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Statement on White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville, VA

from Karen Strickland, President of AFT Washington, AFL-CIO
The torches, Nazi salutes and flags, weapons, and racist words expressed by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend are yet more incidents signaling that institutionalized and individual racism is alive and well in our country. The terrorist act of a young man resulting in the death of Heather Heyer and the injuries of 18 others demands that we finally, fully acknowledge the extreme threat posed by white supremacy. 

Green River Employees Evaluate President's Performance




April 14, 2016                     For immediate Release

Contact: Sylvia Watson, AFT Washington, 206-261-3603 (c); 206-432-8084

Green River College Employees Evaluate the President's Performance

The faculty at Green River College today released a report detailing results of their own campus-wide performance review of President Eileen Ely. In the absence of what they would consider any meaningful evaluation of the President by the Board of Trustees, the faculty union provided all employees at the college the chance to assess her performance. Their goal was to show the President and the Board of Trustees a more comprehensive picture of her management style from the perspective of those she leads. [read full story]

Green River College Faculty Has ‘No Confidence’ in Board of Trustees, Ask Governor Inslee to Make Changes


Contact: Jamie Fitzgerald, 206-714-9976 or

Jaeney Hoeney, 253-833-9111 xt 4239

Green River College faculty has ‘No Confidence’ in Board of Trustees, ask Gov. Inslee to make changes

The faculty at Green River College has overwhelmingly approved a vote of no confidence in its board of trustees and is asking Gov. Jay Inslee to appoint new ones.

The vote was presented to the board at its Nov. 18 meeting and comes on the heels of two other votes where 92 percent of tenured faculty said they had no confidence in college President Eileen Ely.

“Our college is in a crisis of governance, and the board has been and continues to be negligent in its responsibility to ensure the college’s fulfillment of its mission,” says a faculty statement explaining its no-confidence vote. More than 80 percent of tenured faculty endorsed the vote.

The statement says the board has failed to:

  • Evaluate President Ely adequately and effectively;
  • Intervene in the face of a low and grinding morale across the campus where employees are not valued but rather harrassed, and the mission of the college is impeded;
  • Provide oversight of questionable financial operations;
  • Responsibly and respectfully communicate with faculty and address our concerns about the lack of shared governance;
  • Failed to uphold the right of free speech by providing restrictions on presenters to the board;
  • Uphold the traditional values and practices of the board which support the mission of the college;
  • Question or arrest the declining role of instruction in the operations of the college; and
  • Provide reasonable oversight regarding personnel matters.

“For these reasons, we believe the board is derelict in its oversight duties,” says the statement.

The statement asks that when current board members’ terms expire, Gov. Inslee “support union labor” by appointing trustees who understand the concerns of labor. In addition, the statement adds, “we believe the college would benefit from having more board members who represent the growing diversity and changing demographics of our service area.”

A four-page document accompanying the statement provides supporting rationale for faculty vote.


Vote of No Confidence Document


Vote of No Confidence Rationale

Strikes and shutdowns

In Los Angeles, UTLA members took to the picket lines because their schools are starved of resources. In Washington, D.C., President Trump has shut down the government to secure his border wall. In her monthly New York Times column, AFT President Randi Weingarten writes that when our elected leaders fail, whether by not funding public schools or by shutting down services that provide for our safety, they strike at the very heart of what makes us a democratic republic. Read the full column.

Struggling in a ‘strong’ economy

In her monthly New York Times column, AFT President Randi Weingarten highlights the massive gap between President Trump’s rhetoric and reality.  While the well-to-do are doing very well in the current economy, working Americans have been left behind. Weingarten demands leaders take action to benefit all Americans by ensuring accessible, affordable healthcare for all; reining in college debt; and adequately funding public education. Read the full column.

Statement by Randi Weingarten on AFT Amicus Brief Filed in Janus Supreme Court Case

On Friday, January 19, AFT filed an Amicus Brief in support of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) that lays out an argument citing the role of collective bargaining in improving public sector workplaces, repudiating plaintiff’s constitutionally flawed warping and weaponizing of the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear the case in February and make a decision by June. [read more]