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Vancouver educators go on strike; contract talks continue in Camas

UPDATE (Sept. 1, 2023) — As its strike continues in Vancouver, the Evergreen Education Association will temporarily shut down pickets at all schools to rally from 1 to 3 p.m. today (Friday, Sept. 1) outside the School District office, 13413 NE LeRoy Haagen Memorial Dr. All union members and supporters of EEA educators are invited to participate.

Meanwhile in Camas, the Camas Education Association bargaining team is back at the table with Camas School District leaders following the fourth day of striking. CEA educators hope they can reach a deal with the district this week to get back into the classroom on Tuesday, following the holiday weekend. This week a mediator came in to help the two sides reach a deal with the District. CEA’s requests focus on smaller class sizes; equitable funding for school programs like PE, music, and library; and a cost-of-living adjustment for pay that keeps up with local inflation.

On Thursday, Camas educators rallied at Crown Park:


UPDATE (Aug. 31, 2023) — The Camas Education Association bargaining team took to the table Wednesday to continue negotiations with the school district on the third day of school closures due to the ongoing strike. Today, August 31, educators will be joined by community members in a Rally for Great Camas Schools at Crown Park, 120 NE 17th Ave in Camas, at 1 p.m.


VANCOUVER, Wash. (Aug. 30, 2023) — Southwest Washington has become the epicenter of public school teachers taking a stand for their students in Washington state. Educators from a second school district — the largest in the area — begin a strike today, as contract negotiations continue in all districts. Here’s the latest from the unions:


Evergreen Public Schools fails to reach a deal; strike begins Wednesday


VANCOUVER, Wash. (Aug. 30, 2023) — Instead of starting the first day of classes in Evergreen on Wednesday, members of the Evergreen Education Association (EEA) will be on the picket lines.

Evergreen Public Schools officials and educators in the EEA have been bargaining to reach a new contract for this school year since March 21. They continued talking on Tuesday, Aug. 29, but did not reach agreement. Evergreen Public Schools issued a statement Tuesday afternoon canceling classes and negotiations ended for the day. Negotiations continue Wednesday as well.

TAKE A STAND — All union members and community supporters are invited to join Evergreen educators on the picket lines at all Evergreen Public Schools sites from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday. Also, send a message to the Evergreen School Board urging them to support the educators who support our students.

“We wish we could say we’re starting school tomorrow,” said EEA President Kristie Peak, who is a Teacher Librarian at Mill Plain Elementary currently on full-time release as union president. “Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get district officials to agree to our student-centered proposals.”

Evergreen educators’ key issues are:

  • More supports for students with special needs
  • Time for educators to plan and consult, which is frequently lost because of the shortage of substitute teachers
  • Promised cost-of-living adjustment to help attract and retain enough educators
  • Adequate staffing to support a safe, academic learning environment for all students.

Evergreen Education Association is made up of 1,500 classroom teachers in the Evergreen Public Schools. Evergreen EA is affiliated with the statewide Washington Education Association and the National Education Association, both of which represent K-12 teachers, support staff and higher-education employees.  


Camas teachers back at the bargaining table on Day 2 of strike 


CAMAS, Wash. (Aug. 30, 2023) — More than 450 teachers of the Camas Education Association (CEA) took to the picket line Tuesday on their second day of striking while their bargaining team met with Camas School District (CSD) leaders in the afternoon. Bargaining began at 2 p.m. and had not yet concluded at 6 p.m. 

TAKE A STAND — With no deal in place, the strike continues Wednesday. 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. Also, send a message to the Camas school board urging them to support the educators who support our students.

Since Monday, Aug. 28, the scheduled first day of school, educators have been on strike, and Camas schools have been closed. On Sunday, August 27, CSD leaders ended negotiations with educators saying their offer was their “last, best, final.” Teachers want smaller classes, equitable funding for PE, music, and library, and a cost-of-living increase that reflects local inflation. 

“It’s unconscionable that the district is stockpiling $16 million and then claiming they can’t afford to support students,” said CEA President Marci Zabel.  “It’s mismanagement. It’s running it like a for-profit venture.” 

Community members are publicly showing their support for Camas educators, joining them on the picket line, bringing treats, posting signs, and speaking out in support of the CEA at Monday’s school board meeting.  

“The teachers deserve cost of living increases that match Camas’ inflation, and our kids deserve all of the resources in an equitable environment,” said Bree Hilliard, the parent of a fourth-grader at Dorothy Fox Elementary School. 


No strike (yet) in Battle Ground as negotiations continue


BATTLE GROUND, Wash. (Aug. 30, 2023) — The (Vancouver) Columbian reports:

Battle Ground Public Schools will be open Wednesday for the first day of school despite not yet reaching a deal with the Battle Ground Education Association. The union voted not to strike Tuesday evening but will return to the bargaining table Wednesday to continue seeking a deal on a new contract.

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