Seattle Public Schools said late Monday that they had reached an agreement with the teachers’ union and they would share the update on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s classes were canceled by the district earlier on Monday, making it the sixth school day that pupils have missed since the strike started on September 7. About 49,000 kids in the district were expected to start classes on that day.
The district announced in a statement that it will provide an update on the start date of school on Tuesday.
The negotiation teams for SPS and SEA have reached a provisional agreement. The commencement of school tomorrow afternoon will be updated. For the academic year 2022–2023, we are eager to welcome both students and teachers.
The educational and emotional support of pupils, particularly those with special needs or learning challenges, was the major concern of striking teachers.
“We should all be proud of what we did and what we stood up for: student supports and respect for educators,” the union, the Seattle Education Association, said in a statement.
The move was taken at a time when teachers are in short supply in schools across the nation and are growingly vocal about their anger over their low pay and lack of appreciation, as well as their difficult teaching circumstances that have been made worse by the Covid-19 outbreak.
According to the Seattle Education Association, which represents about 6,000 employees, teachers in Seattle went on strike to demand better special education staffing ratios as well as more support for students, including interpretation and translation services for those receiving multilingual education.
In Seattle, the school district had proposed pay increases of 1% more than the 5.5% cost-of-living increase set by state lawmakers. It also included one-time bonuses for specific teachers, including $2,000 for third-year Seattle teachers who earned an English language or dual-language endorsement. However, this was far less than the union claims it wants.
Since the city’s previous strike in 2015, teachers there have benefited from significant pay increases, with many now making more than $100,000, primarily because of a new state financing scheme for education.
The union has stated that its main goal is to secure pay increases for its lower-paid members, such as front office employees and instructional assistants. Starting pay for paraeducators in Seattle Public Schools is $19 per hour, which many claim is insufficient to cover rent in the city.
The enrollment decline at Seattle Public Schools is one problem. According to projections, the largest school district in Washington state will lose thousands of kids over the next years, which would result in huge budget shortfalls, according to authorities.
As the epidemic put teachers and children under a great deal of stress, districts throughout the nation have encountered labor issues.
Before negotiating new contracts, teachers in Sacramento, Chicago, and Minneapolis went on strike earlier this year.
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