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Paraeducator

Become a Paraeducator!

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Position Overview:

Historically, "paraeducator" has been a broad term used in K-12 education settings. It could mean a teaching assistant in the classroom, an educator working with special needs students and helping close the achievement gap, a playground monitor, and many other specialized education support roles. Increasingly the field of para-education has become more recognized as a profession involving highly trained and capable educators who implement curriculum designed by certificated staff (teachers). Recently, Washington State has recognized the critical role of the paraeducator in the educational system and has professionalized it by establishing paraeducator standards and requirements for basic training to work as a paraeducator. Due to teacher shortages, there is very high interest in providing paraeducators with more professional development through standards trainings and creation of a streamlined pipeline leading into the teaching (certificated) role.


Special Education:

Special Education is a specialized field working with students with unique needs. It sometimes takes place in a small group or 1:1 setting with students. Some examples of essential knowledge and/or skills for these specialized paraeducator positions include, but are not limited to, the following:             

  • Willingness to feed and attend to student hygiene care/needs (i.e. diapering/toileting).
  • Implement positive behavior intervention strategies.
  • Implement emergency protocols.
  • Willingness to be trained in Aversion Therapy techniques.
  • Assess emergent situations and intervene to defuse situations using conflict resolution, crisis intervention, restraints, or assisting staff as appropriate and as trained.
  • Lifting requirements may be greater than 50 pounds in middle school/high school environment. Training should be provided by the employer on proper lifting techniques or training on lift equipment.


Benefits:  

When the position you are applying for is a good union job, that means it is covered by a collectively bargained agreement (CBA) between the employees covered by the CBA and their employer. It contains certain rights and responsibilities of employers and employees and guarantees certain processes and procedures such as how extra hours are assigned to staff, overtime, paid holidays, paid vacation, and paid sick leave accrual and use. It also covers workplace specific standards and practices for safety and other working conditions not covered by federal, state, or local laws. In addition to the benefits guaranteed in a union collective bargaining agreement, the following union negotiated benefits are provided to eligible employees (additional benefits may also available, depending on the employer): 

K-12 employees who are anticipated to work at least 630 hours in a school year are eligible for medical, dental, vision, LTD, and life insurance through the School Employees Benefit Board (SEBB). In addition, employees working at least 70 hours per month for at least 5 months are required to enroll in the Washington State Department of Retirement System (DRS).

If it is not clear in the job description, be sure to confirm with the employer if the position you are applying for is covered by a union contract, making it a good union job.


Minimum Requirements:

Minimum employment requirements for paraeducators are established by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) of Washington State. Click here to see minimum employment requirements.

Typical job requirements for working in the education field also apply. Before hiring, you must pass a background test and be able to provide documentation of compliance with all state, local, or employer vaccination requirements. 

To be successful, continued professional development and training is important in the profession. 

 

Standards:

Professional Educator Standards Board Paraeducator Standards

 

Resources:

What We Do Matters

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

OSPI Background Check information


More Information:

If you are a current PSE union member, CONNECT with others in this field in the job classification community. Go to the online community and search for a topic of interest to you to see if it has been discussed. If not, feel free to create a new discussion and ask questions about your work and look for feedback from your peers. Be sure to subscribe to the community by going into your profile/settings.

CLICK HERE to CONNECT with other paraeducators!

 

Transportation - Bus Driver

Become a Bus Driver!

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Position Overview:

Transporting students to and from school safely and on-time is crucial to the public education mission. Bus drivers have a great impact on students as they are the first and last person to greet students on the first day and every day of the school year. The effect on students starting and ending their school day with a positive mindset can’t be under emphasized. Getting to know the students you serve and helping nudge them in a positive direction will have a great impact on their education and their lives.


Benefits:

When the position you are applying for is a good union job, that means it is covered by a collectively bargained agreement (CBA) between the employees covered by the CBA and their employer. It contains certain rights and responsibilities of employers and employees and guarantees certain processes and procedures such as how extra hours are assigned to staff, overtime, paid holidays, paid vacation, and paid sick leave accrual and use. It also covers workplace specific standards and practices for safety and other working conditions not covered by federal, state, or local laws. In addition to the benefits guaranteed in a union collective bargaining agreement, the following union negotiated benefits are provided to eligible employees (additional benefits may also available, depending on the employer): 

K-12 employees who are anticipated to work at least 630 hours in a school year are eligible for medical, dental, vision, LTD, and life insurance through the School Employees Benefit Board (SEBB). In addition, employees working at least 70 hours per month for at least 5 months are required to enroll in the Washington State Department of Retirement System (DRS).  

