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Seattle teachers win raise and more after strike

New York Teacher

The Seattle Education Association on Sept. 20 approved a new contract, officially ending a five-day strike that had delayed the start of school.

Highlights of the agreement include pay increases of 9.5 percent over three years in addition to the state cost-of-living adjustment of 4.8 percent over two years; the elimination of student test scores from teacher evaluations; a decrease in student-teacher ratios for special education teachers; and caseload caps for various service providers.

The two sides also agreed to create teams in 30 schools to address race and equity issues around the disproportionate discipline of students of color and to guarantee 30 minutes of recess daily for all elementary students.

The new contract lengthens the school day by 20 minutes, but teachers will be paid for the additional time.

“Let’s be clear,” said union bargaining chairperson Phyllis Campano. “We won the fight on this contract agreement.”

The strike, which began on the evening of Sept. 8 following months of negotiations with the district, was the first time in 30 years that Seattle teachers walked out over failed contract negotiations. The last strike, in 1985, lasted 19 days.

Labor Notes, Sept. 16
The Seattle Times, Sept. 15

Related Topics: National News