Happening now: Teachers picket at 35th and Fauntleroy

4:10 PM: One demonstrator carries an umbrella along with his picket sign in the Seattle Education Association – mostly Seattle Public Schools teachers, but some other staffers are included – picketing that’s under way right now at 35th and Fauntleroy. Picketers at all four corners totaled more than two dozen when we stopped by a short time ago. They’re scheduled to be there until 6 pm, as a show of support for their union’s ongoing negotiations with the district; their contract expires on Saturday, and they voted earlier this week to reject the latest offer. Their next vote is scheduled for Tuesday, the night before the scheduled start of classes, and the district has already warned families to have a backup plan in case school is delayed – although there has NOT been a strike vote so far. This, by the way, is one of four spots around the city where teachers are demonstrating this afternoon.

6:31 PM: Via Facebook, teacher Misty asked to share this message: “I would like to take a moment to thank all of the people who nodded, smiled, waved, and honked their horns today as they were driving by. We felt very honored by their show of support. It was appreciated.”

33 Replies to "Happening now: Teachers picket at 35th and Fauntleroy"

  • Tim August 29, 2013 (4:56 pm)

    Almost 60 when I drove by. Lots of apparently supportive honking too. I hope this puts pressure in the right places to get a contract!

  • JoB August 29, 2013 (5:03 pm)

    hope they have umbrellas

  • wsmama3 August 29, 2013 (5:16 pm)

    HONK HONK HOOOONNNNKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!! from my house.

  • NeighborMom August 29, 2013 (5:39 pm)

    We heart you, teachers!

  • Proud to live and teach in West Seattle August 29, 2013 (6:25 pm)

    Most of us just laughed our way through the rain. We may have gotten drenched but the overwhelming support we received kept our spirits high!

  • Delneighbor August 29, 2013 (6:38 pm)

    Teachers work hard to educate our children and they deserve fair compensation for their long hours. Good luck!

  • Mike August 29, 2013 (7:20 pm)


  • Married to a Teacher August 29, 2013 (7:54 pm)

    HONK! WAVE! CHEER! — The teachers I know work harder and more than anyone I know!! They deserve 10x what they get!

  • anette August 29, 2013 (8:17 pm)

    We HEART Our Teachers

  • Kelly August 29, 2013 (8:18 pm)

    Mike, I’m sure they were in their classrooms earlier today doing the incredible amount of prep work it takes to get everything ready for the school year. I support our teachers 110% in advocating for a fair contract. They deserve exponentially times more than they receive for the very important and challenging work they do. Thank you, teachers!

  • WorkingParent August 29, 2013 (8:22 pm)

    Thanks for leaving working families in limbo. Nice of the union to schedule your vote the day before school. By the way not all teachers are great and there should be an evaluation system in place. The current system is not adequate for sure based on some of the teachers my son has had. The timing of their vote shows how little they care about families. I personally will not be affected but I feel sorry for min wage workers who don’t get paid time off if there is a strike. What about them? I hope the teachers get what ever they want but I doubt we will see any improvement in student achievement. Because they are not even picketing for students it’s for themselves.

  • Fire Ball August 29, 2013 (8:33 pm)

    Where’s all the Union Haters now?

  • Teacher August 29, 2013 (8:52 pm)

    These are just some of the issues. The biggest reasons teachers are upset is pertaining to quality of education for children (not teachers wanting a pay raise, they are only asking for a 1/2% difference than they are offering-not a big difference). They are fighting for YOUR children.

    Educate yourself and become informed. Look at the quality and standard of education in other cities and countries. We are falling behind. They want you to look at the teachers as scapegoats.

    Work day: The District wants elementary certificated staff to work longer and take a pay cut. In the 1970s SPS shortened the day to save money. Now it wants to lengthen the day for staff (not students), at no increase in pay, and take away the equivalent of five days pays for weekly collaboration time — a 2.64% cut!