If it is not clear in the job description, be sure to confirm with the employer if the position you are applying for is covered by a union contract, making it a good union job.


Minimum Requirements:

Safely transporting students to and from schools is a big responsibility. As a result, the requirements for working in transportation can seem daunting at first. However, there is currently a bus driver shortage and so employers are frequently willing to pay the costs for someone they hire to obtain their licensing requirements (see below). Now is a great time to get into the transportation field while demand is high.


  • Background check.
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) physical.
  • First Aid training.
  • Five year Department of Licensing (DOL) abstract.
  • Required Certified Drivers License (CDL). See links under standards section below for a complete list of requirements.
  • Typical job requirements for working in the education field apply. Before hiring, you must provide documentation of compliance with all state, local, or employer vaccination requirements. You will need to submit to random drug testing (if you drive/operate vehicles/machinery) once employed. 
  • To be successful, job-training is important in the profession. 


Standards:

Uniform Commercial Drivers License Act – RCW 46.25

Grounds for Disqualification of CDL – RCW 46.25.090


Resources:

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

OSPI Background Check information

OSPI Student Publications and Bulletins


More Information:

If you are a current PSE union member, CONNECT with others in this field in the job classification community. Go to the Transportation online community and search for a topic of interest to you to see if it has been discussed. If not, feel free to create a new discussion and ask questions about your work and look for feedback from your peers. Be sure to subscribe to the community by going into your profile/settings.

CLICK HERE to CONNECT with other transportation members!

Office Professional

Become an Office Professional!

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Position Overview:

Supporting the administration of the educational system is a complex but rewarding career. These positions span a broad range of specific duties depending on the needs of the employer. They may include working with Human Resources, senior school administrators such as principles, student counselors, and other professionals engaged in the day-to-day administration.


Benefits:

When the position you are applying for is a good union job, that means it is covered by a collectively bargained agreement (CBA) between the employees covered by the CBA and their employer. It contains certain rights and responsibilities of employers and employees and guarantees certain processes and procedures such as how extra hours are assigned to staff, overtime, paid holidays, paid vacation, and paid sick leave accrual and use. It also covers workplace specific standards and practices for safety and other working conditions not covered by federal, state, or local laws. In addition to the benefits guaranteed in a union collective bargaining agreement, the following union negotiated benefits are provided to eligible employees (additional benefits may also available, depending on the employer)

K-12 employees who are anticipated to work at least 630 hours in a school year are eligible for medical, dental, vision, LTD, and life insurance through the School Employees Benefit Board (SEBB). In addition, employees working at least 70 hours per month for at least 5 months are required to enroll in the Washington State Department of Retirement System (DRS).

Higher Education employees are state employees. Employees working more than .50 FTE (20 hours per week) are eligible for medical, dental, vision, LTD, and life insurance through the Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB). In addition, employees working at least 70 hours per month for at least 5 months are required to enroll in the Washington State Department of Retirement System (DRS)

If it is not clear in the job description, be sure to confirm with the employer if the position you are applying for is covered by a union contract, making it a good union job.


Minimum Requirements:

As a result of the broad range of duties that a specific position may entail, there are a variety of broad skill sets that employers will look for. These may include, technical skills working with Microsoft Office/Outlook or Google based software (spreadsheets, word processing, scheduling, etc.). The ability to be organized (and help others be organized) is extremely valuable, as well as the ability to be self-directed and have problem solving/critical thinking abilities. Office Professionals also need to have the ability to communicate verbally and in writing while effectively working with diverse groups of people. Typical job requirements for working in the education field also apply. Before hiring, you must pass a background test and be able to provide documentation of compliance with all state, local, or employer vaccination requirements. You will need to submit to random drug testing (if you drive/operate vehicles/machinery) once employed. 

To be successful, job-training is important in the profession. 


Standards:

Standards for this position are job dependent. Generally there are not standards per se, other than competence in carrying out specific responsibilities effectively and efficiently. Specialized areas of practice or knowledge areas may have standards.


