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Our 2017 Legislative Agenda

The Legislative Affairs Committee (LAC) is comprised of six members and three AFT Washington staff that have participated in a series of meetings evaluating the past 2016 session. The LAC divided up into three groups to analyze potential areas of concern that could be addressed this legislative session. The final meeting of the LAC culminated in a joint meeting with the WEA which created the final agenda and strategy for the upcoming 2017 session. AFT Washington's Executive Board approved this agenda.

Classified Concerns

  • HB 1240 was sponsored by Representative Gerry Pollet and was a bill that addressed student restraint. A Legislative Education Group (LEGS) meeting was held with the members and Representative Pollet to discuss the implementation of his bill. It was discovered that the implementation of the bill was not in accord with the intent of the bill as sponsored by the Representative. Representative Pollet agreed to introduce legislation to correct these concerns, if necessary, and continue to work with AFT Washington representatives to craft language for implementation.
     
  • Another area of concern is with the election of the new OSPI chief and the issue of disaggregation of data on classified and exempt staff pay that remains for the new superintendent to address. 

Based on these concerns, AFT Washington's Legislative Affairs Committee recommends:

  • That we actively participate in bill planning and strategy during the session and follow any legislation addressing these issues.
     
  • That AFT Washington and its representatives meet with the new superintendent to address the disaggregation of data on pay for classified and exempt staff and that we enter into an agreement with OSPI to provide disaggregated data for future use. 

Contingent Faculty Concerns

It continues to be the goal of AFT Washington to bring equity to contingent faculty within the AFT Washington locals. Through a very carefully guided process of inclusion, the Contingent Faculty Issues Committee assisted in drafting legislation that impacts our members in two areas:

  1. One is to address the part-time to full-time hiring ratio inequity and place emphasis on conversion of the positions in this area. Representative Mia Gregerson has agreed to prime sponsor this bill.
     
  2. The other area of concern is the “equal pay for equal work” principle that needs to be addressed for contingent faculty salaries. Representative Gerry Pollet has agreed to prime sponsor this bill, which has been completed for signatures.

Therefore, AFT Washington's Legislative Affairs Committee recommends:

  • That we support legislation that will address the conversion of part-time positions to full-time positions over the next three biennia.
     
  • That we support legislation that will address the implementation of the “pro rata” principle of equal pay for equal work for contingent faculty. 

General Faculty Concerns

With the success of the 2015 session in getting the proviso language to bargain local funds, it was decided not to introduce legislation to address this specific concern and to work through the leadership to maintain it in the budget. It is also imperative to support the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges’ operating budget request to provide funding for faculty support.

The third prong of the strategy is to introduce a resolution to support part-time faculty in recruitment, retention, and hiring practices in the system. This resolution gives special consideration to the diversification of the faculty.

Finally, AFT Washington will support the WEA in their desire to run a “full scope bargaining bill.” 

Therefore, AFT Washington's Legislative Affairs Committee recommends:

  • That legislation be introduced to provide a law that will convert part-time to full-time positions over a three-year period. 
     
  • That legislation be introduced to provide “equal pay for equal work” for part-time faculty over the next three biennia.
     
  • That AFT Washington support the request from the SBCTC to fund faculty salaries in the Operating Budget.
     
  • That AFT Washington support the resolution brought forward by the Contingent Faculty Issues Committee for promoting the recruitment, retention, and hiring of part-time faculty, with special emphasis on diversifying the faculty.
     
  • That AFT Washington support the “full scope bargaining bill” as introduced by the WEA.

Concerns Related to Students

AFT Washington is currently in discussion with AFT national and the State Attorney General’s office in addressing student debt by examining the possibility of regulating the lenders of student loans. These meetings are in progress and may result in legislation that will regulate student loans addressing accountability fraud within the industry.

Therefore, AFT Washington's Legislative Affairs Committee recommends:

  • Support to alleviate student debt by addressing the loan industry and regulating how they package loans.

 

You can download the complete agenda in PDF format here. For more information about this Legislative Agenda for the 2017 legislative session which begins Monday, January 9th, contact Dr. Bernal Baca at bbaca@aftwa.org or 509-961-7840.