Topic: teacher strike
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September 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM
UPDATE, 9:53 | Negotiators from the Snoqualmie Valley School District and it’s teachers’ union broke from talks around 9:15 tonight without reaching an agreement. The two sides will return to the bargaining table Saturday.
ORIGINAL POST | The teachers union in the Snoqualmie Valley School District says teachers there were going to pack up their classrooms today so they’ll be ready to strike if representatives can’t reach an agreement with the school district on a new contract.
The teachers previously voted to go on strike on Monday if no contract agreement is reached by 3 p.m. on Sunday. The union says the big issue is class size, saying teachers want limits on the number of students per class, not just extra money for teachers assigned large classes.
On its website, the district says it has set boundaries for class sizes in elementary schools, although the limits are listed as “targets,” with compensation for teachers if the number of students exceed those targets.
The district also said it is offering the raises that the union requested: 2 percent for the 2013-14 school year, 2 percent in 2014-15 and another 2 percent in 2015-16.
The two negotiating teams were scheduled to meet this afternoon, and the talks are expected to continue throughout the weekend, the union said.
August 31, 2013 at 10:53 AM
A mediator will join teacher contract talks in Seattle today, which both sides hope will help them resolve their remaining disagreements and avoid the possibility of a teachers strike.
The negotiation teams from Seattle Public Schools and the city’s teachers union agreed Friday to bring in a mediator from the Public Employment Relations Commission, said union President Jonathan Knapp.
“We’re just finding it hard to find agreement on some of these issues,” he said today.
Knapp declined to give any details about what’s under discussion, saying the union made a commitment to the district to remain silent at this point of the negotiations. In recent weeks, both sides have said the main disagreements center on how to use test scores in evaluating teachers, whether to add 30 minutes to elementary teachers’ official workday, the size of teacher raises, and the size of caseloads for school staff such as psychologists and physical and occupational therapists.
Negotiators met into the evening Friday, stopping at about 9:30 p.m. The talks are supposed to resume today at noon. School is scheduled to start Wednesday.
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.
City officials announced Friday that 20 community centers will provide free activities for low-income children if a strike occurs. Here’s a news release from the city with all the information about registering for those 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/
August 27, 2013 at 6:38 PM
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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