The budgets are coming, but so are we. Next week, we expect to find out what the House will propose as Washington’s budget for the next biennium. This is when we find out how much the postcards, emails, and lobbying by members has been heard and put in to action. Typically, when the House announces heir budget, the Senate announces theirs the following week. So, we’ll meet the House budget with a picket and rally, and here’s hoping we’ll greet it with signs and chants. Either way, we have to be sure that we are heard. You all know more than anyone that the continued disinvestment of the CTCs is unsustainable, and yet the state continues to ignore the issue.
Make sure you join us this coming Wednesday the 27th in Olympia for our Rally to [Re]Invest in Our Colleges at 10am and add your voice to the cacophony of noise we’ll be making. If meetings, emails and postcards won’t persuade them, then we’ll stop being polite.
Go Bold Or Go Home
“Go bold or go home” seems to be the thinking among the faculty in the Seattle Colleges District. AFT Seattle Local 1789 has been listening to the stories of our members for well over a year now—stories of faculty with advanced degrees and full-time jobs who can’t afford to rent their own place in Seattle; stories of faculty working multiple jobs to make ends meet; stories of instructors renting out rooms in their home in order to afford the mortgage; stories of faculty putting off important life plans because they can’t afford their dreams. As the state’s investment in our colleges stagnates, salaries lag, workloads increase, and our teaching jobs become unattractive to potential applicants. Our faculty union has teamed up with our chancellor and administrative team for the last year and a half to get our message to legislators. We have described the crisis we are in and their role in ending it.
For many months, our union has written post cards, made phone calls, visited legislators, and talked about all possible options. We have been involved in AFT Washington’s [Re]Invest In Our Colleges campaign. We made up the majority of the 50 AFT people who showed up at the 43rd District Town Hall with Frank Chopp on March 16. We are organizing people to rally in Olympia on the 27th to let legislators know that we are demanding results. We are at a point now when we have to do something bold or brace for two more years of struggling just to get by. Something bold is looking very attractive. What do we have to lose!
AFT Seattle’s executive board voted to do a work stoppage/walkout on Tuesday, April 16. Our officers and members are taking the steps needed to ramp up to this bold action. But what we have learned from talking to many of our members is that they just want to get on with it and walk out. People are tired and stressed. They need results soon.
We are working with other unions, student groups, and even our administrators in preparation for April 16. We invite every member of the Seattle Colleges District to join us. We encourage all of our sister unions to participate in some bold way so that together, we get the attention and funding we so deserve.
AFT Seattle Local 1789, President