Today K-12 educators in Seattle Public Schools are making the difficult and courageous choice to walk off their jobs until the Seattle School District offers fair terms for a new collective bargaining agreement. Whether or not we have children in Seattle Public School schools, we all benefit from a strong K-12 system that remains competitive in attracting and retaining the strongest educators and that prioritizes equity and inclusion in instruction.

Earlier this year during our campaign for a fair contract, thousands of UAW 4121 members made the choice to vote Yes to strike if circumstances justified, even in  the face of threats from our employer that such an action would be “illegal.”  As you might recall, our bargaining agenda included a progressive, comprehensive agenda that addressed both pay/compensation (pay, fee waivers, health benefits) but also academic excellence and equity/inclusion items (e.g. class size, micro-aggressions protections, trans* rights and benefits. Today K-12 teachers are pushing for a similar agenda that prioritizes the good of the students and broader community (addressing standardized testing, recess policy, and other equity issues) while also making SPS a more competitive district in compensating teachers. Similarly they are facing the threat of legal action by the district. The teachers have promised to remain strong if they retain support from the community. You can help by joining them on the picket lines starting today from 8:30-3:30 at schools throughout the city and emailing the Superintendent of Schools demanding that the District stop with litigation and resume bargaining to reach a fair contract. You can also sign on to a petition in support of the teachers.

Let us know if you can come out and join teachers on the picket lines Thursday or Friday. We’re in touch with the Seattle Education Association about how we can help based on the needs of the strikers in the coming days.

Thanks for taking a moment to support other union members in the community in struggles for a stronger education system.

In Solidarity,
Matt Bellinger
Jennifer Brookes
Lei Cheng
Katie Derthick
Kristen Dew
Bradley Dickerson
Toni Ferro
Kristen Garofali
Alli Germain
Robin Gold
Phil Harding
Bob Hodges
Kristin Lindenmuth
Dylan Mayer
Elizabeth Mills
David Parsons
Elizabeth Scarbrough
Viral Shah
Alexander Stone

Membership Meeting Reminder

Don’t forget our September Membership Meeting will take place Thursday, 9/10/15 in  Bagley 154.  Our primary agenda item will be to prepare for upcoming orientation presentations to incoming ASEs. These presentations are a great opportunity to inform new ASEs about their rights in the union and to encourage them to get involved. Let us know if you’d like to help present in your department! Most orientations will be held between 9/16 and 9/28.  All members in good standing are encouraged to attend, and as always children are welcome and new members may sign up to join the union at the meeting.