September 16th, 2015
After a five-day strike, Seattle teachers returned to work today as they reviewed their tentative agreement. While some members were disappointed that wage increases were not higher, they won on other important issues, including evaluations.
When the agreement was reached yesterday morning, said bargaining team member Andy Russell, chanting from supporters outside the building gave negotiators a boost. “Picketers started showing up at 5 a.m.,” he said.
Contentious issues were teacher pay, concessions demanded by the district, such as lengthening the school day without compensation, and union proposals to guarantee recess and curb standardized testing.
The settlement includes raises of 3 percent, 2 percent, and 4.5 percent over three years (members will also get a 4.5 percent cost-of-living increase from the state). The Seattle Education Association (SEA) succeeded in removing standardized test results from teacher evaluations and in establishing caseload caps for nurses and counselors.