Seattle School Teachers Ratify Contract Negotiated During Strike

That would be on top of the 4.8 percent cost-of-living increase approved by the Washington State Legislature.


Negotiators for the teachers union and the Seattle school district had reached a tentative agreement on Tuesday.

The Seattle Education Association’s representative assembly then voted to suspend their strike pending the results of an all-union vote, which allowed students to return to classes last Thursday.

Six days of school will have to be rescheduled, which the district said could extend the school year or shorten midyear vacation breaks.

“A lot of us (parents) are trying to take the energy from the strike and turn it toward Olympia”, he said of the state Capitol, adding that they want to pressure lawmakers to find a consistent revenue stream.

After the vote, union President Jonathan Knapp said he wanted to reiterate what a “groundbreaking and far-reaching contract this was”.

“From day one of this bargain, it’s been about putting our students first”, said Michael Tamayo, an elementary teacher and member of the SEA Bargaining Team.

Members of the Seattle Education Association that comprises teachers and support staff, agreed upon the three-year deal in Sunday’s meeting. The sides hammered out a deal early Tuesday following an overnight bargaining session, but teachers remained on the picket line as they waited to learn specifics of the deal. Some $37 million of that will go to Seattle. “I think if we held out any longer, they would’ve started taking stuff off the table”.

The teachers had demanded student “equity teams” in every school to reduce the disparity in suspensions and other discipline that falls disproportionaterly on African American, Latino, Native American Indian and other students of color. Teachers in Kelso are actually on strike, and teachers in Pasco and South Whidbey got strike more quickly and this month though have because of the fact that decided such a agreements.

Sarah Arvey, a special-education teacher at Hamilton worldwide Middle School, said that means each teacher will have responsibilities – such as coordinating schedules, writing education plans and working with other educators – for more students. “There are things that are too good to keep negotiating”.

Johnson said he was a little nervous about school starting because the full union membership was not voting until Sunday.


“We’ve been telling people, ‘If you don’t show up, you don’t get to complain, ‘?”

6th Grade Chicago Public School Student