For release: December 14, 2018
Karen Strickland, President, 206-326-0685 (c)
Cortney Marabetta, Communications Specialist, 206-499-4826 (c)
American Federation of Teachers Washington on Governor Inslee’s Proposed Budget
Tukwila, WA -- AFT Washington supports Governor Inslee’s budget proposal for the 2019 budget year.
Karen Strickland, president of AFT Washington said, “We are very pleased with the revenue proposals that help to balance our regressive tax system and raise much-needed revenue. The Governor’s budget funds several important investments ranging from behavioral healthcare to the environment to healthcare. While we appreciate the investments in education that he proposes, this budget falls short on investments in Community and Technical College employees, who earn well below market rate salaries, of whom too many are adjunct faculty and of whom too few are counselors.”
The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) commissioned a study this year that found a serious need to invest in Washington State’s Community and Technical Colleges (CTCs), due to expected job growth over the next five years. In addition, the CTC system over-relies on adjunct faculty, many of whom do not earn a living wage, making it more challenging to be educators in a critical system that will support the growth of Washington’s middle class.
One factor in AFT Washington’s goal of enhancing faculty salaries and providing for other needed investments in our CTC students is that we know that Washingtonians support our CTCs, with 9 out of 10 Washingtonians supporting an increase in state funding for CTCs. While this budget is a step in the right direction to bring Washington’s higher education in line with peer states, we would like it to go further and prepare students to take roles in the industries of the future.
“We will work throughout the session to raise salaries rather than simply keep from falling further behind, to increase counselors so that we reach a 1 to 900 ratio, improving on the current 1 to 1900, invest in equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the system, and acknowledge the challenging working conditions of our members who work in correctional facilities,” said Strickland.
AFT Washington, AFL-CIO represents 7,000 education employees in Head Start, K-12, and higher education throughout Washington State. AFT Washington is affiliated with the 7-million-member American Federation of Teachers.