SEATTLE SCHOOL STRIKE, DAY 1: Picketing begins; talks expected to resume tomorrow, district says, which also means NO SCHOOL THURSDAY

(TOPLINES: Strike’s first day is on with picketing at all SPS schools; district says NO SCHOOL THURSDAY but talks are expected to resume in the morning; scroll down for newest updates and photos from all 16 public schools in WS)

(At Roxhill Elementary: WSB photo)

FIRST REPORT, 9:40 AM: Picketing has begun at Seattle Public Schools campuses around the city, as the Seattle Education Association‘s strike – announced at district HQ last night – begins. Above, picketers at the first school where we stopped to photograph picketers, Roxhill Elementary, the southernmost campus in WS for now (until Arbor Heights Elementary’s construction is done). Roxhill student Rose is on the line:

Community members there to support strikers include Steve, who says he walks by the school every day, so today, he picked up a sign:

SEA says picketing will continue today until 3 pm. Via text (206-293-6302), we just received a photo from (corrected) Pathfinder K-8 “families and friends” outside district HQ:

(Pathfinder K-8 “families and friends” outside John Stanford Center: Reader-texted photo)
ADDED 10:03 AM: Just back from Gatewood Elementary, where our Instagram video clip (mouse over the image to bring up the “play” button) includes a chant:

(At Gatewood Elementary: WSB video, above, and photo, below)
Gatewood parent Jena told us that a striker-support fund is in progress at Caffé Ladro around the corner. We also spotted this sign:

Just in from strikers at Schmitz Park Elementary:

(At Schmitz Park Elementary: Reader photos above, via text)

10:53 AM: Thanks for sending photos from more of the picket lines around West Seattle:

That’s from Fairmount Park Elementary teacher and parent Althea Chow, who says, “Fairmount Park Elementary staff and families are loving the honks of support from drivers on Fauntleroy Way! Thank you, West Seattle!” (In addition to the group above in front of the school on Findlay, they also have picketers along Fauntleroy to the west.) Whenever school starts, this will be the second year for the renovated and expanded FPES, which reopened last year, seven years after it was part of a wave of SPS closures.

At the forested campus of Sanislo Elementary:

Thanks to Megan Simmons for that photo.

Next, from Jennifer Hall, who says her photo is from “West Seattle High School! This strike is FOR our students!!”:

Earlier, we included a photo of Pathfinder K-8 families at district HQ downtown. Holli Margell tweets this from the Pathfinder campus, on Pigeon Point:

ADDED 11:29 AM: Just stopped at Highland Park Elementary, where picketers are marching along Trenton, with chants and with music from a loudspeaker:

Some students showed up this morning unaware of the strike, they tell us. They also are handing out a letter, reading, in part, “We are on strike to redefine public education in Seattle. We want the best schools in the nation, with world languages, music, the arts, sciences, humanities, mathematics, the language arts, physical education, and more. We want the money spent on kids and classrooms, not on bureaucrats at the Stanford Center. We want our kids to be fully ready for the 21st-century world, not just to be test-taking robots.” They reaffirm the plan announced pre-strike, for picketing today and tomorrow (if the strike is still on), then projects for the National Day of Service on Friday – these strikers say they’ll be at the nearby White Center Salvation Army that day.

On to 5950 Delridge – where this will be the second and final year of Arbor Heights Elementary‘s temporary home. This photo’s from Krista McInerney:

11:52 AM: We’re now at Denny Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School, which share a site in the 2600 block between SW Kenyon and SW Thistle. Denny picketers are along Kenyon (including the traffic circle):

Sealth photo to come:

They were marching along Thistle, all the way down to the Longfellow Creek P-Patch east of the school.

Back at Highland Park, PE teacher Chellie LaFayette tweeted that they had a surprise arrival just after we were there:

(Datapoint, Full Tilt co-founder Ann Magyar is a longtime teacher.)

12:15 PM: Just stopped at West Seattle Elementary in High Point:

Picketers are in front of the school on 34th SW and there’s also a small group at 35th and Morgan a few blocks away.

12:27 PM: On to the north end:

Thanks again to everyone who’s texted/e-mailed ( photos; we will continue to update the story with any new information on what’s next in the strike (see below).