Resources:

Microsoft 365 Training Suite - Free

American Society of Administrative Professionals

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

OSPI Background Check information


More Information:

If you are a current PSE union member, CONNECT with others in this field in the job classification community. Go to the online community and search for a topic of interest to you to see if it has been discussed.  If not, feel free to create a new discussion and ask questions about your work and look for feedback from your peers. Be sure to subscribe to the community by going into your profile/settings.

CLICK HERE to CONNECT with other office professionals!

Custodial

Become a Custodian!

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Position Overview:

Environmental Service workers do more than clean bathrooms. They are custodians of the physical learning space in K-12 and higher education. They function to not only keep things clean but to provide a line of defense against the transmission of viruses, colds, and other transmissible diseases. Depending on where they work, they are often integral to the maintenance, repair, and replacement of systems and the physical assets in the workplace. They are also often the eyes and ears of the school, helping students, teachers, and administrators in a variety of ways not typically listed in the job description.


Benefits:  

When the position you are applying for is a good union job, that means it is covered by a collectively bargained agreement (CBA) between the employees covered by the CBA and their employer. It contains certain rights and responsibilities of employers and employees and guarantees certain processes and procedures such as how extra hours are assigned to staff, overtime, paid holidays, paid vacation, and paid sick leave accrual and use. It also covers workplace specific standards and practices for safety and other working conditions not covered by federal, state, or local laws. In addition to the benefits guaranteed in a union collective bargaining agreement, the following union negotiated benefits are provided to eligible employees (additional benefits may also available, depending on the employer):

K-12 employees who are anticipated to work at least 630 hours in a school year are eligible for medical, dental, vision, LTD, and life insurance through the School Employees Benefit Board (SEBB). In addition, employees working at least 70 hours per month for at least 5 months are required to enroll in the Washington State Department of Retirement System (DRS).

Higher Ed employees are state employees. Employees working more than .50 FTE (20 hours per week) are eligible for medical, dental, vision, LTD, and life insurance through the Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB). In addition, employees working at least 70 hours per month for at least 5 months are required to enroll in the Washington State Department of Retirement System (DRS)

If it is not clear in the job description, be sure to confirm with the employer if the position you are applying for is covered by a union contract, making it a good union job. 


Minimum Requirements:

Besides typical job requirements in the educational setting, there are no special requirements for entry level positions in this field. 

Typical job requirements for working in the education field apply. Before hiring, you must pass a background test and be able to provide documentation of compliance with all state, local, or employer vaccination requirements. You will need to submit to random drug testing (if you drive/operate vehicles/machinery) once employed. 

To be successful, job-training is important in the profession. 


Standards:

ISSA - International Sanitary Supply Association/Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association


Resources:

International Sanitary Supply Association

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

OSPI Background Check information


More Information:

If you are a current PSE union member, CONNECT with others in this field in the job classification community. Go to the online community and search for a topic of interest to you to see if it has been discussed.  If not, feel free to create a new discussion and ask questions about your work and look for feedback from your peers. Be sure to subscribe to the community by going into your profile/settings.

CLICK HERE to CONNECT with other custodians!

Child Nutrition

Work in Child Nutrition/Food Services!

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Position Overview:

Providing learners with nutritious meals and helping develop healthy eating habits is crucial to academic outcomes. As a food services professional, you will play an important role in helping learners have the nutrition they need to be successful at school. Food preparation, meal planning, and distribution and logistics are a few examples of the kinds of expertise you will develop in this field. This field can be part-time allowing for personal flexibility. Some individuals find that they can work in this field and take a second part-time position working in transportation.


Benefits: 

When the position you are applying for is a good union job, that means it is covered by a collectively bargained agreement (CBA) between the employees covered by the CBA and their employer. It contains certain rights and responsibilities of employers and employees and guarantees certain processes and procedures such as how extra hours are assigned to staff, overtime, paid holidays, paid vacation, and paid sick leave accrual and use. It also covers workplace specific standards and practices for safety and other working conditions not covered by federal, state, or local laws. In addition to the benefits guaranteed in a union collective bargaining agreement, the following union negotiated benefits are provided to eligible employees (additional benefits may also available, depending on the employer):

K-12 employees who are anticipated to work at least 630 hours in a school year are eligible for medical, dental, vision, LTD, and life insurance through the School Employees Benefit Board (SEBB). In addition, employees working at least 70 hours per month for at least 5 months are required to enroll in the Washington State Department of Retirement System (DRS).  

