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Our 2024 Legislative Agenda

AFT Washington is a state federation of 40 locals representing thousands of education workers, including Head Start educators, preK-12 classified workers in roles including bus drivers, nutrition workers, paraeducators, and more, K-12 teachers, and staff at 26 community and technical colleges, and faculty at five four-year colleges and universities.

The 2024 session is a non-budget session, so our priorities for this session are largely policy oriented, as well as laying the groundwork and building momentum for the 2025 budget year.


  • School Related Personnel wage increase campaign: School-related personnel wages have lagged. AFT Washington is part of a coalition of unions, including WEA, SEIU 925, PSE, and the WSLC, building a campaign to increase SRP wages. OSPI has put in a funding request to improve paraeducator wages but we will continue advocating for a comprehensive wage increase for all SRP members.

Higher Education

  • Defending Contingent Faculty Right To Unemployment: The true cost of a contingent faculty workforce includes the cost to the state of paying unemployment benefits during periods faculty are out of work, such as quarter breaks. It is a benefit many contingent faculty are not aware they qualify for, and it materially assists with the inequitable salaries of contingent faculty. Our legislative work includes reducing the number of claim denials and increasing the number of eligible faculty who apply.
  • Contingent Faculty Benefits Eligibility: State mandated benefits for contingent faculty are based on their instructional work only, but increasingly, contingent faculty contribute to the college community through non-instructional work, such as accreditation or Guided Pathways activities. We are seeking a legislative solution to include all compensated work done by contingent faculty as qualifying for eligibility for state-mandated benefits.
  • Pay Equity Plan: Last year, the legislature defined pay equity for contingent faculty as 85% of tenured faculty compensation, and directed the SBCTC to develop a plan to implement this policy by 2026. Two AFT Washington leaders will join WEA, college administrative staff and SBCTC staff to form a working group, with the goal of creating and submitting a plan for pay equity to the legislature by July of 2024.
  • Gun Safety: The inadequacy of gun safety policies puts the education workforce and students at risk of experiencing gun violence. AFT Washington will support policy proposals of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility throughout the 2024 legislative session.
  • Communities For Our Colleges
    • Professional Licensure: Undocumented students face significant obstacles in attaining professional licensure. C4C is seeking a legislative fix for this issue.
    • Cost-Free College: While we are not anticipating achieving cost-free college outside of a budget session, this year we will be working to build legislator support for a cost-free college proposal to drop next year.
    • Other Legislative Advocacy: We anticipate that there will be legislative proposals that support C4C’s policy goals that we will support as they are introduced.

AFT Washington is an active participant in the United Labor Lobby and we will work in solidarity with our union siblings to pass legislation that benefits our members’ and workers generally as we fight legislation with harmful impacts on working people.

Social Justice
We will advocate for or against bills of importance to our community partners, including the Racial Equity Team, Economic Opportunity Institute, Faith Action Network, PSARA and others that create equity and social justice for Washingtonians.

Healthcare for All
We continue our participation on the steering committee of the Healthcare Is a Human Right coalition and will continue to support legislation that increases access to high quality healthcare and moves us toward universal healthcare for all.

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