SB 6442 calls for a state takeover of the entire K-12 health care system, which will increase costs to the state and educators, reduce benefits and limit choice and competition. HB 2666, an alternative WEA supports, would help lower employee costs without additional cost to the state.
WEA members, both classified and certificated, are fighting to defeat SB 6442 in Olympia.
“I don’t see any advantage to SB 6442,” says Irene Oda, a Clover Park bus driver and WEA member. “We could lose health coverage, choice of doctors and pay higher premiums for ourselves and our families. In the end, more classified personnel could lose so much.”
In addition to higher costs and fewer benefits, SB 6442 would eliminate health care coverage for all new school employees who work less than half time! The bill also eliminates local collective bargaining around health care benefits.
WEA is working with AFT, Teamsters, Operating Engineers and the Washington State Labor Council to defeat this bill. There’s an alternative, House Bill 2666, which will help reduce some ESP members’ costs at no cost to the state, while protecting collective bargaining.