Raises help Highline stay on even playing field

By Mitchell Roland - Staff Reporter

State employees are in line for a pay raise after the Legislature passed a biennial budget that covers 2019 to 2021.

Before the Legislature passed the budget, faculty at colleges around the sound to make sure that their voice was being heard.

On April 16, faculty from community and technical colleges around the Seattle area rallied and protested for additional funding from the state legislature. Faculty from Highline joined by holding a virtual rally.

At the time of the rallies, the president of the Highline College Education Association Dr. James Peyton said that the rallies were to try and get additional funding for compensation, student aid and infra- structure.

In the budget that was passed by the legislature, state employees received a three per- cent cost of living adjustment statewide. State employees in King County also received an additional five percent cost of living adjustment.

"Overall, I think faculty are seeing the combined five percent and three percent as a recognition of the cost of living increase," he said.

Dr. Peyton said that when he interviews potential new faculty members, there is of- ten shock over how expensive western Washington is.

"They're kind of surprised by how much the cost of living is in our area," he said.

But even with an addition- al five percent raise for King County that the rest of the state doesn't receive, there's not necessarily an advantage when it comes to hiring. Dr. Peyton said that this additional raise "mitigates the negative."

"Without it, the king county pay for technical and community colleges is a disadvantage," he said.

Dr. Peyton said that the raises came too late to provide any impact into hiring for the next school year, but there is hope that next year there may be benefit.

"Maybe next year we might see some advantage," he said.

While the Legislature passed scholarships for low income students, they also approved a tuition increase by up to 2.4 percent at all public universities in the state.

Dr. Peyton said that "there will certainly be some price sensitive folks" that the tuition increase turns away.

"We're hoping that those particularly price sensitive students" are benefitted by scholarships, Dr. Peyton said.

With tuition increases at all public universities in the state, Dr. Peyton said that the tuition increases might cancel each other out.

"It may kind of balance out," he said. "The college will probably have to figure out a way to say what" the benefit of a college education is.

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Student Election continues

Voting for either candidate in the upcoming election can occur online between midnight on May 15 until 11:59 p.m. on May 16. You can vote at elections. highline.edu. You can also vote in person as well. Polling booths will be set up at the library entrance, Building 6 entry plaza, and at the Student Union in Building 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Election results will be post- ed on Friday at noon in Center for Leadership and Service.

Prepare for graduation

Graduating students are en- couraged to attend Grad Fair where they can accomplish many of the tasks needed to prepare for Commencement. At the Grad Fair, students can purchase commencement regalia, pick up cap & gown orders from online orders, join the Alumni Association, check in for Commencement, visit a cap decorating station, buy a class ring, get professional graduation photos taken, and celebrate with fellow graduating classmates. You can join the celebration at Building 8, 1st floor, Mt. Constance/Olympus on May 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Memorial Day Celebration

To celebrate Memorial Day, Veterans Services has arranged for the American Veterans bugler to play as a wreath is laid at the Veterans Memorial Plaza. Following the honor, Lourdes E. 'Alfie' Alvarado-Ramos, cur- rent president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs will give a speech inside Building 2. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be provided to everyone that attends. This event will take place in the Veterans Memorial Plaza & Building 2 on May 23 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Spring College Transfer Fair

If you are planning to transfer to a 4 year college or university in the future, be sure to attend this free college fair. Located in Building 8 first floor, come visit with admissions representatives from approximately 30 4 year colleges and universities. The fair is the perfect place to explore colleges and new options. Learn about the transfer process and deadlines, admissions requirements, scholarships, majors offered and more. This event will take place on May 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. can now do so. Running start and international students not eligible.

Drop-In Refugee Simulation Event

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) will facilitate a simulation event called "Passages." Passages is an educational tool designed by the United Nations organization to create a better understanding of the problems that refugees encounter during their plight. The simulation takes about 15 minutes to complete. This will take place on May 15 from noon till 2 p.m. in Building 29,room116.

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