Issaquah school support staff sets Jan. 29 strike deadline

ISSAQUAH (Jan. 23, 2019) — The Strike Committees of the Issaquah chapter of Public School Employees of Washington SEIU Local 1948 and SEIU 925 held their first meeting on Jan. 17 to discuss next steps after members authorized a strike vote last week. The joint Strike Committee voted unanimously to set a strike deadline of Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Both unions also agreed to explore mediation with the school district over cost-of-living adjustments. If the unions and the district have not been able to reach a resolution by that date, both the Office Professionals of PSE and the Paraeducators of SEIU 925 will not report to work and will establish picket lines around Issaquah. The unions are hoping the district can schedule mediation quickly in light of the strike deadline.

“We’ve been working for almost five months without our full paycheck,” said Emily Freet, assistant to the principal at Maple Hills Elementary and president of the PSE Issaquah Office Professionals Chapter. “The district is refusing to honor the contract that we negotiated, and we can no longer sit back and allow them to ignore us. The COLA they promised would benefit some of the lowest paid school employees so that we can continue to provide exceptional support for the students we know and love.”

“As a first-time home owner in an expensive district, I was relying on this Cost of Living Adjustment to help me afford to live where I work,” said Alexa Arron, Special Services Office Professional and PSE Strike Committee Member. “Whether or not we receive the COLA that we bargained has a huge impact on my life.”

The union members will strike beginning Jan. 29 and will not return to work until an agreement is reached with the Issaquah School District.

Public School Employees of Washington SEIU Local 1948 (PSE) is a labor union dedicated exclusively to representing Education Support Professionals in Washington State’s public education system. Our 30,000+ members play a vital role in the operation of early learning, K-12 and universities throughout the state.

SEIU 925 unites 17,000 people in Washington who work in early learning through higher education, as well as local government and nonprofits.

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