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Striking paraeducators, supporters rally in Port Angeles

UPDATE (April 12, 2024) — More than 130 striking paraeducators and their supporters rallied Thursday in Port Angeles to call for the city’s school officials to agree to the 3.7 percent inflationary salary increase as established set by the Legislature. No agreement was reached Thursday, so the strike continues and schools are closed for a fifth day on Friday.


WSLC’s April Sims, Sen. Emily Randall, others to show support on Day 4 of strike


PORT ANGELES, Wash. (April 11, 2024) — Striking members of the Port Angeles Paraeducators Association (PAPEA) and certified teachers in the Port Angeles Education Association (PAEA), who voted to honor the picket line, will host a rally starting at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11 at Shane Park, 613 S. G St. in Port Angeles. All union members and community supporters are invited to attend.

Scheduled to speak are:

  • Washington State Labor Council President April Sims
  • State Sen. Emily Randall
  • Former school-board member Cindy Kelly
  • Retired teacher Nancy McCaleb

The rally will also feature music by Dan Lieberman and Barry Burnett. Community supporters are welcome to join striking educators.

Port Angeles school officials and PAPEA members have been bargaining to reach a new contract since last year and paras have been working without a contract since the beginning of the school year. Negotiations have continued through a mediator from the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC), and in February, members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if no agreement is reached by April 8.

A key issue is a legislatively funded 3.7% cost-of-living (COLA) increase that paraeducators have asked for and that the district has repeatedly refused to offer. Certified classroom teachers got this COLA increase in their latest contract.

Port Angeles Paraeducators Association (PAPEA) is made up of 135 paraeducators in the Port Angeles Public Schools. It 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.

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