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Camas educators launch first-ever strike; bargaining resumes

UPDATE (Aug. 29) — Members of the Camas Education Association (CEA) returned to the bargaining table with Camas School District (CSD) leaders Monday night following the first full day of striking ever in the District. The educators’ union is focused on three main points of interest in the ongoing negotiations: ensuring equitable access of distribution for student funding, smaller class sizes, and teacher pay that keeps up with the local rate of inflation.

District leadership has been using its direct line of messaging to the school community to send out misleading and sometimes outright inaccurate information. Large class sizes are a direct result of the mismanagement of a reduction in force process this spring that let go of 37 teaching positions, all while student enrollment is on the rise.

UPDATE (Aug. 28 – noon) — The following is from the Camas Education Association:

After the Camas School District (CSD) was unwilling to settle a tentative agreement that addresses class sizes, equitable student resources, and fair teacher pay, the 450 educators united in the Camas Education Association took to the picket lines for the first time in District history.

The strike began at  9 a.m., Monday, August 28, the scheduled first day of school. On Sunday, August 27, CSD leaders ended negotiations with educators saying their offer was “last, best, final”.

“This is the moment when we as educators show why we do this work – it’s all for the students,” said Camas Education Association (CEA) President Marci Zabel.  “Our students need more support, equitable access to resources, and smaller classes.  We’re taking action now to make sure CSD meets student needs.”

See more strike photos at

The district, with an enrollment of 7,300 students, has amassed a stockpile of $15 million by holding back nearly 1 in 5 student learning dollars. Teachers want the district to spend more money on students in the form of smaller class sizes and equitable funding for library, PE, and music.

“The kids put a lot of time and heart into learning music and I wish the district would meet them halfway,” said Michael Sanchez, bargaining team member and band director at Skyridge Middle School. “Our students are waiting for the District to see and hear them and fund their learning.”

CEA leaders are also negotiating teacher pay, asking the District to honor the previously negotiated cost-of-living calculation that is also used for local police, firefighters, and nurses, among others.

“We are not asking for a pay raise; we are asking the District to uphold the calculation they already agreed to use in our negotiations. It allows teachers to keep up with the inflation we are all feeling — at the pump, at the grocery store. We have families, too, and we want to take care of everyone so we can get back in the classroom and take care of our students.”


CAMAS, Wash. (Aug. 28, 2023) — The 450 educators united in Camas Education Association (CEA) began a strike this morning on the school district’s scheduled first day of classes. The school district has cancelled classes for the day.

According to the CEA, “Because Camas School District was unwilling to invest in students, CEA members will strike beginning Monday, Aug. 28, the first day of student instruction. Bargaining broke off for the day today (Sunday, Aug. 27) after the district refused to make commitments to reasonable class sizes or equitable funding for music, PE, and libraries. The district is instead stockpiling nearly 1 out of every 5 student dollars, amassing $15 million in the bank while student needs are unmet.”

TAKE A STAND — All union members and community supporters are invited to join Camas educators on the picket lines from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at all district school buildings. Monday night at 5:30 p.m., CEA members and their supporters will “Blanket the Board” by gathering on blankets and chairs outside of the school board meeting at 841 NE 22nd Ave. in Camas.

Check back here for updates. Here are some photos from Friday’s CEA rally outside the school district headquarters.

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