The Seattle School District and the Seattle teachers’ union have reached agreement on certain terms, but that doesn’t mean the union will not proceed with an illegal strike. According to the Seattle Times, the district and teachers’ union have agreed to a minimum of 30 minutes per day of recess for elementary-school students — the union previously demanded 45 minutes. Additionally, an agreement was reached to increase pay for certificated substitutes.
The district and teachers’ union have yet to come to an agreement on big issues including pay, teacher evaluations and the length of the school day. Last week, Seattle teachers’ union members voted to illegally strike if the labor bosses and school district negotiators fail to reach a contract agreement. The illegal strike would begin next Wednesday, in order to get maximum exposure for the union’s demands by delaying the scheduled start of school.
The teachers’ union has “proposed a raise of 18 percent over three years, down from the originally proposed 21 percent over the same time period.” The wage hike demands “would be in addition to the state-authorized 3 percent cost-of-living raise to K-12 employees over the next two years, plus an additional temporary 1.8 percent increase that expires in 2017.”
The district offered an 8.2 percent increase over the same time period” on top of the state’s pay raise, in exchange for additional classroom time. However, the union refused the opportunity for its members to see their salaries rise by over 13% – including the state raises – over the next three years.
The Seattle teachers’ union plans to proceed with its planned illegal strike—essentially a hostage situation at the expense of children and working families—if an agreement is not reached.