Tumwater, Battle Ground and Tacoma remain on strike
Updates from the lines
Tumwater teachers vote to continue to strike
Tumwater Education Association teachers overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to continue their strike, just hours after a court ruling ordered them to go back to school.
Immediately after the ruling, TEA members met to reflect upon the impact the injunction has on negotiations, listen to the TEA bargaining team and to one another. After an intense 2.5 hours of deliberate conversation and debate, the membership voted emphatically to defy the order.
“While there is nothing we’d like more than to end this strike and be back where we are most comfortable, after a lot of individual reflection and group discussion, we’re not giving up on our students, our community and ourselves,” Tumwater EA President Tim Voie says. “We will go back to school when the District is ready to give us a fair and reasonable contract that will attract and retain great teachers and keep our students safe.”
“We will be back on the picket lines tomorrow and the day after and so on until our bargaining team tells us they have reached a fair and reasonable agreement,” Voie says. Tumwater educators have been on strike since Sept. 1.
Meanwhile in Battle Ground, BGEA is not only striking, but striking back
BGEA is considering a lawsuit against the district, which effectively closed down a public school board meeting by moving to a new location in the building and prohibiting the public from attending. Further, the school board voted to illegally withhold pay from teachers by not following the law, in a closed public meeting setting.
BGEA members will attend tonight's board meeting, where it is expected the board will provide approval for Superintendent Mark Ross to seek an injunction forcing teachers back to school.
Send a message to the school board to get back to the bargaining table. Every other district in Clark County has solved this issue. Why can't Battle Ground can provide professional pay for its teachers too?
Tacoma teachers rally at district press conference
Hundreds of teachers and community members rallied outside of a Tacoma Public Schools press event, where the district claimed to have offered striking teachers a 12 percent pay increase. A quick evaluation of the proposal by TEA showed the district continues to inflate the value of its proposals by recycling current money and calling it a raise. TEA has made a video to explain McCleary funds for salaries in everyday terms. Check it out.