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White Pass & Quincy teachers are the latest to negotiate big pay raises

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Rochester bargaining rally
Rochester Education Association members rally for fair pay raises.

We’ve updated the WEA pay raise map this week, and here are notable additions:

  • Morton: 13.4 percent
  • Quincy: 14 percent
  • Riverview: 12.4 percent
  • White Pass: 18.5 percent

Teachers in these four districts negotiated substantial pay increases (averages are listed), which are possible in all Washington school districts – despite the excuses some administrators are throwing down.

In Quincy in Central Washington, for example, the top pay will be $90,979 beginning Sept. 1. That’s higher than the current top salary in Tacoma. Yet Tacoma administrators insist they can’t afford to invest in their teachers and support staff in the same way other districts have.

Tacoma Education Association member Tina Taylor wrote a letter to the editor calling out her district’s administrators: “Tacoma was once known as the best-paid district in the area, but skilled educators are finding surrounding districts to be more attractive employers. The TPS bargaining team is offering a 3.1 percent increase and claims this is the limit by law. It is not.

Camas bargaining rally
Camas parents and students support Camas teachers and their fight for competitive pay.

Because of the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, Washington school districts are getting $2 billion in new state funding specifically to increase educator pay in the coming school year. That money is intended for salaries, but it must be negotiated locally.

Don’t let your school board spend it on something else. Organize to negotiate the pay raises you deserve. And speak out in the media, at school board meetings and on social media.

According to The Daily Evergreen, 30-year teacher Jill Brockmier recently told the Pullman School Board “… experienced teachers are leaving and she knows two who left this year.”

WEA members say school districts must pay competitive pay so they don’t lose qualified teachers and support staff to other districts and professions that pay better. School boards that take their employees for granted will lose them.

Pullman National Board Certified Teacher Sandra Casanova told the Pullman School Board: “Community love and loyalty doesn’t pay the bills.”

Parents get it. Here’s a comment from a brand-new Facebook page called Camas Parents Supporting Camas Teachers: “With our rapid community growth we want to recruit and retain the best educators around. This will not happen if they are not being compensated with a fair package.”

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