If it is not clear in the job description, be sure to confirm with the employer if the position you are applying for is covered by a union contract, making it a good union job.


Minimum Requirements:

Most positions in Food Services require a food handlers permit and a basic knowledge of federal standards for school nutrition programs. There are no other significant barriers to entry in this work other than those typical of working in education field. To be successful, job-training is important in the profession.

Typical job requirements for working in the education field also apply. Before hiring, you must pass a background test and be able to provide documentation of compliance with all state, local, or employer vaccination requirements. You will need to submit to random drug testing (if you drive/operate vehicles/machinery) once employed. 


Standards:

US Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Service – Standards for School Nutrition Programs

See training related content on the page linked above.


Resources:

US Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Service

Food Handers Permits – contact your local county/city Department of Health.

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

OSPI Background Check information


More Information:

If you are a current PSE union member, CONNECT with others in this field in the job classification community. Go to the Child Nutrition online community and search for a topic of interest to you to see if it has been discussed. If not, feel free to create a new discussion and ask questions about your work and look for feedback from your peers. Be sure to subscribe to the community by going into your profile/settings.

CLICK HERE to CONNECT with other child nutrition members!

Maintenance/Mechanic/Electrician/HVAC

Work in Maintenance! (Mechanics, Electricians, HVAC, and more):

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Position Overview: 

These positions typically work on maintaining physical plants, and/or systems, and/or work on employer motor pool vehicles, and/or busses.  

HVAC technicians work on installing, maintaining, and managing HVAC systems in physical plants and buildings. 

These can be some of the highest paid staff positions working in education.

 

Benefits: 

When the position you are applying for is a good union job, that means it is covered by a collectively bargained agreement (CBA) between the employees covered by the CBA and their employer. It contains certain rights and responsibilities of employers and employees and guarantees certain processes and procedures such as how extra hours are assigned to staff, overtime, paid holidays, paid vacation, and paid sick leave accrual and use. It also covers workplace specific standards and practices for safety and other working conditions not covered by federal, state, or local laws.  In addition to the benefits guaranteed in a union collective bargaining agreement, the following union negotiated benefits are provided to eligible employees (additional benefits may also available, depending on the employer):

K-12 employees who are anticipated to work at least 630 hours in a school year are eligible for medical, dental, vision, LTD, and life insurance through the School Employees Benefit Board (SEBB). In addition, employees working at least 70 hours per month for at least 5 months are required to enroll in the Washington State Department of Retirement System (DRS).

Higher Ed employees are state employees. Employees working more than .50 FTE (20 hours per week) are eligible for medical, dental, vision, LTD, and life insurance through the Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB). In addition, employees working at least 70 hours per month for at least 5 months are required to enroll in the Washington State Department of Retirement System (DRS)

If it is not clear in the job description, be sure to confirm with the employer if the position you are applying for is covered by a union contract, making it a good union job.

 

Minimum Requirements:

A wide range of skills and certifications are useful when applying for these positions. It is important to match your certifications and professional experience with the actual position being hired.

A class B Commercial Drivers Permit is frequently required for mechanics working in fleet or bus garages. Normally employers typically provide financial assistance in obtaining this, so already having one or being studied up and prepared to get one successfully quickly can be an advantage. See the transportation career description on this page for additional information on CDL and other requirements.

Typical job requirements for working in the education field apply. Before hiring, you must pass a background check, fingerprinting per WAC Chapter 392-144 (drug disclosure, fingerprinting) and be able to provide documentation of compliance with all state, local, or employer vaccination requirements. You will need to submit to random drug testing (if you drive/operate vehicles/machinery) once employed. 

To be successful, job-training is important in the profession.  Maintenance

 

Standards:

HVAC/Mechanical/Electrical Standards Training

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)

Uniform Commercial Drivers License Act – RCW 46.25

Grounds for Disqualification of CDL – RCW 46.25.090


Resources:

TPC Physical, Mechanical Training Courses

OSPI Background Check information

OSPI Student Publications and Bulletins

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

 

More Information:

If you are a current PSE union member, CONNECT with others in this field in the job classification community. Go to the online community and search for a topic of interest to you to see if it has been discussed. If not, feel free to create a new discussion and ask questions about your work and look for feedback from your peers. Be sure to subscribe to the community by going into your profile/settings.

CLICK HERE to CONNECT with other maintenance members!