Announcements‎ > ‎

Message from Mary

posted May 1, 2012, 3:38 PM by Joseph Vellegas
While our elementary and middle school educators shift their attention to testing this time of year, we at WEA headquarters are focused on the Association's upcoming annual Representative Assembly.

This year nearly 1,000 members will converge on Spokane May 17-19. Elected by members in our local schools, these delegates represent you. They will vote on an array of issues, from housekeeping items to calls for an end to excessive testing. Exactly what all those issues will be won't be known until noon on Friday, May 18, the deadline for submission of action items.

Find out who your representatives are -- and find out if they will be tweeting or posting on Facebook their impressions of what is happening during the RA. Encourage them to keep you informed. (I hope to steal a few minutes from the action to post on Facebook and tweet a few messages myself.)

Your representatives will have a direct impact on WEA policy. In addition to voting on issues raised, any delegate can submit a New Business Item, a continuing Resolution or a Constitution & Bylaws amendment, or submit a change to the Standing Rules which govern the RA.

A New Business Item, or NBI, directs WEA to do something. Last year RA delegates voted on more than 25 NBIs, ranging from recommendations for local bargaining to calling for a statewide strike (that was amended). For each NBI that passes, WEA presents an annual report on progress made on the NBI.

A Continuing Resolution expresses beliefs or positions of the Association on topics such as testing or member rights. These resolutions guide WEA leaders throughout the year as we are asked to support causes and legislation that is not part of our legislative agenda. I am particularly proud of our very strong statements on civil and human rights issues.

In addition to voting on these issues, delegates will also hear from the lead attorney in the successful state Supreme Court case on school funding. He'll explain what we won and what remains to be achieved in this monumental decision.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, Jay Inslee, our endorsed gubernatorial candidate, and John Stocks, NEA's executive director (and Evergreen State College graduate), will all speak to delegates. On Saturday morning at the WEA-PAC meeting (open to all WEA-PAC members even if you aren't a delegate), we'll also have the privilege of listening to Ohio Education Association President Pat Frost-Brooks.

Our Representative Assembly is a jam-packed, two-and-a-half days critical to our Association's work in the coming year. And it's a vital part of our democratic and representative system!

-- WEA President Mary Lindquist.