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Bill aims to eliminate up-front college costs

February 16, 2014 | Lisa Baumann

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Students in Washington state could be among the first to go to college without having to worry about paying tuition up front. Instead, under a bill proposed in the House, they'd pay after leaving school in the form of a small, fixed percentage of their future income for up to 25 years. . . . The idea of former students paying as long as 25 years is just one piece of the bill that bothers Karen Strickland, president of AFT Washington, a state federation affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. [full article]

Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education

AFT Washington President Karen Strickland on the importance of a public education system that supports those who work at schools and colleges with adequate resources and professional development as well as providing the community and students with the ability to achieve their dreams.


Green River Community College Faculty Want Increase in Salaries

Seattle Times Education Blog | by Katherine Long, reporter | Nov. 22 with update on Nov. 23

More than 150 Green River Community College faculty members presented a petition to the college’s board of trustees Thursday asking that an increase in state funding be put toward a boost in faculty salaries, particularly for adjunct faculty. [read full story]

Why Is the Media Biased?

From the AFL-CIO Blog | Berry Craig, Guest Columnist

The Scoop on Media Bias

Berry Craig, recording secretary for the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO and a professor of history at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, is a former daily newspaper columnist and Associated Press columnist and currently a member of AFT Local 1360.

Why is the media so anti-union?

This old reporter-turned-history-teacher could retire if he had a dime for every time he's heard a union brother or sister ask that question. [read full article]

Faculty Fears in Washington

Inside Higher Ed | October 17, 2011

It just got easier to lay off full-time faculty members in Washington State, thanks to a declaration of financial emergency last month by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. But some faculty leaders say the board’s move is more about a power grab than saving money.

Either way, faculty members are worried about the possibility of layoffs. And some observers say other cash-strapped states could try similar maneuvers. [Read full article]

'Emergency' Decree Worries Faculty Union

The Seattle Times | 10/13/11

By Donna Gordon Blankinship
The Associated Press

The decision to declare a financial emergency at community and technical colleges is drawing concern from the union that represents faculty at the schools.

Last month's action by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges would allow individual colleges to declare their own financial emergencies and then have an easier time laying off faculty without having to adhere to some contracted job protections. (Full article).

Washington School Workers Honored for "Making a Difference Every Day"

Washington News Service | September 2, 2011

KENT, Wash. - Employees at several Washington schools are getting a national nod today as part of "Making a Difference Every Day," a campaign by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to call attention to the good things happening in classrooms around the nation despite budget cuts and layoffs. [more]

Inside Higher Ed | A Line in the Sand

June 17, 2011

As the use of adjuncts has proliferated, opponents of the practice often base their objections on social and economic justice grounds. Adjunct faculty, they say, tend to be exploited and seldom benefit from meaningful job security.

But, in a contract dispute in Washington state, those seeking to temper the use of adjuncts have focused more narrowly on what they say is another consequence of the practice: its impact on educational quality. [full article]

Seattle Times | Cuts hit classes that lead to jobs

When it comes to cutting millions of dollars out of state community- and technical-college budgets this spring, perhaps the most vexing issue is that the very programs that could kick-start new careers won't be available for all the students who want to enroll.

The Legislature last month sliced $84 million from the community- and technical-college budgets for the next biennium, while authorizing 12 percent-a-year tuition increases for the next two years. [read full article]

Seattle PI-online | Claws come out as community college faculty, students protest budget cuts

The faculty at Seattle community colleges are fighting back with everything they have -- including a hoard of fashion design students.

That's who packed the halls at Seattle Central Community College Wednesday afternoon, toting bright signs warning that Seattle might go naked if the college's apparel design program falls victim to Washington state's ever-shrinking budget. [read full article]