This spring, Washington educators were asked to take on a monumental challenge in order to provide our students with some sense of stability in their education. The transition had been — and will continue to be — difficult, messy and imperfect. It exacerbated the issues of education inequity that plague our nation's educational system. And it asked our members to navigate new, uncharted territory without adequate access to the tools or trainings required to fully develop an online curriculum.

The pandemic has raised urgent workplace issues around pay and benefits, professional supports, and the safety and well-being of students and staff, as well as their families and communitites. 

WEA will continue to work on seeking answers to questions and challenges raised in regard to continuous learning, but we will fight to ensure those answers honor and value our students and educators. While we will strive to reach collaborative agreements with districts on how to best serve our students, we have not and will not cede our right to demand to bargain over new issues that arise during this rapid transition to a new modality of instruction.

We must also keep in mind that it is not up to individual educators to solve this -- districts should be working with our locals to provide systemic solutions to meet the needs of all students in the best way we can with these unprecedented circumstances. OSPI has said that continuous learning should be based on common sense, compassion and communication.

 

  • Resources for Digital Classroom: Records, Recording and Privacy

    Know your limits around privacy when it comes to the digital classroom and strategies for best practices.
     
    Check out best practices
  • Educator Rights: Personal Concerns during COVID

    Check this flow chart to understand your rights as an individual in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and school structure. 

    Also, what the state Labor and Industries says about worker rights and COVID-19, also available in Spanish.

  • SEBB Benefits continue to 2020-21 school year

    The Health Care Authority School has announced that school employees who were eligible for health insurance Feb. 29 will continue to have SEBB benefits for the 2020-21 school year.
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  • Unemployment Insurance & Benefits

    Q: Are substitutes eligible for unemployment over the summer because of the COVID-19 school closures?

    Education employees, including daily substitutes, are typically not eligible for unemployment during the summer break if they have "reasonable assurance" of continued employment when school resumes in the fall. Because of the uncertainties around reopening plans during the pandemic, the Employment Security Department has determined that districts cannot provide reasonable assurance that daily substitutes will return to similar work patterns in the fall until the district files its reopening plan with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). OSPI's guidance requires school boards to formally adopt their reopening plans and file them with OSPI at least two weeks before the start of school. Until districts take those formal steps, substitutes can be eligible for unemployment benefits during the summer.

    We still have many questions such as what constitutes a "reopening plan" and how a hybrid in-person/on-line plan may impact "reasonable assurance" determinations if such a plan is adopted. We will continue to ask these questions and share updates with you. In the meantime, daily substitutes should apply for unemployment.
     

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  • Back-to-work Labor and Industries requirements for employers

    On May 1, Gov. Jay Inslee outlined the "Safe Start" approach for Washington state to begin reopening some businesses safely and continue essential businesses. In support of this effort, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) developed the following requirements to protect workers in those industries. These general safety and health requirements apply to all businesses operating, including essential business. They're in addition to any industry-specific requirements developed separately and will be updated as necessary.
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  • Student Loan Relief

    Still paying for your schooling? Here's what you need to know about the Student Loan Relief under the CARES Act.
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