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Lake Washington school ESPs, bus drivers authorize strike

UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2020) — The Lake Washington Education Support Professionals (WEA) announced last Friday that they have reached a Tentative Agreement! The details have not yet been released, pending a ratification vote of the members.

Teamsters Local 763, representing the bus drivers, paraeducators, and warehouse employees, is reporting progress but has not yet reached a final Tentative Agreement.

REDMOND (Jan. 10, 2020) — After bargaining since May and working without a contract since Aug. 31, frustrated Education Support Professionals who work in the Lake Washington School District voted this week to authorize a strike. These office professionals, health room staff represented by the Lake Washington Education Support Professionals (WEA) haven’t set a strike date yet, but soon will if they are not able to negotiate a fair contract with equitable pay for these professionals who support our kids every day and keep our schools running.

“We work hard. We are professionals,” said LWESP union president Carolina Borrego. “We are tired of being disrespected and undervalued by our superintendent and school board. (Tuesday’s) unanimous strike vote shows we aren’t scared of taking a stand for ourselves and our students. Enough is enough.”

Likewise, the district’s bus drivers who are represented by Teamsters Local 763 have also voted to authorize a strike in their struggle to get a fair contract after extended negotiations.

Both units have important bargaining sessions scheduled for early next week.

TAKE A STAND — Please show your solidarity and support for these Lake Washington ESPs and bus drivers, particularly if you live in this community, but also if you don’t. Click here to tell the Lake Washington School Board and Superintendent Jane Stavem that it’s time to agree to a fair contract and equitable pay for Lake Washington ESPs and bus drivers. (Below is the editable email. You can insert the language in bold to support Teamsters bus drivers.)

SUBJECT: Education Support Professionals and bus drivers deserve equitable pay

I urge you to negotiate a fair contract with office professionals and health room staff who are members of the Lake Washington Education Support Professionals union and bus drivers who are members of Teamsters Local 763.

Our school district has the money to provide ALL employees with competitive and equitable pay increases. These hardworking school employees support our administrators, teachers and students, and they deserve your respect and support.

You negotiated pay raises for certificated staff. Now it’s time to do the same for your classified employees.

Thank you for supporting these Lake Washington School District employees, and stay tuned to The Stand for more information about how you can support their strike, should it come to that.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!