On Tuesday, August 21st, 25 local leaders met downtown at the Red Lion Inn at the Park to discuss the impact of many legislative decisions, such as the new evaluation plan, the new healthcare bill; and also the impact of the loss of collective bargaining, which could be a result of the upcoming election.

 

In addition, many aspects of education funding could change as a result of the Compensation Task Force appointed by the governor, or as a result of legislative decisions that follow the McCreary court case. With so much at stake, the Council sent out a flyer that said, "We need you!" - and our local presidents came, often bringing along members to help carry the message back to the locals.

With so much happening in August, the turnout was a welcome sight! Getting information out to members is at best a challenge. But having so many present to hear and discuss all these issues in person was a wonderful accomplishment. We congratulate all of you who were able to put aside all the other demands on your time and drive to Spokane. For those of you who couldn't make the meeting, hopefully you have been contacted with the information. If not, please contact me (Bev Schaefer) - we don't want anyone to be left out of the loop.

We have a lot of information to share about these topics; we are also working on one of the main delivery systems of information - the building meeting! Therefore, we are asking that every building hold a meeting in September or October. They need not be long - 10 or 15 minutes at most.

The purpose of the meetings is twofold: one, to share important information with members; and two, to be able to assure legislators during the session that WEA has the ability to contact every member personally by holding a meeting in every education site in this state, letting educators know what is happening legislatively. It's a system that has been very reliable in the past, and we want to "reactivate" it. It goes along with our re-building from the ground up organizing plan. Look for the information packet, and contact the office if you haven't received one!


Finally - compare the messages that candidates provide about education. If one candidate says that if elected, there will be no opportunities to bargain contracts, know that you will have no professional say in the length of your workday, professional development days/times, and also incidental things like what you wear to work, and what extracurricular events you have to cover without pay. In several states now, "They can't do that! - can they?" has become "What else do we have to give up?"

Don't give up what we've all worked so hard to achieve without a fight! Elect pro public education candidates. And VOTE!