The negotiation teams for Seattle Public Schools and the city’s teachers union met until midnight Thursday and continued talking all day Friday, but it’s not clear whether they’re closer to reaching an agreement that would pave the way for school to start as planned next Wednesday.
Union members met Friday for strike training, saying they want to be prepared for whatever happens.
“When you don’t know what’s going to happen, you have to do everything,” said Seattle Education Association President Jonathan Knapp.
District spokeswoman Teresa Wippel said the two sides still hold some strong positions, but negotiators are trying to figure out something both can accept.
Negotiations in the South Kitsap School District also continued Friday without resolution, and teachers there have voted to strike if no agreement is reached Saturday, the day their contract expires.
UPDATE: 8:13 p.m. | The South Kitsap School District announced in a news release Friday evening that it had come to a tentative agreement with the teachers union.
Seattle teachers have not taken a strike vote. The union has scheduled a general membership meeting for Tuesday afternoon, when they could vote on a tentative agreement, if one is reached, or decide what to do if they don’t have one. One option is to work without a contract. Another is to strike.
In the meantime, city officials announced Friday that 20 community centers will provide free activities for low-income children if a strike occurs. But they also warned that space is limited.
Mayor Mike McGinn urged the two sides to come to an agreement.
Here’s a news release from the city with all the information about registering for the community center programs: http://alerts.seattle.gov/2013/08/30/city-to-provide-free-drop-in-activities-at-community-centers-for-some-public-school-students-in-event-of-school-strike/