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 Guidance & Resources:  https://www.k12.wa.us/about-ospi/press-releases/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-resources

OSPI 2020 Distance Learning Planning Guide and Resource Tools

OSPI 2020 Guidance on Inclusionary Practices During School Closures

OPSI 2020 Learning and Grading Guidance

OSPI 2020 Supporting Multilingual/English Language Learners During School Closures

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 Resosurces:

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:

NEW!! 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

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

NBCT Information – Save the Date!

Are you considering starting (or continuing) the National Board process this year?   VEA’s cohort is offering an information session on September 9th 4:30 pm (via zoom or location TBD) to provide an overview of the process and opportunity to answer questions you may have.

NEA Member Benefits – California Casualty

NEA Members Can Win a $2,500 Academic Award from California Casualty

California Casualty’s $2,500 Academic Award is back. NEA members can enter at www.teachersacademicaward.com.

What could you do with $2,500? Previous winners have purchased important chemistry lab equipment, acquired new books, funded electronic learning systems, and paid for cultural and historical learning field trips. California Casualty, provider of the NEA Auto and Home Insurance Program since 2000, is ready to add you to the list of Academic Award recipients.

“What a wonderful blessing and opportunity. I cannot thank you enough and cannot wait to better support my students with this amazing gift,” said Lexi C., Kansas kindergarten teacher, who was able to procure interactive learning tablets to supplement reading activities. “This award means that I can get more resources for reading into my students’ hands without the financial restraints due to spending money out of my own pocket,” she added.

California special day class teacher, Elizabeth T., was extremely excited when she won the award, allowing her to buy a learning rug, iPads and a stockpile of snacks for her students. “This helps out so much,” she said. “I teach because I want to make a difference in each child’s life. I can now do things that I couldn’t do before.”

“One of my students asked why California Casualty would do this for us,” said another winner, Jennifer C. “I told him it’s because they believe in education and it is important to them,” said the Oregon first grade teacher. She purchased books for the school’s reading room, guaranteeing appropriate reading material for all grades and reading levels.

The $2,500 Academic Award from California Casualty was created in 2012 to give public K-12 educators, who use an average of $500 to $1,000 of their own funds each year, financial assistance in buying necessities for students, schools and learning projects.

“Working with educators for almost 70 years, we’ve heard over and over how much they spend preparing their classrooms and helping students,” said California Casualty Sr. Vice President Mike McCormick. “This award is one of the many ways we show support and give thanks for what they do.”

The NEA Auto and Home Insurance Program provider, California Casualty, is ready to pick up the cost for your classroom supplies and materials. NEA members hoping to win the next $2,500 Academic Award can learn all the details and enter at www.teachersacademicaward.com. The entry deadline is July 17, 2020, with a winner announced in August.

 

 

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.