Teachers to picket on Market and 15th today, 3 p.m.
Teachers will be picketing at 15th Ave NW and NW Market St as part of a citywide to protest the Seattle School Board's "unfair" contract settlement.
It will be one of four highly visible locations that they will be picketing at. The other three are Rainier Ave and MLK, the west end of the West Seattle Bridge and outside Northgate Mall.
In an update email sent out by Seattle Public Schools, they explained where they were at in the negotiations.
The email reads, "We have been negotiating since spring and are committed to continuing discussions with SEA. We are hopeful that a fair agreement will be reached that focuses on the best interests of our students. We have been working to reach an agreement that supports increased achievement for all of our students and our collective commitment to close the achievement gap."
Among the highlights, they say, are:
- Compensation: they are increasing salaries by four percent over the next two years and are fully restoring a 1.3 percent salary reduction that was mandated by the state legislature
- No class size increase
- Special Education: During negotiations SPS and SEA jointly developed an improved service delivery model for students with special needs.
- Student Support Services: SPS' proposal makes a significant investment in additional staff such as psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, speech pathologists and nurses.
- Length of workday: SPS has proposed a restoration of the working day for elementary school teachers and certificated SEA staff to be a total of 7.5 hours.
However, SEA -- which represents 5,000 Seattle teachers, secretaries, classroom aides and education staff associates -- contends that the contract as it is now is unfair. According to Seattle Met's Publicola, educators are contending that the teacher evaluation goes beyond current state standards, elementary teachers shouldn't be forced to stay an extra half-hour after the students leave and that the district should lower caseloads for education staff associates (which includes psychologists and therapists).
Seattle students are scheduled to start school Sept. 4. Seattle Education Association members will meet Sept. 3 to either ratify a new contract or vote to take other action.
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