Seattle teachers reach deal to suspend strike, return to work

The following is from the Seattle Education Association:

(Sept. 16, 2015) — The Seattle Education Association’s elected building representatives — the SEA Representative Assembly — voted Tuesday night to recommend ratification of our tentative contract agreement and to suspend the SEA strike, which is in its seventh day. (Teachers) will return to work Wednesday, Sept. 16, and school will start Thursday, Sept. 17. The entire SEA membership will vote on the agreement on Sunday, Sept. 20 at a general membership meeting.

The tentative agreement addresses every one of the priority issues identified by SEA members last spring.

“This is a hard-fought victory for the kids of Seattle, and I am proud of SEA members and our incredible bargaining team,” said Jonathan Knapp, SEA president. “This agreement signals a new era in bargaining in public education. We’ve negotiated a pro-student, pro-parent, pro-educator agreement. We really appreciate the strong support from parents and students.”

SEA Bargaining Team Chair Phyllis Campano talks to reporters at the SEA Representative Assembly on Tuesday night, Sept. 15.

“These issues are about our kids,” said Phyllis Campano, SEA vice president and chair of the SEA Bargaining Team. “It’s about giving our children what they need.”

Highlights include:

► Recess: Guaranteed 30 minutes of recess for all elementary students.

► Reasonable testing: New policies to reduce the over-testing of our students.

► Professional pay: Base salary increases of 3 percent, 2 percent and 4.5 percent, plus the state COLA of 4.8 percent

► Fair teacher and staff evaluations: Test scores will no longer be tied to teacher evaluations, plus there is new contract language that supports teachers’ professional growth.

► Educator workload relief: Additional staff to reduce workloads and provide student services.

► Student equity around discipline and the opportunity gap: Creating race and equity teams at 30 of the district’s schools.

► The administration’s proposal to lengthen the school day: Teachers will be compensated for additional work.

The SEA Bargaining Team will send a summary of the TA to SEA members via email Wednesday. Thank you!


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