May 12

UPDATE: Wednesday, May 20th: BGEA action before and after school

BGEA Members and Community Members: We will be participating in a day of action before school (6:30-8:30am) and after school (3:15-5:30pm) on Wednesday, May 20th at the intersection of 503 & Main Street in BG. Wear Red and come and support the state-wide pressure to have the legislator fully fun education! Look for us in the Safeway parking lot with signs on Wednesday morning and afternoon.

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May 12

Timeline & Information: May 13, 2015 Day of Action

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Informational picketing at assigned locations (BGEA members will be at the corner of 162nd and 4th Plain)

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Day of Action Rally at Esther Short Park: 415 W 6th St, Vancouver, WA 98660

 

All members will leave the line at 10:30 AM and drive to Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver for a rally at 11:00 AM following morning picketing.  Kim Mead, President of the Washington Education Association, will join in solidarity with the members in Southwest Washington who will be on strike against the Legislature on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.

 

ALL MEMBERS MUST CARPOOL TO ESTHER SHORT PARK. VERY LIMITED PARKING IS AVAILABLE at the Hilton Parking Garage, off-street, meters, and paid lots. The Day of Action Rally will begin at 11:00 AM. We will have featured speakers, singing, and chanting. We will surely be seen and heard!

Additional informational picketing will occur on Wednesday from 4:30-6:30 PM outside the Republican area headquarters, located at 5 Corners, 9401 NE Covington Road Suite 101, Vancouver, WA  98662.  All legislators from the 17th and 18thLegislative Districts are Republican elected officials representing the educators involved in the walkouts.

Wear RED

Bring a Water Bottle and Pen!

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May 11

Why Walk Out?

“We’re protesting the Legislature’s refusal to fund smaller class sizes for all students, which is required by law,” said David Guthrie, president of the Shoreline Education Association. “Shoreline educators collected thousands of signatures for I-1351, and more than a million voters approved the class-size initiative. Shoreline educators know from experience that students benefit from the additional one-on-one attention smaller class sizes provide, and we find it offensive that our legislators in both the House and the Senate think they can ignore the will of the voters.”

 The big issues in Olympia

Here are the big issues at play in Olympia, where legislators are in a special session but are making little progress toward approving a state budget.

Compensation

The House budget provides $154 million more than the Senate Republicans for educator salary increases. While both provide at least the COLA, they can do better. Legislators themselves are in line to receive an 11 percent increase. Educators deserve more.

Health Care

The House budget provides over $200 million more than the Senate Republicans for health care costs. In fact, the Senate doesn’t provide any increase at all — and they propose a state takeover of health care that would eliminate health care coverage for many part-time workers. It’s preposterous.

Funding Class Size and Support Staff

Both the Senate and the House propose to ignore the will of the voters. They actually propose increasing the class sizes now established in law by I-1351. And, they ignore all the other support staff necessary to serve our students. This is the law — and they need to make real progress.

Misuse of Testing

Standardized testing is out of control. Educators know it. Parents know it. Students know it. Why don’t legislators see it? Many legislators actually want to increase the ways we misuse tests — increasing the stakes and using results to place blame. Tests are supposed to help us help students — and we need lawmakers to stop misusing tests for inappropriate purposes.

Local Decision Making

The best decisions that are made about education are made closest to the student — at the local level. We also know that our collective voices — through local bargaining for issues such as improved pay and working conditions — lead to better outcomes for students and better ability to attract and retain quality educators. Some legislators believe they know better and want to institute a one-size-fits-all approach. We know education. We live education. Our voices need to be included in local educational decisions.

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May 11

Afternoon Action Possibilities–May 13th

For those members wanting to participate in the May 13th Day of Action Walk Out read below and spread the word!

We will be continuing our informational pickets during the go home commute outside the Republican Headquarters office in Clark County, and are planning to be there from 4:30pm – 6:30pm.

It is located at 9401 NE Covington Rd #101, Vancouver, WA 98662, in the area of Orchards known as Five Corners.

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May 9

Day of Action–Wednesday, May 13–Walk Out Activities

Members from Evergreen (over 1800), Camas (393), Washougal (189), and Hockinson (170 certs & ESP) will be participating in Day of Action on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.

The Day of Action is a protest against the Legislature for its failure to appropriately fund public education, implement I-1351, or address professional compensation; they remain in contempt of the Washington Supreme Court for failure to implement the McCleary decision, which specifically articulates the legislature’s paramount duty to fund public education in Washington.

