Fight for 15%! Educators Demand Social Equity Contract or Strike!

Fight for 15%!

Educators Demand Social Equity Contract or Strike!

The Washington State legislature settled the McCleary case by earmarking $2 billion for educators’ salaries. The Washington Education Association has called statewide for a minimum 15% increase in total compensation in the 2018-19 contract and that all Education Support Professionals deserve at least a 36.7% increase.

Many districts have already won major salary increases. If Seattle is going to remain competitive with other districts and provide a living wage in a city with skyrocketing costs, then we must demand an equitable pay increase of at least 15% across ALL bargaining units.

Based on democratic discussions in SEE meetings, collaborations with SEA bargaining units, updates from bargaining team members, and suggestions of the content of the SEA bargaining survey, SEE has developed the following Social Equity Platform. We are calling on SEA educators and community allies to join us in endorsing this platform and preparing to strike if these demands are not met.

Social Equity Platform

  • 15% minimum raise for certificated staff

  • 20% minimum raise for classified staff

  • 1 year contract

  • No concessions

  • Fund Ethnic Studies coordinator, coach, & professional development

  • Paid Restorative Justice coordinators

  • Support and grow Racial Equity Teams

  • Healthcare for subs

  • 12 Weeks paid family leave for all educators

  • Lower counselor- and nurse-to-student ratio

  • Hire more office professionals to match increased workload

  • Hire more instructional assistants

  • Enforce special education caseload limits

If you would like to sign onto the Social Equity Platform and think we should strike if the district doesn’t fulfill these needs, you can sign the petition here:

To support organizing and discussion around these demands, join the next Social Equity Educators meeting:

SEE meeting

When: Sunday September 2 from 10am-noon

Where: Savery Hall at the UW

What: Join us for a special SEE meeting to discuss and ask questions about the action plan presented and voted on at the General Membership meeting. Bargaining team members will be present to give updates and help answer questions.


Additional Details on the Social Equity Platform

One-year contract & a one-year action plan to fully fund schools:

Any tentative agreement should only be for one year. Despite the $2 billion allocated to educator salaries statewide, the Washington legislature placed a “levy lid” that limits the amount SPS can raise from local voters to 24% of its budget. This drops the per-student funding from $4000 to $2500. Unfortunately, SPS is talking about solving this problem with layoffs and conservative pay raises next year. We can not accept that as a reality.

Instead, we can fight for an equitable one-year contract with full raises, then implement an action plan to fully fund schools in the coming years. We can organize locally to pass the school levy in February, then organize statewide to lift the 24% levy lid and push the legislature to close corporate loopholes and tax the super-wealthy to fully fund education statewide.

Agreeing to a two-year contract with lesser wage increases would unnecessarily set back our members’ standard of living. On the other hand, educators in West Virginia and other red states show that if we stand united for each other and our students, we’re powerful!


  1. Equitable raises for ALL our members, with at least a 15% raise for certificated staff and a 20% raise for classified staff.

  2. Flexible paid time off, including more than 2 Personal Days per year.

  3. Paid family leave for ALL educators, including 12 weeks of paid leave.

  4. Reasonable workloads, including reasonable class sizes and special education caseloads, and paid time for necessary tasks (e.g. IEPs).


Racial Equity:

  1. Fund Ethnic Studies coordinator, coach, & professional development.

  2. Paid Restorative justice coordinators and practices in all schools.

  3. Support and grow our Racial Equity Teams through mandatory professional development, Racial Equity Team representation on the Building Leadership Team, and 10 new schools each year of the contract.



  1. An equitable raise of at least 20% for all paras, if not the 37% increase recommended by WEA.

  2. Reasonable workloads and a safe working environment for paras.

  3. Mentorship programs and concrete pathways to advance up a career ladder.

  4. Relevant and accessible professional development and technology for paraprofessionals.

  5. Hire more Instructional Assistants.



  1. Healthcare for Subs: For all subs working 70% or more of full-time to qualify for full healthcare coverage.

  2. Hands off our Professional Development! SPS has been violating the contract. Support subs in their fight to have a voice in what PDs are offered.

  3. Equal Sick Leave – Equality for subs currently accumulating sick leave at half the rate of other educators


SAEOP (Seattle Association of Educational Office Professionals):

  1. Discontinue the practice of hiring regular hourly office employees.

  2. Hire more SAEOP members to match the increased workload.

  3. More money for professional certificates and national accreditations.

  4. An equitable raise of at least 20% – if not the 37% recommended by WEA – to allow SAEOP members to continue serving the SPS community.

  5. More and appropriate professional development offerings.


ESA (Educational Staff Associates):

  1. Place an elementary school counselor in every school.

  2. Lower the counselor to student ratio from the current 400 to 1 to the national standard of 250 to 1.

  3. Hire more social workers for our schools.

  4. Lower the nurse to student ratio. It’s currently 1 to 1000.


All the above issues should be part of any final tentative agreement in a union that has served as a model of social justice and social movement unionism. We should be prepared to strike until we have a contract that meets all of these demands.

For more information: