TACOMA (Sept. 6, 2018) — The Tacoma Education Association has requested and been granted strike sanction from the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO for the teachers’ strike that began this morning in Tacoma. The WSLC Executive Board approved the strike sanction in a vote on Wednesday.
“Members of the Tacoma Education Association are strong and united in demanding the Tacoma School District honor their work as educators,” read the strike sanction announcement distributed Wednesday to all WSLC-affiliated unions. “They will go on strike tomorrow if they do not get a tentative agreement on a new CBA by this evening. We urge all of our affiliated locals to support their strike. Picket lines will be up at all the Tacoma high schools, except Stadium High School — due to space considerations, those picket lines will be at Jason Lee Middle School.”
Negotiators for the Tacoma Education Association bargained all day until 8:15 p.m. Wednesday but failed to reach an agreement, reporting that they are still awaiting a district proposal. They are scheduled to resume negotiations this morning at 11 a.m. (Visit the TEA’s Facebook page for the latest.)
So picket lines are up and the Tacoma teachers’ strike has begun today.
Tacoma teachers join several other districts’ educators and school employees who are currently on strike, including in Longview, Battle Ground, Evergreen (Clark County), Tukwila, Puyallup, Stanwood and Tumwater. The school districts experiencing strikes have so far refused to pass on state money intended to boost teacher salaries for real wage increases.
The Pierce County Central Labor Council has already granted strike sanction to both the Tacoma Education Association and Puyallup Education Association. The Thurston Lewis Mason Counties Central Labor approved strike sanction for the Education Association units in Tumwater and Centralia.
The Cowlitz Wahkiakum Central Labor Council has voted to grant strike sanction to SEIU Local 925 staff working in the Longview School District. They are on strike, along with members of the Longview Education Association and the Longview Classifieds Public Employees Association. The three unions are standing strong together; none will settle until all settle.