March and April 2019

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Escalate, Escalate, ESCALATE!

It’s time to escalate! Legislators are hammering away at policy and making amazing progress on a slew of great bills. What they haven’t been focused on is funding our colleges and finding new revenue. This process is nothing new. In budget years, they work through policy first, having small conversations on the budget, up until policy cutoffs are all completed. We knew this would happen and we anticipated how those conversations would go, but frankly, we expected more support from the people we helped put into office.

That’s ok, we’ll just become annoyingly LOUD.

We’ve been doing great work in getting down to Olympia every week and having very frank conversations about what being the forgotten middle child of education has done to our colleges, and Washington’s education system as a whole. We’ve been honest and clear about the struggles of our membership and how we can barely function anymore without more funding. They’ve heard our stories, but they haven’t taken any action. They’re sympathetic, and they support us, but they just can’t help us. At least, not without mass action.

It’s time to become a nuisance, so that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to show up to town halls and ask hard questions, we’ll bombard their offices with calls, emails, and postcards, we’ll show up in Olympia and picket in their backyard. We can even walk out and shut our schools down. You know, since the CTCs aren’t worth investing in anyways, according to legislators’ actions.

Want to take part? Check in with your local’s leadership, your Union Organizing Representative, or reach out directly to me, Sandra Toussaint, your political organizer, and we’ll get you set up with actions your local is doing. In the meantime, put these two events on your calendar.

March 16th we’re going to Frank Chopp’s town hall to ask those hard questions. Chopp represents the 43rd district, and he is the Speaker of the House. We need to pressure him, so show up in your AFT blue!

March 27th we’re going to Olympia! We’ll be picketing at the State Capitol for more funding, then we’ll head over to the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges meeting, where some of our adjunct members are presenting on the progress (or lack thereof), of the Part-Time Best Practices Work Group.