Across the state, WEA members win big pay raises at the bargaining table!
School is out for the summer, and WEA members continue racking up huge wins at bargaining tables in school districts across the state.
The 256 teachers in Eastern Washington’s Othello Education Association have negotiated a 17 percent average pay raise, and Mossyrock educators just won an incredible 26 percent average increase in salaries.
That’s right: The average certificated employee in Mossyrock will receive a 26 percent pay raise beginning in September, which one union member called “life-changing.” (Mossyrock Education Association has 31 members and is located in rural Lewis County.)
“We have finally helped get teachers in our area what they deserve,” said fourth grade teacher and Mossyrock negotiator Heather Davis.
K-12 teachers aren’t the only WEA members negotiating substantial pay raises. Faculty at Highline College and Columbia Basin College also negotiated large salary increases, thanks to a historic new collective bargaining law WEA members helped pass.
“All of the work that WEA put in last year is paying off for union members and for the students we serve!” said James Peyton, president of the Highline College Education Association.
WEA’s push for competitive, professional pay for all school employees runs throughout public education at every level. Classified education support professionals only earn about 60 percent of the average worker’s salary in Washington -- that’s 60 cents for every $1. The need for higher classified salaries is clear. It’s still early, but WEA ESP members have won at the bargaining table, too.
Members of the Bridgeport Education Support Personnel Association negotiated an 11 percent pay raise on average, with a maximum salary of $37.10 an hour.
Money for K-12 pay raises is the result of the McCleary court case, which WEA helped lead and fund. Under the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, the Legislature was ordered to increase funding for K-12 educator salaries by billions of dollars.
Competitive, professional pay is necessary to attract and keep qualified, caring teachers and support staff for Washington students. In a small number of school districts, administrators are refusing to negotiate more than minimal cost-of-living adjustments, although WEA members in those districts are standing united together and fighting back.