We have compiled a list of important resources for our members regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in Washington State. The table of contents can help you locate the general topic you're looking for. If you have anything to add or have questions, please contact Cortney Marabetta, Communications Specialist, at email@example.com.
- Post-Vaccine Mandate Updates
- 2021 Relief Updates
- Vaccine information
- Bargaining and Union Issues
- Worker Rights and Assistance
- Federal Actions
- Instructional Guidance and Institutional Issues
- News Updates
- General Information
Post-Vaccine Mandate Updates
These are resources intended to help with the effects of the vaccine mandate and the vaccine rollout generally.
- Answering Concerns About COVID-19 Vaccines
- Bargaining the Impacts Of the Vaccine Mandate
- AFT Washington Statement on the Vaccine Mandates
- Vaccine Conversation Guide
2021 Relief Updates
The American Rescue Plan has passed and we are getting information explaining components of the plan.
- How the American Rescue Plan Helps American Families & Funds Our Future (PowerPoint)
- Title-By-Title Summary
- American Rescue Plan Higher Education Overview
- American Rescue Plan Includes Fiscal Relief, Other Funding For States
Now that there are several vaccines and the government is ramping up effort to vaccinate, we wanted to provide informational resources that may assist locals and individuals in navigating the issue.
- K-12 Vaccine MOU Template
- Data and Policy Guide to Opening Schools
- School Health and Safety Checklist
- A COVID HealthWatch column regarding Vaccines
- Facts About the COVID Vaccines (English and Spanish)
- COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Facts for Administrators
- Safety tips for vaccinators, vaccine tips for workers, and tips for a model vaccine administration program
- Information about a smartphone-based program for vaccinations
Bargaining and Union Issues
The shutdown of campuses and move to online learning platforms will have obvious effects on our work, especially those who are contingent faculty and classified staff. To assist with the change, we have collected a number of documents relevant to bargaining.
- Principles for higher ed bargaining related to COVID-19
- Principles for classified bargaining related to COVID-19
- The state Attorney General has provided guidance on paid administrative leave and whether it counts as a gift
- AFT Washington has also sent a letter to the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges regarding ways to mitigate harm to employees during the COVID-19 crisis by keeping adjuncts and other faculty employed
- The Office of Financial Management has released a letter directing state employees, including the presidents of all higher-ed institutions, to identify savings and potential reductions in operating budgets for 2020 and 2021, and to move program changes that would have been proposed for 2021-2023 earlier
There is a great deal of discussion about how to reopen America's schools, and how to reopen Washington's.
- AFT has released a plan for reopening, and has updated it with a plan for reopening school buildings safely.
- The state of Washington, through SBCTC, has also released guidance on how to reopen, plus a proclamation that lays out the requirements the state has put in place.
- AFT has also put together a document that examines the financial impact of reopening schools with a pandemic and during a financial crisis
- Another crisis that's happening due to inaction and the push to reopen is the childcare crisis. Randi Weingarten has written a letter to the Senate to support passage of the Senate-created Coronavirus Child Care and Relief Act, an effort to get past the Senate blockage of the HEROES Act.
- A Time To Act, on why it is essential to invest in public education and other services during COVID-19, has been released by AFT.
Worker Rights and Assistance
Washington State launched a new website to be a clearinghouse for COVID-19 information across the state agencies. Several state agencies have been at the frontlines of the state's response to COVID-19. The Employment Security Department has released guidelines for benefits, and also has answers to commonly-asked questions about how the federal stimulus packages affected Washingtonians.
- The Department of Health also has information on the COVID-19 outbreak, including in languages other than English.
- OSPI has their own guidance for schools.
- OSPI has also released priorities for labor leaders.
- Washington's Healthcare Exchange is open for the duration of the crisis.
- SEBB has provided information on benefits.
- PEBB has also released specific information on continuing eligibility for PEBB benefits during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- There are also resources for denial of benefits - the Unemployment Law Project may be able to help - and WorkerLaw has put out a high-level overview of the changes COVID-19 is creating legally, with a mix of federal and Washington State information.
- AFT has added a trauma coverage benefit that is available to members now.
- An FAQ for that benefit is here.
- The ADA has come up recently as an option for assisting members with risk factors as the push to reopen continues - an FAQ can be found here. Contact your local's UOR if you have further questions about this. There is also a memo letter from Barkan Meizlish LLP, addressing the rights of at-risk employees under the ADA, here.
- The state has updated the proclamation declaring the state of emergency with specific guidance for high risk workers.
- The Equity in Education coalition has put together a one-pager on the eviction moratorium, which is available in 10 languages.
- The Foundation for Working Families has a hardship fund; the request form is here.
The earliest federal responses to COVID-19 were a bit more general than the later ones.
- HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, provided paid sick leave, tax credits, and free COVID-19 testing; expanded food assistance and unemployment benefits; and increased Medicaid funding, but the practical outcome of that wound up being rather narrow. AFT has provided a summary of the FFCRA. There is also a poster, and a summary of its provisions on student meals and sick leave.
- The CARES Act has more specific provisions on higher education and on PreK-12. The state's allocation of funding is here. Another breakdown includes the Governor's fund portion and the relief fund portion. There is also a breakdown of specifics for Washington state from Senator Murray's office here.
- The HEROES Act has still not been passed by the Senate. You can read a summary of the Act here. AFT also has a lot of information on how to get the Act passed.
- Because the HEROES Act has not been passed by the Senate, Senator Murray introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act, which you can read about here; it is an effort to get funding to childcare and education that the Senate is less able to block than HEROES.
Instructional Guidance and Institutional Issues
The AFT and AAUP have put together a set of guiding principles for higher ed, including treatment of employees, of whistleblower researchers, intellectual property, and other issues.
- The AFT has also issued guidance regarding affiliate elections in light of pandemic response measures that may be in place.
- Seattle Times' daily COVID-19 updates
- The Tacoma News-Tribune's COVID-19 coverage
- The Spokane Spokesman-Review's COVID-19 section