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Gov. Inslee signs WEA priority legislation

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Gov. Inslee and Kim Mead
Gov. Jay Inslee and WEA President Kim Mead celebrate the WEA priority bills Inslee signed Tuesday. Sen. Steve Conway, a staunch union supporter, is on the left.
WEA members, leaders and staff stood by and watched as Gov. Jay Inslee signed WEA priority bills Tuesday afternoon.
Inslee signed House Bill 1237, which grants community and technical college faculty the right to negotiate pay raises with local funding. It's been a WEA priority for more than a decade and represents a major victory for union rights. It was the top policy bill in WEA's Unity Agenda for the 2018 legislative session, which ended March 8.
Inslee also signed Senate Bill 6362, which improves on the McCleary school funding plan the Legislature approved last year – and includes educator salary increases in the 2018-19 school year.
WEA higher education Chair Carla Naccarato-Sinclair said the faculty bargaining bill shows that legislators understand the importance of quality faculty.
higher ed
Supporters of faculty collective bargaining rights gather around Gov. Inslee as he signs HB 1237.
"I'm elated," Nacarrato-Sinclair said after Inslee signed the bill. "Now we have the right to negotiate higher salaries for both adjunct and full-time faculty. That will help us attract and keep quality faculty for our students."
With more than a billion dollars in new state funding for K-12 educator salaries, certificated and classified school employees also have a huge opportunity to negotiate significant salary increases this year. Professional, competitive pay is needed to recruit and retain qualified, committed educators for our students, said Kim Mead, WEA president.
Mead said the new school funding is a victory for public education. 
"We will continue to advocate for what all of our students need to be successful," Mead said.
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