    Compensation: After three years of essentially flat wages, the District is proposing a 2% raise in each of two years for classified and certificated staff. Other Districts are providing more meaningful raises.

    Respect for Classified staff: In addition to compensation issues, the District continues to drag their feet on recognizing SAEOP workloads and Para professional development.
    ESA workloads and student services: While the District has proposed some increases in FTE for ESAs, their workloads will still be far too high to provide the services that our students need to give their best effort in the classroom.

    Testing and Evaluations: The goal posts have moved on state tests. By clinging to the same SPS model of tying test scores to teacher evaluations, the District will create a false picture of teaching quality and punish more and more of our colleagues. We are calling for a time out so that we can work together to understand the new Common Core standards and assessments and make intelligent use of them.

  • Gene August 29, 2013 (9:27 pm)

    Who determines what teachers make? The district– state lawmakers?? We in Seattle overwhelmingly pass every levy . Teachers may well deserve 10x more than what they receive- but we live in a State that supposedly has a mandate to make education it’s first priority- but does little to make that happen.
    So it’s up to the public to put pressure on lawmakers to fulfill that mandate– but the money for higher salaries has to come from SOMEWHERE!
    In the meantime -I don’t “heart” the teachers or the district for the last minute stuff that leaves parents & students in limbo.

  • teacher too August 29, 2013 (9:45 pm)

    Teachers don’t want to leave parents and students in limbo. Our union leaders have been meeting with the district leaders for many months. The majority of teachers hate the thought of not starting school on time.

  • Mike August 29, 2013 (10:44 pm)

    If the union was really for the kids, why do they always balk at the thought of merit based pay? It would reward the hard working teachers that show results with the kids. Get rid of the system that protects the “dead wood”.

  • Kelly August 30, 2013 (1:42 am)

    Re: the issue of “merit pay.” Merit based on what? Test scores based on the results of flawed tests? Teachers want to spend time teaching, not testing, and especially not testing with useless tests like the MAP. That is one of the reasons why many teachers oppose “merit pay.”

  • wsea August 30, 2013 (6:23 am)

    I say the district should remove the 30 minutes but add a much better evaluation process to remove the dead weight. I’ve seen a couple really bad teachers who only get reshuffled to other grades if they fail in their current grade. One class had 5 kids leave the school system due to the harsh treatment of the teacher. The union protects incompetence. The evaluation system is a joke.
    For the good teachers, they should get much better pay. It would also be helpful if parents were required to spend 30 hours a year helping in the class/school. It creates a vested interest in your childs education and helps reduce the admin crap teacher have to do.

  • JoAnne August 30, 2013 (7:30 am)

    Teachers strikes are illegal in this state for good reason.
    I hope everyone one of them is fired.
    We would do better with non-union teachers who would place the priority on children, not careers for bureaucrats.

  • Kpk August 30, 2013 (7:55 am)

    Those who believe it is the teachers who are to blame……well, you are clearly blissfully ignorant. You also have likely experienced/read nothing of SPS’ incompetence and track record. I stand behind our teachers who truly want what’s fair for OUR FUTURE SOCIETY MEMBERS and fair compensation for themselves. It’s not about the teachers….. It’s about public education itself. C’mon people. Stop bashing the teachers. Most of them are amazing and give generously more than they are compensated for. If you’re worried about a few days of missed work over a broken system, then you’re missing the BIG picture! Duh!

  • Teacher August 30, 2013 (8:04 am)

    THANK YOU kpk. This is truly a fight for the students.

  • miws August 30, 2013 (8:44 am)

    I hope everyone one of them is fired.


    Oh, yeah. Let’s do that.


    Then, by the time replacements were hired and trained, school would start in, what, January? At all for this school year?



  • kayo August 30, 2013 (9:08 am)

    The teachers have our wholehearted support.

