WEA Chinook Organizer Position
WEA Chinook Organizing Plan
WEA Chinook faces a number of challenges in the coming years. Our size, geography, number
of locals, lack of release time leaders, and high advocacy workload have left little time for
organizing and membership structure-building in the Council. After riding the wave of
McCleary money, we will need to dedicate time and resources to thoughtful structure-building
in the post- Janus era in order to maintain membership and capitalize on the strength of our
WEA Chinook currently represents 6,025 members and approximately 193 potential members.
Since the Janus ruling, Chinook has lost approximately 48 members, and no member who has
dropped has returned to union membership.
We are unsure of our potential membership numbers because we do not have a structure in
place to build accurate member lists in each worksite; nor do we have consistent practices
regarding new hire orientations. We also do not have active, trained membership leads in most
locals. If many of our locals were to have a membership or bargaining crisis, we do not have
identified, trained member-leads in each worksite.
Only three locals out of 50 have presidents with daily release time; 47 local presidents have no
daily release time to work on organizing. Each WEA staff person assigned to Chinook
represents, on average, over 1500 members in 12 locals in 6 counties. Our WEA organizer works
over 4 councils, representing 20,000 members. Simply put, there are not enough people with
enough time to make structured organizing and leader identification happen.
Membership Building Opportunities
• Capacity to build on the incredible bargaining gains made in WEA Chinook over the past year
• A dedicated core team of governance and staff
• A strong history and culture of union membership
• A number of contested school board elections, including Jami Lund’s position on the Centralia school board
• Commitment of resources by WEA to the Council (emeritus staff, funds, pilot of a worksite inventory project)
Benefits of Strategic Organizing and
• Local presidents will be able to build capacity, decrease their workload, and increase union relevancy in their locals
• Newly identified member-leaders can assist with membership drives, WEA PAC drives, and building-level advocacy and organizing
• Development of an organizing culture in a post-Janus world
• Locals will be prepared to tackle hard bargains and difficult school/district leadership
• Pro-union, pro-public education school board members
• Higher political activism by WEA Chinook members
• Increased membership and WEA PAC numbers
• Stronger locals with stronger contracts
Release Time Member Organizer Proposal and Timeline
Temporary Member Organizer - August 2019 through June 2019
WEA and WEA Chinook will support one member-leader from within the Chinook UniServ
Council who will be released for the school year to work in Council locals. The Member
Organizer will report to Mary Howes, WEA Advocacy and Organizing Manager.
The Member Organizer will focus on the goal of identifying leaders in targeted worksites within
certain locals. Chinook staff will work with the member organizer to concentrate on geographic
areas or clusters that need a stronger organizational structure. We will triage the locals and
focus on our most vulnerable mid-size locals or locals where we would have the most likelihood of success.
The Member Organizer will be focused primarily on identifying building worksite leaders who
can be trained to be membership and organizing leads. Worksites will be mapped out with the
help of local leaders. A structure to build and maintain membership lists will be initiated with a
strong emphasis on building a process and structure that can be sustained in the future - making
certain that all new and former members are invited to join the union.
A component of the Chinook Organizing plan is to build stronger engagement with members of
color and within historically marginalized and underrepresented groups of people. The Member
Organizer will assist the council in this work, helping the Association build power within a bias-free and equitable framework.
Our goal is to have two or more identified, trained membership/ organizing leads in each worksite by June 15, 2020.
The Chinook UniServ Council is seeking a temporary Member Organizer to help the Council in meeting
the goals and objectives outlined in the plan above. The ideal candidate’s experience, skills and abilities
should include, but are not limited to:
✓ Commitment to unionism and building power at the local building level
✓ Demonstrated ability to build and maintain effective working relationships with members across
the Council and its Locals
✓ Demonstrated ability and experience working with diverse groups of people, including people
from historically underrepresented groups
✓ Experience with and/or leading organizing campaigns within a local association
✓ Ability to identify and target key geographical areas and worksites within the Council and work
within those areas to accomplish our organizing plan goals and objectives
✓ Ability to identify building leaders in targeted work sites and engage members in the work of the association
✓ Ability to collect, review and assess data in the course of organizing work to meet objectives and
to ensure the most productive use of Council and WEA resources
✓ The Member Organizer will need outstanding teamwork skills and abilities, be an effective
communicator, and possess a strong work ethic
✓ The ideal candidate will possess the ability to multi-task and manage a number of competing
interests in the course of the work
✓ Ability to effectively use Microsoft Office Suite, draft reports and correspondence, and be able to
learn new technology as required
✓ The Member Organizer is expected to understand and utilize social media to help accomplish
goals and objectives
✓ Frequent travel and long hours are anticipated and expected, and will include evenings and
weekends as necessary
✓ Knowledge of/or experience working and advocating on behalf of members; bargaining team experience is a plus
✓ Other duties as assigned consistent with the identified goals and objectives of our organizing plan
The preferred candidate will need to seek release from their respective school district position from
August 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, and the Council will assist in those negotiations with the District.
During this time period, the Member Organizer will be paid as a Level 5, Step 2 Organizer in accordance
with the 2017-2021 WEA/WEASO Collective Bargaining Agreement. Currently, the annual salary is
$103,029 and will increase to $106,120 effective September 1, 2019. Please note that if selected, you will
continue to receive your district salary and benefits but also receive the difference between the district
salary (salary only) and the salary provided at Level 5, Step 2 of the WEA/WEASO Collective Bargaining
Agreement. Additional details will be discussed with the candidate selected as the Member Organizer.
The Washington Education Association is an equal employment opportunity employer. It is
the desire of the Washington Education Association to interview applicants from an
applicant/interview pool that reflects the diversity of the greater community for each vacancy
as it occurs.
How to Apply
Applicants from within the Chinook UniServ Council must apply by 5 PM on July 30, 2019.
Applicants must forward - via email - a cover letter, resume and the names and contact information of
three (3) professional references to:
Karen Knight, Human Resource Generalist
Washington Education Association
Or by mail to:
Karen Knight, Human Resource Generalist
Washington Education Association
PO BOX 9100
Federal Way, WA 98063-9100