1:53 PM: Thanks to Heidi Alessi for the picket-line photo from the newly renamed Louisa Boren STEM K-8:

Meantime, more of the stops we made before a quick lunch break. In the Admiral District, Lafayette Elementary:

Down the hill from there, Alki Elementary:

2:10 PM: Just got word that some of the north WS strikers will be gathering in The Admiral District at/near Lafayette, so if you see a particularly sizable group there, it’s representing more than one school.

HOW LONG WILL THE STRIKE LAST? NEWEST INFORMATION, UPDATED 12:58 PM: No word of new talks, so far; negotiations started in May and were ongoing until just before the strike announcement last night. Both sides are updating their websites – the union here (you can find PDFs of its e-mailed updates here), the district here. … We added district spokesperson Stacy Howard about the plan for announcements on schools’ status, etc. Her reply: “Hopefully at least one update per day will go to families. But this is so complicated and we want to make sure we are accurate before just putting info out there. Also, as of right now there is not a plan for legal action. We hope to resolve this before that happens.” (Added) We noticed the message on the SPS home page has been updated:

12:58 PM UPDATE: SPS is having a media briefing in two hours. No new talks or breakthrough; members of the district bargaining team are expected to speak.

2:59 PM UPDATE: We’re live at district HQ to report toplines of the briefing. SPS spokesperson Stacy Howard is leading it off. “We appreciate our teachers and educators and believe we have made a strong offer … It’s also important to note we must protect our fiscal health … (the offer) is fiscally sound. A contract that is not fiscally sound ultimately will help our students. We are offering a substantial pay raise … Our most recent offer provides a 14 percent pay raise over three years including the state COLA …” She says the union’s proposal would cost three times as much as the district’s offer. She denies that they are “extending the teacher’s workday,” currently 6 hours and 10 minutes, proposed to go to 6 hours and 30 minutes. “By adding instructional minutes to our students’ day … we can meet their .. needs.” She says they believe negotiations will resume tomorrow.

In questioning, the bargaining team reps who have joined Howard say it’s “complicated” to explain why the extra instructional time won’t extend the teachers’ work day. Regarding the length of the contract, the district reps say that both sides have proposed two- and three-year contracts at different points; right now, the district’s most recent offer is 3 years, the union’s most recent offer is 2 years. “The negotiation process is fluid,” Howard interjects at one point. “We are hoping for a quick resolution.” Says bargaining team member Jon Halfaker, “We believe we have made strong gains.”

“Does the district’s offer pay teachers what they’re worth?” they are asked. Howard doesn’t answer directly but says, “We want to honor our teachers. … Our goal here is to make them feel like they are getting what they deserve and that the students are getting the education they deserve.” Adds the other bargainer, “The district’s offer IS competitive. … We know it’s best for our kids to have strong teachers.” Halfaker says they feel they’ve been “as transparent as (we) can be.”

Asked one last question, why negotiations ended last night with a strike announcement: Halfaker said they had all worked a very long weekend, but they were “quite surprised” by the union breaking away after getting a counterproposal around 5 pm and instead coming into the chambers last night to declare they were on strike.

Final word from spokesperson Howard: Yes, this means NO SCHOOL THURSDAY – please get the word out to everyone you know.

The chief bargainer for the union is expected to speak to the 34th District Democrats toward the start of their meeting in West Seattle tonight (7 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy).

ADDED 4:17 PM: SEA says picketing at schools will resume at 8:30 am tomorrow, except for an early start, 4:45 am-6:15 am, at Louisa Boren K-8 STEM in West Seattle. (Not mentioned in the update, but we would guess that’s for benefit of early-morning TV reporters, so you might see TV trucks there in the very early hours.)

121 Replies to "SEATTLE SCHOOL STRIKE, DAY 1: Picketing begins; talks expected to resume tomorrow, district says, which also means NO SCHOOL THURSDAY"

  • Christei September 9, 2015 (10:04 am)

    I support the teachers. Lets work this out so we can get the kids back in school!

  • sam-c September 9, 2015 (10:05 am)

    That photo looks like the John Stanford Center, not Pathfinder.

    I support the teachers!

    • WSB September 9, 2015 (10:10 am)

      Sam-C, sorry, it came in as “from Pathfinder” and I didn’t squint at the background. Fixing.
      Me – I don’t know yet when SPS is planning to make the daily call. With no word of new talks as of last check, probably prudent, but that’s my unofficial suggestion.