  • a August 30, 2013 (10:32 am)

    Sorry but I have a hard time feeling bad for the teachers. You willingly go into a career that you know is not a high paying career. Then you picket every few years and complain about not getting paid enough. I guess you shouldn’t be teaching the kids if you can’t teach yourself a lesson in economics. I really do believe teachers should get paid more but there are better ways to go about it then to threaten to not do your very job which is to teach our children! Now so many parents are freaking out not knowing if they will have to find daycare or other resources for their kids when they should be at school. Get to work!

  • a August 30, 2013 (10:37 am)

    Also, find a better place to protest. That intersection is dangerous enough and add the distraction of 50 plus people surrounding it and you got a disaster waiting to happen. I saw a kid on the median where 35th merges onto the bridge and thought to myself that that kid could take two wrong steps and be killed. Putting your kid in a dangerous situation like that is idiotic and you definitely don’t have the common sense to be teaching children.

  • Concerned August 30, 2013 (4:51 pm)

    SPS Offer:

    • Compensation – We offered a fair and competitive wage, which compares favorably with districts in the region. Compensation would increase by 5.3% over two years

    • Evaluation – We asked that the evaluation system developed jointly with SEA three years ago continue. The current system impacts student achievement by ensuring there is a high quality teacher in every classroom.

    • Work hours for elementary teachers – We want to reinstate 30 minutes of the workday, bringing total hours to 7.5. High school teachers already work 7.5 hours, as do elementary teachers in other districts in Puget Sound. This time could be devoted to planning and examination of student progress.

    Seems Fair to me! Dealing with Bad Teachers through evaluation by measuring student growth, a 5% increase over 2 years… considering the current economy, they are lucky!

    And finally the work hours…if secondary teachers are already working those hours for the same wage then elementary teachers should as well.

    Sit down and get the job done, our kids deserve to be in school on Wednesday. Unlike all the pro union people with their heads in the sand blaming the district, I hold both parties accountable, this offer is fair. More money for teachers, better teachers for our kids, and more instructional time. I do not see they problem with that!

  • AlkiGrl August 30, 2013 (11:51 pm)

    Go teachers! ! You deserve better, and I’m glad you’re standing up for improved working conditions, and teaching conditions which are for the benefit of students. I fake taught English for a few years in Korea and it was the hardest job I’ve ever had. I have ultimate respect for you. Ignore the haters, they don’t have a clue what it takes to teach a classful of students and deal with whatever issues they bring from home.

  • anette August 31, 2013 (1:05 am)

    “Then you picket every few years and complain about not getting paid enough.”a.
    a, perhaps you’ve just recently moved to seattle b/c in the 11 plus years of being involved in the seattle school district this is the first time (as far as i can recall) that striking has come up. Our teachers don’t ‘picket every few years’ nor do they ‘complain’.

    Of a bigger concern is Concerned comments. Did you personally write those bullet points? Are you speaking for the school district? Or did you copy the information from somewhere else? If you did copy and paste you must cite your source otherwise that can be a problem.

    And to the original topic-Its disappointing that teachers are put in this position to begin with. Its a disgrace that teachers must fight for their jobs when they should be supported and respected for the difficult and time consuming work that they do.

    I do not know of one teacher ‘who is in it for the money, fame or glory’ so they must be in it for the kids.
    May you have smaller class sizes, more resources, better support and larger salary!

  • West Seattle August 31, 2013 (9:50 am)

    is there a reason why they all have RED on!? lol

  • Diane V August 31, 2013 (5:13 pm)

    Just a comment on the picketing, although I am not taking a position on the issue.
    The signs are not clear enough- my husband drove by and told me ‘people are picketing by my work but I don’t know who, or what it’s about’ then one of my customers told me the same thing -she said she was out running errands and ‘saw people picketing but you couldn’t read the small print on their signs’
    …So now I get the full story from the blog (of course) But perhaps this protest could be more effective????

  • HEW September 1, 2013 (8:16 am)

    They wear red to stand out. “Red for Public Ed”is the WEA motto when it comes to being a united front across the state.

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