August 27, 2013 at 6:38 PM
Seattle district warns parents to prepare for possible teacher strike
Seattle Public Schools has notified families to prepare for a possible strike by Seattle teachers.
School district officials emailed and called parents Tuesday, saying that the district and teachers still have not reached an agreement on a new teachers contract. In a vote Monday, teachers rejected the district’s latest contract offer.
District officials said nothing new had happened since Monday’s vote, but they felt they needed to warn parents of the possibility of a strike, and to let them know they are working to help families with child care if school doesn’t start on time.
The teachers’ existing contact expires Saturday. The union has not yet scheduled a strike vote but has not ruled one out, either.
Officials encouraged parents to develop back-up plans and let them know that the school district is working with child care providers and the city to offer child-care options if a strike occurs. They said they will post information on those options Wednesday on the school district’s website.
The negotiating teams from both sides met all day today and are scheduled to be back at the table tomorrow. The union has scheduled another meeting on Sept. 3, the day before school is scheduled to begin.
The two sides are at odds over the use of test scores in evaluating teachers, whether to add 30 minutes to the workday of elementary-school teachers and whether to limit case-loads for school employees such as therapists, psychologists and nurses.
The last time Seattle teachers walked off the job was in 1991, as part of a statewide teacher protest.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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