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Sumner-Bonney Lake Paraeducators On Strike

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Paraeducators in the Sumner-Bonney Lake School District went on strike Friday, Oct. 25 after the school board and administration failed to offer a fair contract that provides competitive, equitable compensation.

Paraeducators’ collective bargaining agreement with the Sumner-Bonney Lake School District expired Aug. 31, and they have been working without a contract since then.

Paraeducator pay proposals from Supt. Laurie Dent and the school board have fallen far short of the increases teachers negotiated last year and are not competitive or equitable compared with comparable school districts. Their hourly pay ranks among the lowest compared to surrounding districts.

Earlier this month, members of the Sumner Paraeducator Association (SPA) voted 99 percent to set 3 pm today, Oct. 24, as a strike deadline.

Teachers, who belong to a separate but affiliated union, voted Wednesday to honor the SPA picket lines and to support their striking colleagues. Other district unions also have said they won’t cross SPA picket lines.

Picketing will begin Friday morning at each school location beginning at the normal school starting time for each school.

Paraeducators are professional, trained educators who support teachers and work one-on-one with students, including children with the highest needs. SPA also represents health technicians and licensed practical nurses.


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