Washington Teachers Still on Strike, Though Some Have Reached a Tentative Agreement
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – September, 6
The current number of Seattle's six school districts experiencing teachers strikes is the highest it has been since 1983, as educators demand higher pay following a newly developed school funding formula, according to the Washington Education Association which represents teachers during contract negotiations claims. It also says that there have been a total of 104 teacher strikes in Washington state over the years.
Classrooms across Washington state sat empty this week, as teachers in several districts went on strike when negotiations over salaries and benefits failed to result in contracts by the first day of school. Teachers voted to strike if a contract deal is not reached between the local union and the state's largest school district. The union is demanding higher salaries, more professional development for paraprofessionals, and health-care benefits for substitute teachers, reports the Seattle Times.
In general, nearly 7,000 teachers educating about 120,000 students in 11 school districts have been on strike since August, 28, in Washington state.
To date, nearly 200 members of the Washougal Association of Educators reached a tentative contract agreement with their district. Meanwhile, more than 8,000 Washington Education Association members in nine school districts are still on strike. Educators’ goal in every district is the same: competitive, professional pay to attract and keep caring, qualified teachers and support staff.
Here are the school districts currently closed because of teacher strikes over pay:
- Battle Ground
“We believe our educators and support staff deserve a competitive, fair salary package and as a district we want to be able to attract and retain the very best educators for our students,” the representatives of Seattle said in a statement. “Our staff are our heroes.”