The schedule for the day shall be WEAR RED and report:
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Informational picketing at assigned location
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Day of Action Rally, Esther Short Park

Informational picketing will occur at 5 locations throughout the broader metro area. Each location will have identified staff and leadership Zone Directors and Site Leads from the respective assigned schools. We will be holding a Zone Director and Site Lead training on Monday, May 11 at the NWRTC. We will hold 2 sessions to accommodate busy schedules. The 1st training will be from 5:00-6:30 PM. The 2nd training will be from 6:30-8:00 PM. We will also be assembling 2000+ picket signs. If you drive a pickup truck, minivan, or hatch back, we ask that you bring it, as we will be asking you to transport the picket signs for your school/line, to be distributed to each member at your assigned line on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.

We will ask Zone Directors & Site Leads to arrive at their picket line at 8:30 AM to unload your signs at your line and to “CHALK” the start and stop points for your walking loop. We are asking Zone Directors and Leads for the 5 lines to scope out possible public restrooms near your line that are friendly in the event individuals need a restroom. All members will be asked to wear red, bring their own water bottle, and a pen. All members will be asked to leave their homes with ample time, as they will need to find off-street, legal parking. We will picket rain or shine, so plan/dress accordingly. Picketing will occur promptly at 9:00 AM and lines will run until 10:30. We will have parent/community fliers available for each line.

All members will leave the line at 10:30 AM and drive to Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver. ALL MEMBERS MUST CARPOOL. VERY LIMITED PARKING IS AVAILABLE at the Hilton Parking Garage, off-street, meters, and paid lots. The Day of Action Rally will begin at 11:00 AM. We will have featured speakers, singing, and chanting. We will surely be seen and heard!

Members will be given an envelope with 9 postcards/talking points to write the legislators in the 17th, 18th, and 49th. Posters and individual “mail boxes” will be stationed on the stage and all members will be asked to complete their postcards before departure. We will be providing 5 parent/community fliers and asking every member to leaflet 5 community members to spread the protest message against the legislature!

Thank you in advance for your commitment to this collective action!

 

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May 8

Letter: Teachers willingly walk in 180 days

Published: May 8, 2015, 6:00 AM The Columbian

If you ask teachers why they do what they do, many will respond that they love children, and learning. Unfortunately, these positive, deeply personal motives are often manipulated as evident in the May 1 editorial, “Students come first.”

It is frustrating to read inaccurate, shaming comments, “Their list of grievances also include … a lack of increases in benefits (although they receive copious vacation time),” which obscures the real issues of education. Most teachers in the state of Washington are contracted to work about 180 days (plus three or four days). Students are required to attend 180 days. Summers and vacations are unpaid days. But this is not the point of the walkout that teachers in our county are considering.

Every day, teachers willingly walk in to classrooms with more children than their spaces can accommodate. Teachers willingly walk in early and stay late to provide additional time to support our students. When teachers support initiatives that demand that the state fulfills its responsibility, we are not walking out on our students and their families; we are modeling that there are some things worth standing up for — their education.

Kim Abegglen

Vancouver

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May 8

Who’s walking out?

Here’s the updated list of one-day walkouts, which now total 40. At least seven ESP locals have voted to support their certificated colleagues as well.

  1. Lakewood (April 22)
  2. Stanwood-Camano (April 22)
  3. Arlington (April 22)
  4. Bellingham (April 24)
  5. Blaine (April 24)
  6. Conway (April 24)
  7. Ferndale (April 24)
  8. Mount Vernon (April 24)
  9. Anacortes (April 24)
  10. Sedro Woolley (April 29)
  11. Bainbridge Island (April 30)
  12. Burlington-Edison (April 30)
  13. Marysville (May 1)
  14. Oak Harbor (May 1)
  15. Lake Washington (May 6)
  16. Northshore (May 6)
  17. South Whidbey (May 6)
  18. Central Kitsap (May 7)
  19. Granite Falls (May 8)
  20. Lake Stevens (May 8)
  21. Snohomish (May 8)
  22. Franklin Pierce (May 8)
  23. Shoreline (May 11)
  24. Camas (May 13)
  25. Evergreen/Clark County (May 13)
  26. Washougal (May 13)
  27. Sultan (May 15)
  28. Chimacum (May 15)
  29. North Kitsap (May 18)
  30. Sequim (May 18)
  31. Wenatchee (May 18)
  32. Port Angeles (May 18)
  33. Seattle (May 19)
  34. Peninsula (May 19)
  35. University Place (May 20)
  36. South Kitsap (May 20)
  37. Kennewick (May 21)
  38. Pasco (May 21)
  39. Richland (May 21)
  40. Tumwater (TBD)

 The big issues in Olympia

Here are the big issues at play in Olympia, where legislators are in a special session but are making little progress toward approving a state budget.

