School will resume Thursday for Seattle’s 53,000 students after teachers who have been on strike for a week reached a tentative agreement with Washington state’s largest school district.
The Prospect Heights Education Association, the district’s teachers union and the District 23 board of education went into negotiations Tuesday night to prevent a teacher’s strike that would affect 1,570 students. Also in the deal, the district will no longer use test scores to evaluate teachers, among many other district concessions concerning everything from recess time to teacher-aide pay.
Reasonable testing: New policies to reduce the over-testing of our students.
“I hope our teachers and students got what they needed and I hope the district can pay for it all”, she said.
One of the teachers’ chief grievances is they have received no cost-of-living raise in six years despite surging living expenses in Seattle, particularly for housing, fueled largely by growth in the city’s technology sector. “The district provided raises totaling 8 percent out of local levy money”, the article said. If the leadership groups recommend approval, teachers could be back in classrooms Wednesday, with students attending school for the first time this fall as early as Thursday, and the full union membership would vote on the proposal this weekend. We intend moving forward to work as closely as we can with the union to realize the goals that we have for making the Seattle schools the best place for kids to go to school.
City-run community centers that opened its doors to more students this week quickly filled up as parents juggled day care for their children. “We think that within the current state budget there are ample opportunities to fund public charter schools with public dollars”, he said.
Some teachers and parents said they were eager to see what’s in the deal. “They deserve more”.
The Seattle City Council threw its support behind the striking teachers on Monday, passing a resolution recognizing the union. In Washington, the state legislature determines the base teacher salary, but districts can supplement it in negotiations. They will start negotiating next year’s contract in January.
Instructor salaries in Seattle vary from about $44,000 to greater than $86,000, relying on expertise and schooling.
Raises: 3 percent in first year; 2 percent in second; 4.5 percent in third (state cost-of-living raise is additional). “We’re still hopeful things can be resolved soon”, said one school board representative.
“We haven’t accepted any of their proposals”, Miller said.
After a five-day strike, Seattle teachers returned to work today as they reviewed their tentative agreement.