Governor Inslee gets paraeducator bill

Yesterday, the House gave final approval, (94-1 vote – okay Representative Klippert you wanted to be different), to PSE’s paraeducator bill, ESHB 1115.  Governor Inslee will have a couple of weeks to determine if he will support the legislation.  I’m not expecting any surprises but will let you know if there are any concerns.

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K 12 compensation tied to McCleary

When the Supreme Court entered its last order, they made compensation a major issue that the legislature needed to address.  This wasn’t new to anyone since it has been clear for decades that local levies, not the State, have been paying for “competitive salaries”.  What “competitive” means is that the State provides school districts a “base salary” but school districts have to rely upon local levies to add additional compensation to make salaries “competitive”.

This is true for all three of the major classification of employees: teachers, principals, classified employees.  And the amount of money coming from local levies for “competitive” salaries is a very large number: $1.2 billion per year.  The classified employee share of the total amount is $244 million.  Because the Court wants the State to fully fund or have at least a plan to fund this by 2018, legislators (and Governor Inslee) have offered 3 different solutions.  Solutions form House Democrats and Governor Inslee are similar while the Senate is significantly different.

Governor Inslee

While there were significant salary increases for teachers and administrators, there were also significant increases for classified employees.

—- September 1, 2017…raise state funding for classified salaries (inclusive of the 2.4% Initiative 732 salary increase) from the current $33,412 to $39,457 (a 18.1% increase)

—- September 1, 2018…raise state funding for classified salaries (inclusive of the 2.8% Initiative 732 salary increase) from $39,457 to $52,908 (a 34% increase).

—- Professional development would be provided to paraeducators amounting to 20 hours in 2017 and 40 hours in 2018.

House Democrats

While there were significant salary increases for teachers and administrators, there were also significant increases for classified employees.

—- September 1, 2017…raise state funding for classified salaries (inclusive of the 2.3% Initiative 732 salary increase) from the current $33,412 to $40,060.66 (a 19.9% increase)

—- September 1, 2018…raise state funding for classified salaries (inclusive of the 2.7% Initiative 732 salary increase) from $40,060.66 to $46,888.93 (a 17% increase).

—- Professional development would be provided to all state funded FTEs amounting to 1 day 2017 and 2 days in 2018.

Senate Republicans

Along with many other changes to K 12 funding, the Senate only proposed a 2.3% Initiative 732 salary increase effective September 1, 2017.

Future salary increases would be governed by future local negotiations.  The State would provide school districts an annual increase (based upon the US IPD (implicit price deflator – usually 1-1.5% below the Seattle CPI (consumer price index).  This increase is then subject to negotiations to determine who gets how much of the increased funding.  And to make it more complicated, school districts cannot provide salary funding exceeding 80% of their State funding.  Not an attractive environment competing with teachers and others for smaller funding increases.

 

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State and higher education employee contracts

There are 27 contracts that unions have negotiated with their employers (including Governor Inslee).  Those contracts have to be approved (and funded) by the legislature before they can be implemented.  Governor Inslee’s budget funded them.  The House democrat’s budget funded them.  Senate republican’s budget only funded 2 of the contracts.  The remaining 25 contracts were not approved by Senate republicans instead they approved a $500 salary increase per year for each year of the budget.

Why is there a difference?  According to Senate budget chair John Braun, Senate republican’s chose to prioritize state funding so they could fully fund K 12 education.  Fully funding the contracts costs nearly $500 million.  The Senate budget proposal only costs $78 million.

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