VEA calls for Racial Justice

Through ongoing conversation with our VEA Equity Team and Executive Board, VEA is eager to share a specific CALL FOR RACIAL JUSTICE in VPS, presented to VPS School Board Directors and Superintendent Webb via email on June 11th.

VEA looks forward to collaborating with VPS, alongside other key stakeholders, through intentional dialogue and transparent communication moving forward. Thank you to VEA members for your sharing the commitment to doing better for Vancouver students, colleagues, and our greater community!

Supporting those who supported us

The VEA received an overwhelming level of community support during our labor action in 2018.  We encourage using the following businesses and services who supported VEA directly as a way to pay it forward and support them during these difficult times.

COVID-19

Resources:

VPS – Food pantry, lunches, and support for students and families:  https://vansd.org/

Health Care Authority – Coverage & FAQs:  https://www.hca.wa.gov/information-about-novel-corona-virus-covid-19

PESB – Professional practices/certification:  https://www.pesb.wa.gov/about-us/covid-19-resources

OSPI 2020 Guidance on Inclusionary Practices During School Closures

OSPI 2020 Supporting Multilingual/English Language Learners During School Closures

NEW!!  Aug 7 OSPI 20-21 TPEP Guidance

Office of the Governor:  https://www.governor.wa.gov/issues/issues/covid-19-resources

Career Connect is a public-partnership with industry leaders and professionals launched by Gov. Inslee to provide students across Washington an opportunity to explore options for their future.  For a schedule and info on access to CareerConnect@home programs, visit www.careerconnectathome.org

Department of Retirement Services:  https://www.drs.wa.gov/

VEA Members:  You should be receiving COVID-19 updates via home email and text.  Contact Cindy @ VEA if you are not receiving them.  COVID-19 newsletters are posted under the “Newsletter” tab.

VPS & Community ChildCare Resources:

Professional Development for Members:

  •  WEA Suggested On-line PD Options for Educators.  Many are free.  Note: this list will be updated so check it frequently  Click Here
  • PD Enroller offers low/no cost courses for educators.
  • Climetime Webinar Schedule
  • Courses on TPEP, STEM, and Inclusionary Practices.  WEA Education Support Center will post new course offerings each Wednesday.

ALERT!  Fraudulent Unemployment Claims  – District Guidance

Health and Wellness for Members:

Reopening Guidance for 20-21.  VEA will enter negotiations with the district for parameters around next school year following the guidance from OSPI, DOH, L and I  and the Governor.  WEA has provided a FAQ document as a guide.

OSPI Guidance

WEA FAQs

Department of Health

Labor and Industries

Governor Inslee’s Proclamation

** NEW!! Governor’s Risk Assessment Dashboard by County.  Open the summary tab to see cases per 100,000 and positivity rates.

** NEW!! Updated Aug 4:  Department of Health Decision Tree for in person learning K-12

** NEW!!  Clark County Public Health

SEBB Insurance Resources

Breaking news (01/27/2020)  The SEBB adopted two policies today that were meant to clarify eligibility rules; both policies are retroactive to January 1, 2020.  The first policy directs districts to include paid time off (including paid holiday hours) in eligibility determinations regarding the 630 hours.  This will ensure that employees who are scheduled to work 630 hours in a year would not lose benefits if they need to take a sick day.   In addition, the board adopted a policy that clarified how an employee who is returning from approved leave without pay can qualify for SEBB benefits upon their return.  This will create fair rules between mid-year hires and returning/existing employees as well as ensure consistency for those returning from leave without pay no matter what time of year they need to take that leave.

Policy Resolution SEBB 2020-01 Inclusion of Paid Hours

Effective January 1, 2020, all hours for which a school employee receives compensation from a SEBB Organization during an approved leave (e.g., sick leave, personal leave, bereavement leave) or a paid holiday must be included when determining how many hours a school employee is anticipated to work, or did work, in the school year.

Policy Resolution SEBB 2020-02 Benefits Eligibility After Returning to Work

Effective January 1, 2020, school employees who return from approved leave without pay will maintain or establish eligibility for the employer contribution if their work schedule, had it been in effect at the start of the school year, would have resulted in the employee being anticipated to work the minimum hours to meet SEBB eligibility in the school year. A school employee who regains eligibility under this policy establishes eligibility for the employer contribution towards SEBB benefits as of the date they returned from approved leave, and coverage will become effective the first day of the month following the employee’s return to work.

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Breaking news (1/9/2020)

This was just released by Health Care Authority.  It explains the SEBB appeals process and gives a phone number to call to check on the status of an appeal or to request an expedited appeal if there is an urgent medical issue:   https://www.hca.wa.gov/sebb-program-addressing-appeals

There is more detail on the website, but here is the specific part regarding the phone line:

How to check if your appeal has been received or request an expedited appeal for an urgent medical need

Effective immediately, you can call 1-800-200-1004 (and select menu option “7”) 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to:

  • Learn whether your appeal has been received.
  • Request to expedite review of your appeal if you or a dependent have an urgent medical need.

Please keep in mind that call wait times may be longer than usual due to the high volume of appeals. Until all appeals are logged in, our records may not show your appeal as being received yet. Our goal is to process all approved appeals that do not need additional action by a school employee by mid-January.  Please do not resubmit your appeal until all appeals have been processed.

There have been many frustrated members who have been looking for any kind of update on their appeal.  Hopefully, this phone line and the initial mailing of appeal resolution letters will help to bring some peace of mind to those who are frustrated with this transition.

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The Legislature has approved and funded a new health care system for K-12 school employees that begins in January 2020. The new School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) program will replace the existing health insurance negotiated locally in each school district. That means all K-12 public school employees will have a new insurance plan beginning January 1.

Summary of Benefits and Coverage – Coverage, limitations, preauthorizations:    https://www.hca.wa.gov/employee-retiree-benefits/school-employees/benefits-and-coverage-plan#what-is-sbc

Provider Directories: https://www.hca.wa.gov/employee-retiree-benefits/school-employees/find-provider

NEED HELP?!!  WEA Health Care Hotline 1-855-668-5039 (Monday-Friday 7:30 am – 5:00 pm)

Appeals must be filed within 30 days of the denial notification.  https://www.hca.wa.gov/about-hca/file-appeal-sebb#who-can-appeal    1-800-351-6827

National Board Certification Information

VEA National Board Candidate Support Cohort Program

2020-21 VEA will provide facilitated support for candidates going through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification process. Candidate support is optional for teachers completing their National Boards; however, teacher candidates who are part of a support program show a significantly higher passing rate.

As part of a cohort, candidates receive support, instruction, and feedback from their trained facilitators who are VEA colleagues. Examples include: “unpacking” the National Board component prompts, finding evidence of National Board standards, and ensuring alignment.  To participate in the cohort, please complete the survey monkey found under “news flash” AND the registration form found under the documents tab above.   Clock hours will be available.

Details on the 2020-21 cohort:  Click Here

 

Don’t be taken in

The Freedom Foundation (previously called the Evergreen Freedom Foundation), a known anti-union group, is trying to put a wedge between members. They have been contacting members to encourage them to drop their union membership. This is not a coincidence. They are funded by groups that are not for public education. And who is the largest advocate for public education? The Union!Read More

The Purpose of the Vancouver Education Association

The preeminent purpose of the Vancouver Education Association shall be to work for the improvement of the schools of the state and nation in general, and particularly for the improvement of the Vancouver public schools to the end that these institutions become progressively better places for the students and teachers to carry out the educational activities that are necessary for the attainment of a quality education of the children they serve.