STATEMENT ON RESIGNATION OF GREEN RIVER COLLEGE PRESIDENT
by Karen Strickland, President of AFT Washington
Today’s announcement provides some relief and opens up possibilities for the students, faculty and staff of Green River College and the broader community. Our hope is that faculty, along with the entire college community, can now move forward - building trust, problem solving collaboratively to address the college’s financial reality, and continuing to provide the outstanding educational opportunities the community has come to rely on.
Stand up! Fight back! That's just what the faculty at Green River College did despite the hostility, retaliation, and threats from the college president and the board of trustees. The three-day strike ended May 25, and it had a huge impact.
To thank everyone who stood with them in spirit and in person on the picket lines, the Green River College faculty union is inviting everyone to a community rally at 3:30 PM today at the main campus east entrance, 12401 SE 320th Street, Auburn 98092-3622. Members from other unions, legislators, students, faculty, and AFT Washington staff will be there to support the faculty. There will be music, dancing, and community! Come join them!
Green River United Faculty Coalition Local 2195 has called a 3-day strike which begins on Monday, May 23, and ends on Wednesday, May 25. The strike will take place from 7 AM to 7 PM at all four college campuses: the main campus in Auburn, downtown Auburn annex, Kent campus at the Kent Commons, and the Enumclaw campus. A press conference will be held at 10 AM on Monday at the east entrance of the main campus, 12401 SE 320th Street, Auburn, WA.
The decision to strike follows a series of actions over the last three years, such as rallies, information picketing, visits with the governor's office
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Washington is pleased to endorse State Senator Pramila Jayapal for the 7th Congressional District race.
“Senator Jayapal is an unwavering and effective leader who advocates for public education, for workers’ rights, including the right to organize, and for human rights,” said Karen Strickland, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in Washington State.
We are saddened to hear about the tragic accident involving North Seattle College students and employees which occurred today on the Aurora Bridge. We represent the faculty and professional staff at North Seattle College and understand that two of our members were on the bus.
AFT Washington applauds Governor Inslee and the House and Senate for passing a compromise 2015-2017 budget that supports education employees. The budget provides a 4.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment over two years for education employees covered by voter-approved Initiative 732. This not only covers K-12 teachers but also community and technical college (CTC) faculty, technical college classified employees, and K-12 school support staff. [full release]
Statement by AFT Washington President Karen Strickland
It is refreshing to see the House take bold action to address the revenue crisis in Washington State.
I was especially pleased that the House budget begins to reverse the budget cuts of the last six years and recognizes that students carry too much of the cost of education by freezing tuition. However, tuition has risen to compensate for significant state disinvestment in higher education over the years. A substantial infusion of funding is needed in order to ensure the high-quality education we expect from our colleges and universities. A key ingredient of this high quality is the faculty. While funding the Cost of Living Adjustment is much appreciated by our membership, our community and technical college faculty continue to earn salary steps, which once again are unfunded for the fourth consecutive biennia.
We commend the governor’s budget proposal to close tax loopholes and establish new revenue sources, such as a capital gains tax. His investments in early learning, funding McCleary, and an enhanced cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for education employees covered under I-732 are a demonstration of the values we share.
In an effort to address the state’s declining investment in higher education, students, faculty, community organizations, and labor unions will meet on Saturday, Oct. 25th, in Tacoma to develop strategies and solutions to reverse this trend during the 2015 legislative session.
Washington State is ranked fourth in the country for decreased state funding per full-time equivalent (FTE) and ninth in the country for the largest tuition increases during 2008-2012.