Compensation

The House budget provides $154 million more than the Senate Republicans for educator salary increases. While both provide at least the COLA, they can do better. Legislators themselves are in line to receive an 11 percent increase. Educators deserve more.

Health Care

The House budget provides over $200 million more than the Senate Republicans for health care costs. In fact, the Senate doesn’t provide any increase at all — and they propose a state takeover of health care that would eliminate health care coverage for many part-time workers. It’s preposterous.

Funding Class Size and Support Staff

Both the Senate and the House propose to ignore the will of the voters. They actually propose increasing the class sizes now established in law by I-1351. And, they ignore all the other support staff necessary to serve our students. This is the law — and they need to make real progress.

Misuse of Testing

Standardized testing is out of control. Educators know it. Parents know it. Students know it. Why don’t legislators see it? Many legislators actually want to increase the ways we misuse tests — increasing the stakes and using results to place blame. Tests are supposed to help us help students — and we need lawmakers to stop misusing tests for inappropriate purposes.

Local Decision Making

The best decisions that are made about education are made closest to the student — at the local level. We also know that our collective voices — through local bargaining for issues such as improved pay and working conditions — lead to better outcomes for students and better ability to attract and retain quality educators. Some legislators believe they know better and want to institute a one-size-fits-all approach. We know education. We live education. Our voices need to be included in local educational decisions.

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May 8

Rolling Walkout Update

As of 6pm, on May 7th, all ballots have been counted in terms of the rolling walk-out.

While the Battle Ground Education Association membership did not reach the affirmative vote threshold required to participate in the one-day walk-out on May 13th, the membership continues to expect that the Washington State Legislature will fulfill their Paramount Duty of fully funding education.

The nearly 800-members of the Battle Ground Education Association support fellow educators within Southwest Washington and the State in standing strong against the Legislature.

“Ultimately,” said Ted Schelvan, President of the Battle Ground Education Association, “it is the children in Southwest Washington that suffer through the continued lack of progress Legislators from the 17th and 18th Districts continue to make. Our children’s learning environment is the educator’s working environment. The voters have expressed this time and time again through various initiatives, while the legislature continues to turn a blind eye.”

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May 8

 Negotiations Update: April 30 and May 1, 2015

  • Your negotiations team met on Thursday and Friday, April 30 and May 1 at the WEA-Riverside office from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Members present: Ted Schelvan (BGEA President), Lynn Davidson (WEA-Riv. Rep), Jim Scheurman (PVP), Linda Peterson (Chief MS), Christy Sloan (PHS), Sheryl Piper (BGHS), Lorri Sibley (Daybreak P), Jamie Hurly (BGHS), Marina Schwartz (Amboy), and Eileen O’Connor (MG K-8),
  • During a very positive, collaborative session, the following items were accomplished:
  1. We finished discussing each section of the contract for possible changes and/or refinements in language for our proposal.
  2. We then took the data from the small group meetings last fall and checked each item to make sure we were addressing the issues in crafting our proposal.
  3. We started creating and refining the actual contract language for our proposal, keeping in mind the above data and how it will affect our members.
  • What you can do:
  1. Keep contacting your legislators AND your negotiations team members!
  2. Vote when the ballots arrive at your building.

 

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May 8

Negotiations Update: April 20, 2015

  • Your negotiations team met on Monday, April 20 at the WEA-Riverside office from 4:45 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Members present: Ted Schelvan (BGEA President), Lynn Davidson (WEA-Riv. Rep), Jim Scheurman (PVP), Linda Peterson (Chief MS), Christy Sloan (PHS), Sheryl Piper (BGHS), Lorri Sibley (Daybreak P), Jamie Hurly (BGHS), Marina Schwartz (Amboy), Eileen O’Connor (MG K-8), Ellen Joslin (Chief MS) and Kristi Taylor (WEA Staff). Ellen surprised everyone by announcing her retirement at the end of this year, and therefore resigned from the negotiations team.
  • During a very positive, collaborative session, the following items were accomplished:
  1. We continued discussing each section of the contract for possible changes and/or refinements in language for our proposal.
  2. It was determined we wouldn’t have a proposal ready by May 1 to present to the district, so we decided to meet with just our committee on April 30 and May 1.
  • What you can do:
  1. Keep contacting your legislators AND your negotiations team members!
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