Seattle teachers contract negotiations continue

(Image: SEA)

Seattle Public Schools says scheduled negotiations on a new contract for the district’s more than 3,000 educators ended Saturday without a deal but parents shouldn’t be scrambling to be ready for a strike just yet.

In a statement from the district, officials said they still think a deal will be worked out before Seattle public school kids return to campus after Labor Day:

Scheduled negotiations between the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and Seattle Public Schools (SPS) ended Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, without a tentative agreement. The hard working joint team has made good progress on many issues of common interest and on the difficult budget and compensation issues that confront us in Seattle Public Schools.

The team is close to a tentative agreement that provides competitive and sustainable salaries for our educators, while confronting the realities of the district’s significant revenue shortfall in 2019-20. Read a district budget update from Aug. 2, 2018.

“We have openly shared our financial and budget analysis with the joint team since June as we worked together on every data request and budget detail underlying the compensation discussions,” the SPS statement reads.

The district says the union wants to continue negotiations Wednesday but SPS says it has requested representatives “return to the negotiations immediately.”

The negotiations are the first major test for new Seattle Schools superintendent Denise Juneau.

CHS reported here on the negotiations as teachers face mounting housing costs in the region while the district is looking at a large drop in funding on the horizon. In 2015, a brief strike ended with an agreement on raises as well as guaranteed recess time for students, and new testing policies. It was Seattle’s first  teachers strike in 30 years.

SEA is slated to hold a general membership meeting Tuesday night at Benaroya Hall where leaders are asking educators to vote to strike if no deal is reached before the first day of school.


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