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Category Archives: Collective Bargaining

Teacher evaluation bill rises again

Over the weekend, a bill mandating the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations resurfaced in Olympia. The state Senate killed earlier legislation, but now it’s back under a different bill number: House Bill 2800.

Email your legislators and tell them in clear terms why you oppose the mandated use of state test scores in teacher evaluations.

We’ve been fighting this misguided proposal for years explaining to lawmakers why forcing school districts to evaluate teachers using state test scores is wrong.

The concept behind HB 2800 was a bad idea before, and it remains a bad idea: there’s no research or evidence to prove mandating state test scores in teacher evaluations helps teachers or benefits students.

Email your legislators now, and tell them to vote against HB 2800.

More than 5,000 educators have signed the petition to US Education Secretary Arne Duncan on the issue.

Here’s is a PDF of WEA’s teacher evaluation principles.

COLA, bargaining rights and budget update

On Friday, the House Appropriations passed out House Bill 2422, the educator COLA restoration bill. That was a major move forward. Next stop: a vote by the full House of Representatives.

Since 54 representatives from both parties signed the bill as sponsors, if a vote is held, HB 2422 is likely to pass in the House. And while a companion bill in the Senate had more than 20 sponsors, it’s unclear whether the measure would pass in the Republican-controlled Senate.

On Friday, the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee heard House Bill 1348, which would extend equal bargaining rights to community and technical college faculty. They currently have little ability to negotiate salaries. Three WEA members testified in support of HB 1348. Yet the bill didn’t come up for a vote and is now dead – even though the House already passed it this year.

“Despite a strong showing of faculty from all around the state and excellent testimony, Chair Janea Holmquist-Newbry chose not to pass the bill out of her committee. Since Friday was the last day bills could get out of policy committees, the bill will not move forward this session,” said Carla Nacarrato-Sinclair from Spokane Community Colleges and WEA’s AHE leader.


Weekend COLA update from Olympia

It’s time to restore the educator COLA, says Evergreen School District teacher Barb Pieske. For regular email updates, subscribe to OurVoice by clicking here or texting OurVoice to 41411. On Monday and Tuesday next week, more than 100 school employees from across Washington will be in Olympia lobbying legislators for smaller class sizes and restoring educator cost-of-living adjustmentsContinue Reading

Focus on the real barriers to opportunity

Teachers from Tacoma and Franklin Pierce testified in Olympia about fully funding schools and providing the support children and families need. WEA members testified Monday against a Senate bill that unfairly – and unrealistically – suggests that closing the opportunity gap is entirely the responsibility of public school employees. The legislation, Senate Bill 6063, failsContinue Reading

COLA isn’t the only educator compensation bill in Olympia

Julia Apple, a teacher in the Evergreen School District, makes the case for restoring the educator COLA. Although voters approved Initiative 732 by 63 percent, the Legislature has suspended the salary cost-of-living adjustments for school employees for nearly six years straight. Restoring the educator COLA is the fair thing to do. House Bill 2422 is the COLAContinue Reading

Senate toys with unneeded changes to teacher evaluations

On Wednesday, the state Senate education committee heard testimony on three politically driven bills that would make major, and unnecessary, changes to teacher evaluations. People directly affected by the bills – teachers and principals – testified in opposition. The proposed changes, if passed, would mark the fourth major change in teacher evaluations in the lastContinue Reading

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