The Seattle Education Association, also known as the SEA, represents nearly 5,000 education staff working for the Seattle Public Schools. This includes both certificated and classified staff and is the largest local group that is part of the Washington Education Association.
“The Seattle Education Association is the voice of school employees in Seattle, uniting members as powerful activists for professionalism, equity and integrity in public education,” according to the SEA website.
One of the biggest pieces of what the SEA handles is the collective bargaining agreement for Seattle public school educators. That is the series of negotiations that determine how much teachers will earn per year, when they will be required to take unpaid furlough days, how much sick leave they will receive and all the other important pieces of the puzzle. Teachers are busy and cannot all come negotiate on their own. That’s why the SEA is so important.
All teachers, substitutes and paraprofessionals (along with any other educator in the Seattle School District) can join if they pay dues. If they choose to join, the dues come automatically out of their paycheck each month.
Besides being an advocate in salary negotiations, the SEA gives advice about the PG & E, or the Professional Growth and Evaluation system. They also provide assistance to substitute teachers and answer all your questions.
Another benefit of membership is that they will assist you if you are ever sued on the job. Your membership entitles you to up to $25,000 in attorney fees. Hopefully you’ll never have to see that happen, though.
This year’s president is Jonathan Knapp, and the vice president is Phyllis Campano. They are looking out for the welfare of all teachers.