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Now’s the time to negotiate big pay raises for all WEA members

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Salary funding infographic smallerIn its McCleary decision, the Washington Supreme Court ordered legislators to amply fund basic education, including competitive, professional salaries to attract and keep the qualified, committed, caring certificated and support staff our students need to be successful.

WEA members had to fight hard for years to make it happen, but the Legislature has increased state funding for public schools by billions, including $2 billion to increase educator salaries in the 2018-19 school year. Polling consistently shows that an overwhelming majority of voters support increasing pay for school employees. There’s a well-documented shortage of qualified educators, and educator pay lags far behind comparable professions.

With the facts and numbers on our side, the WEA Board has set ambitious goals for negotiating pay raises for the upcoming school year. How large of a pay raise will be decided at the local level through negotiations – which is why it’s crucial for WEA members to organize and show that we have power in numbers.

No pay raise is automatic. We have to fight for it, or we won’t get it. School administrators already are balking and making excuses for why they don’t want to provide pay increases. Their arguments are simply wrong: Now is the time to negotiate fair and equitable pay increases for all certificated and classified K-12 employees.

WEA members across the state stand united together – let’s organize and negotiate the big pay raises we need and deserve. The court ordered it. The Legislature funded it. Voters support it. Now let’s do it!

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