Seattle Colleges faculty join statewide walkout demanding pay equity, funding for community colleges

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SEATTLE — Faculty in the Seattle Colleges District joined a statewide walkout on Tuesday to demand the state legislature to fund pay equity in the state’s community colleges and technical schools.

Rallies were held across Seattle at the North Seattle, Seattle Central and South Seattle Colleges, leading to a protest outside the SCD’s Seigal Center.

In a survey. 85% of Seattle Colleges faculty said their current wages in the district are less than what they would earn if they quit their job and went to work in their industry, according to AFT Seattle Local 1789, which represents the SCD faculty.

“I’ve been Seattle Colleges faculty since 2006. I drive a twenty-four-year-old car, I shop almost exclusively at Goodwill, and I hold two additional jobs in order to live in the community where I work. Our compensation demands aren’t preposterous,” said Shireen Deboo, a faculty librarian at North Seattle College, in a news release.

The statewide walkout intended to put pressure on the state legislature to invest in community and technical colleges. Funding fair wage adjustments for all faculty and staff and providing more counseling and financial support for students are some of the educators’ demands.

Faculty at community and technical colleges in Olympia, Lynnwood and Tacoma also participated in the day of action.