Website washingtonea Washington Education Association

About

The Washington Education Association (WEA) is a union that elevates the collective voice of professional public school educators to best serve the students of Washington state.

Our mission is to advocate for excellence, inclusion and a racially equitable public school system for all students, staff, and communities.

Our vision is to ensure outstanding public schools for every student in Washington state.

From Walla Walla to Winthrop, Bellevue to Bellingham, Snohomish, Soap Lake, Seattle, Spokane and every county, town and city in between, we represent employees in nearly every public school district in Washington. We are the professionals to whom our community entrusts its students every day. We nurture minds and bodies so they grow to be productive contributors in our changing society.

We negotiate strong contracts that lay out our rights, our responsibilities and how to handle disputes fairly. We listen to one another to make sure we receive the pay and benefits we need to take care of ourselves and our families and to stay sane in our busy professions. We stand by one another to make sure our employment rights are honored and respected. We work together to address workplace concerns, ensure fair evaluations and keep workloads and working conditions safe and reasonable. As a union, we offer opportunities for everyone  to grow so we can help our students do the same.

Job Summary 

The General Counsel is responsible for supervising, directing, and implementing the Washington Education Association legal program and strategy for WEA staff and governance, UniServ Councils, and Local Associations.

Benefits and Compensation:  

  • Salary range – $225,000 to $235,000, commensurate with experience
  • Employer-paid medical, dental, vision, and life insurance (full family coverage)
  • Generous sick and paid time off (PTO)
  • Long-term disability plan
  • Defined Contribution plan – 401(k) (with employer contribution)
  • Defined Benefit plan
  • Relocation assistance

Responsibilities:

  • Organizational Management: Manage the day-to-day operations and finances, supervise and support staff assigned, and ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
    • Provide direction of WEA’s legal program in conjunction with the National Education Association (NEA) Dushane requirements, federal, state and local law, regulations and rules.
    • Advise the WEA elected leadership, the Executive Committee, the WEA Board of Directors, and other WEA entities as needed on legal matters, including interpretations of both Federal and State Law, i.e., provisions under the Revised Code of Washington Title 28A.
    • Advise and may represent WEA management on matters of employee-employer relations with the Washington Education Association Staff Organization (WEASO), including in grievance, arbitrations, and possible unfair labor practices.
    • Review and approve billable hours of network attorneys.
    • Maintain records of all legal action and administrative matters involving legal counsel.
    • May coordinate investigations of financial and/or legal matters in conjunction with other WEA Directors.
    • Manage the budget for the department from NEA for litigation and coordinate efforts with NEA on jointly funded litigation.
    • Work with other directors and staff on training programs for WEA employees and members concerning legal issues; develop and distribute publications on members’ legal rights.
    • Serve as a representative of WEA in working with other agencies and community groups to promote the mission, goals, and core values of the WEA.
    • Serve as a member of the WEA Management Team.
    • Serve on and advise WEA work teams and committees.
    • Stay informed on developments in the law related to education employees’ rights, labor law, campaign finance, public disclosure law, and school law; conduct legal research on new and/or emerging legal issues and/or challenges.
    • Recommend department employment; assign, supervise, direct, and coordinate the work of WEA Staff Attorneys, Paralegals, Legal Assistants, and Legal Interns as needed.
  • Collaboration: Build and maintain productive relationships with partner organizations, other unions, and advocacy groups that share common goals.
  • Representing Affiliates:
    • Evaluate the feasibility of requested legal assistance provided to WEA members, staff, UniServ Councils, and Local Affiliations.
    • Advise the WEA Representative Assembly (RA) regarding legal interpretations of WEA RA New Business Items, resolutions, and WEA policy.
    • Act as legal representative of the WEA to outside agencies, private, and public in legal matters.
    • Represent, advise, and/or assign retained counsel to represent and advise members and affiliate associations before administrative and judicial tribunals.
    • Monitor and ensure the WEA, UniServ, and Local Associations’ compliance with all aspects of state and federal campaign finance laws, and other regulatory requirements that pertain to non-profit organizations.
    • Provide assistance to WEA, UniServ, and Local Association governance and staff regarding proper reporting and compliance.
    • Monitor the WEA’s expenditures to ensure compliance with various regulatory and other legal requirements.
    • Provide assistance to and oversight of UniServ and local Associations to ensure expenditures are in compliance with legal requirements.
    • Provide assistance and counsel to WEA, UniServ, and Local Association staff and governance regarding school employee and Association rights.
    • Other duties as determined by the Executive Director.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Licensed to practice law in the state of Washington or ability to become licensed in the state of Washington within one (1) year of hire.
  • Seven (7) years demonstrated success as a General Counsel or advising an organizational client in a labor and/or education setting.
  • Experience directing and managing a legal office and staff.
  • Demonstrated experience representing labor organizations and/or in a public education setting.
  • Experience with word processing software and legal research programs.
  • Must support and help advance the WEA mission, goals, core values, and priorities.

To thrive in this role, candidates will bring a high degree of interpersonal skills to build cooperative workplace relationships, while being a strong advocate for racial, social and economic justice from a legal and organizational perspective. They are a clear communicator who has the ability to manage staff to meet multiple deadlines and be a leader during high pressure situations. They demonstrate a high level of being detail and deadline oriented.

Other Requirements: 

  • Must have a valid Washington State driver’s license in good standing, a dependable automobile for Association related travel, and proof of automobile insurance with liability limits of at least $100,000/$300,000.
  • In-state and out-of-state travel may be required.

COVID-19 Vaccination 

As part of our commitment to the health and safety of our employees, members, and councils, all candidates must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status upon hire. Exceptions may be made for medical or religious reasons in accordance with applicable laws.

Supervision

The General Counsel will report to the Washington Education Association Executive Director.

How to Apply: 

  • If you are invited to an interview, you will receive an email from SkillSurvey with instructions and a link on how-to submit your five (5) professional references.
  • Closing date is July 31, 2024, at 4:00pm PT.

The Washington Education Association is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace where the contributions of each employee are respected as part of the work performed on behalf of 90,000+ members in public education. WEA embraces employees with varied backgrounds and life experiences, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, and veteran status. Only those candidates who can commit to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusiveness need apply.

To apply for this job please visit washingtonea.bamboohr.com.