Seattle Teachers Strike on First Day of School

September 10, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Teachers in Seattle went on strike Sept. 9, the first day of school for the city’s 53,000 public-school students. The walkout came after the city school district offered the Seattle Education Association a counterproposal worth barely one-third of what the union had asked for two days before.

“We didn’t think it was a serious proposal,” said SEA vice-president Phyllis Campano, the union’s bargaining chair. The union, which represents 5,000 teachers and other school employees such as nurses, instructional assistants, and secretaries, is seeking a 16.8% pay increase over the next two years, to make up for six years without a cost-of-living increase. It also objects to the district plans to lengthen the school day by adding half an hour of class time in the 2017-18 year. The Seattle School Board has authorized the city’s schools superintendent to take legal action to end the strike. Teachers in the inland city of Pasco have defied a similar court order; they have been on strike for six days. Read more

September 10, 2015

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