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Statement by Karen Strickland on the Anniversary of Executive Order 9066

January 16, 2017

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." This quote, initially stated long ago either by Edmund Burke or George Santayana,  seems especially relevant today, as the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 approaches. Executive Order 9066 was President F. D. Roosevelt’s order to incarcerate roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII . . .


Governor's Education Budget Proposal a Good Start but More Investment Needed

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. 

Statement on 2015-2017 State Operating Budget

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]


"Free" Community College

January 13, 2015 | Washington News Service | Chris Thomas, Producer

SHORELINE, Wash. - It's still just an idea, but President Obama's mention of a plan to allow students to attend community college free for two years, providing they keep their grades up, is getting thumbs up from some Washington educators. Tuition at the state's community and technical colleges has risen 38 percent in the last six years. The price tag for Obama's national proposal is $60 billion over a ten-year period, and states would be required to fund one-fourth of the program. - See more at:

Exempt Staff at Seattle Community Colleges Approve Union

March 14, 2014

Seattle – Exempt employees who work at the four Seattle Community College campuses today voted 68-39 to form their own union through a secret ballot process certified by the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission in Olympia. The vote means that 156 staff who work in advising, IT, financial aid, student outreach, and other departments will be represented by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Washington. Faculty at Seattle Community Colleges are already represented by AFT Washington.


Statement on Gov. Inslee's State of the State Address

Statement on Governor Inslee’s State of the State Address
By AFT Washington President Karen Strickland

We are pleased to hear today in his State of the State Address that one of Governor Inslee’s top priorities this session is to educate every child, from early learning to higher education, and that he is backing his priority by advocating for $200 million in school funding this session.


For-Profit Colleges on the Hotseat in Congress

Aug. 6, 2012
Chris Thomas | Washington News Service

SEATTLE - A bill newly introduced in the U.S. Senate aims to curb financial aid to for-profit vocational colleges that promise a lot, and charge a lot, for specialized programs that are not accredited, and offer credits that can't be transferred to other schools.

Sandra Schroeder, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Washington, says instructors at the state-funded Community Colleges are seeing more students who already went to for-profit schools, not realizing they weren't getting what they thought they were paying for. [read full story] [link to audio version available]

South Puget Sound CC Suddenly Cuts 180 Classes from College's AA Transfer Programs

The administration at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) is slashing 180 course sections from its AA transfer program. The sections that will be eliminated are in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences – all required for a successful transfer into a four-year university. Registration for summer and fall quarter began Monday, May 23, and faculty and staff were warned that students are going to be upset as they are informed the courses they need are not available. [read more]


Legislator of the Year

Sandra Schroeder, AFT Washington President, presented Rep. Chris Reykdal (D-Olympia) with a Legislator of the Year Award for his support of higher education. Rep. Reykdal was the prime sponsor and strong advocate of HB 1631 that would provide the ability for locals to collectively bargain local funds for faculty increments for professional development and experience.

In accepting the award, Rep. Reykdal said, "“Thank you AFT members for letting me partner with you! You folks change lives every day and I am honored to be recognized by you!”

The award was given at our 76th Convention held May 13-14, 2011, in Wenatchee, WA.

Wisconsin Labor Leader to Speak About fight to Save Workers' Rights at AFT Washington Convention

May 12, 2011                                    For immediate release

Contact: Sylvia Watson, 206-261-3603 (c)

Keynote Speaker at AFT Washington Convention in Wenatchee

Bryan Kennedy, a key leader in the fight to stop Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from taking away workers’ rights in that state, will be the keynote speaker at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Washington annual convention this Friday, May 13, 6:30 p.m., at The Coast Wenatchee Hotel and Convention Center. Wisconsin’s fight to save collective bargaining has drawn national attention as hundreds of thousands of protesters have converged on their state capitol in recent months. Kennedy will share what they have been doing to stop these draconian, union-busting attempts. [more]