The Pasco teachers’ union is officially on strike… illegally. The union and school district have failed to reach a contract agreement after months of negotiations, so Pasco schools – which were scheduled to open today – will be empty thanks to the union bosses calling the shots.
According to the Tri-City Herald,
District officials posted at 8:30 p.m. on social media and the district’s website that school was canceled because the union had “not directly communicated with the district regarding their intent to strike.” …
“Teachers are expected to picket outside all 21 of the district’s schools throughout school hours Sept 1… Picketing in future days will be concentrated at specific schools, union officials said.”
Teachers met with union representatives yesterday evening where at least one person reportedly called for teachers to report to work. However, “the proposal received no known support after being seconded.”
The union continues to consider the school district’s generous settlement terms. The Tri-City Herald,
“The district’s latest offer on Monday was for an $8.4 million package, providing a 9 percent pay increase over a three-year contract, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars to help teachers with needed supplies and materials, increased planning time for elementary teachers, increased contributions to insurance pools and class size reductions in kindergarten and first grade.
“There have been minor agreements but union representatives said a third of the pay increase is tied to whether voters renew the district’s maintenance and operations levy in February. That’s a potentially tall order given parent frustration with the ongoing teacher contract negotiations.”
The teachers’ union originally demanded a more than 11 percent pay hike for teachers for the next year. It now says it would “consider an 8 percent raise for the current school year and a 6 percent increase the following school year.”
Last week, the school board approved a resolution that would “ban striking workers from school grounds and give the superintendent authority to pursue legal action if a strike happens.” Pasco Superintendent Saundra Hill has yet to announce whether or not she plans to take legal action.