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Teacher pay tops $120K in Shoreline; Longview educators go on strike

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Longview strike 3
Longview Education Association members are on strike.

Big news from the bargaining table!

Shoreline Education Association members overwhelmingly ratified a new contract that provides an average 24.4 percent pay raise. Of the more than 30 contracts that have been settled so far, Shoreline EA has negotiated the highest pay:

  • Base salary increases from $51,886 to $62,088, a $10,202 increase
  • MA + 0 w/10 years increases from $73,865 to $94,335, a $20,470 increase
  • Max salary increases from $97,569 to $120,234, a $22,665 increase

The Shoreline contract is being hailed as an “epic milestone.”

That’s because administrators in Shoreline did the right thing and invested in competitive salaries for their teachers. In Longview it’s a different story – on Thursday, Longview Education Association members went on strike.

In a statement, union leadership said, “LEA firmly believes that money coming to the district because of the McCleary decision is to be used for educator compensation.”

Longview strike 1
Longview teachers are on strike.

Even as teachers walked picket lines, the Longview superintendent gave excuses rather than offering an acceptable pay raise, even though his district has more funding just like every other district, thanks to McCleary.

Longview educators are the first WEA members to go on strike this year… they may not be the only ones.

On Thursday, WEA members in Stanwood-Camano, Highline and Evergreen all set strike deadlines as they fight for fair contract settlements.

“In spite of incredible community support at the last board meeting, the district refuses to acknowledge that the new money is intended for salaries,” said Rita Peterson, lead bargainer for Stanwood-Camano Education Association.

“Nearby school districts have figured out ways to use the new state funds to provide competitive wages that will attract and retain quality teachers. Without higher pay, Stanwood-Camano will lose good teachers to nearby districts that have negotiated substantial pay raises for their teachers,” said Stanwood-Camano Education Association President Nyda Goldstein.

Longview strike 2“Our teachers simply want a fair and equitable settlement that remains competitive with area schools.”

The situation is the same in Highline, where more than 900 HEA members gathered for a general membership meeting.

“Our members are being extremely reasonable in what they are asking,” Highline Education Association President Sue McCabe said. “If we want to attract and keep caring, qualified educators for our students, we need to provide them with competitive, professional compensation.”

Here is the updated map showing the highest pay raises negotiated by WEA members so far.

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