  • me September 9, 2015 (10:07 am)

    So, should we plan for no school tomorrow then? Can anyone make a good guess on how long it will last? Thanks!

  • zark00 September 9, 2015 (10:22 am)

    Well, this stinks, but if history is any indicator:

    1976 (10 days)
    1978 (three weeks)
    1985 (19 days)
    1990 (one day)
    1991 (part of a multi-district strike across the state)
    2015 (one-day walkout in May)

    I fear this isn’t going to be over any time soon.

  • thankyouws September 9, 2015 (10:30 am)

    We’ve been outside picketing from 8am onwards and the show of support has been really wonderful. We had people honking, waving, showing up with coffee and food, even slowing down as they drove by, rolling down their windows and telling us they love us. None of us wants to be out there; We’d far prefer to be in our classrooms doing the work we’re dedicated to doing. But this is necessary. And for those who think this was an easy decision, I can tell you that as we left our buildings yesterday, most of us hauled away work to do at home for however many days this is going to take to resolve so that we can be ready come the first day of school, whenever that is. Thank you, West Seattle, for your support!

  • me September 9, 2015 (10:34 am)

    Thanks zark00 and WSB – well, I guess we’ll start doing some homeschool type stuff until we can get back…

    My parents were both teachers and I support teachers, do whatever it takes guys!

  • me September 9, 2015 (10:54 am)

    I support teachers!

  • HIGHSCHOOLMOM September 9, 2015 (11:02 am)

    Please know that there are parents and students who do NOT support the teachers and this strike. This is about money-own it! The strike really hurts the high school AP students, these are strong students with college plans and they are being completely abandoned by their teachers and the teacher’s union. The AP students in Seattle already begin at a disadvantage with school in Seattle starting so late and now every day missed is an AP class that can not be made up. AP test dates do not change. With college being so competitive these classes matter!
    Seattle Public School AP teachers let’s base your pay increases on your AP students test scores as the students AP scores are used to evaluate them when applying for college!

  • curtis September 9, 2015 (11:09 am)

    This Sucks.

  • zark00 September 9, 2015 (11:20 am)


    Teachers and the Union did not abandon the kids, the Seattle Public School district and Larry Nyland abandoned them.

    SPS is holding your child hostage to underpay the teachers of Seattle. You should be FURIOUS at Nyland and the SPS, your ire toward teachers and the union is very misplaced.

    If you want the best for your child you should stand with those that want the same thing – teachers. SPS and Larry Nyland couldn’t care less about you, your kid, or his/her chances of getting into college. They care about one thing and one thing only – bonuses for negotiating a contract favorable to SPS. That’s it – Nyland is a union-breaker, brought in for this exact reason. Strong arm us (parents and the public) with fear tactics, vilify teachers, and steal you tax money for purposes other than education.
    Nyland makes $308,000 a year. He’s paid $700 a month for a car! He’s a crook plain and simple. You are siding with a crook hoping that will somehow improve your kids education. Shameful.

  • jetcitydude September 9, 2015 (11:27 am)

    The pay raise is for the kids.. yaaaaaaay!

  • Gatewood K September 9, 2015 (11:39 am)

    HIGHSCHOOLMOM and others who have posted along these lines — of course it is about money!! How else do teachers keep a roof over their head, support their families, and eat food? It’s an employment contract they are talking about, of course it is about money.

    Why is it so important that your AP student be in school? Could it be so they can do well in school and be ultimately be financially successful? OH WAIT THAT’S ABOUT MONEY TOO!! So it’s selfish if they are concerned about their own financial security, they need to get back to work pronto so your kid can definitely make more money than them. Got it.

    (And as a former AP/honors student, I can say that they never really start school at a disadvantage, let’s be frank here.)

  • Ex AP student September 9, 2015 (11:43 am)

    Why shouldn’t this about money? Teachers deserve to make a wage that is current with the cost of living in this very expensive city. I find it disturbing that a parent of an AP student isn’t using this a valuable moment to teach their kids about the history of the labor movement and all that it has afforded us as citizens. Have them read Zinn, Chomsky or for that matter give them a lesson on FDR. Take some responsibility as a parent to teach your child that standing up for what you believe in is vital to this country, perhaps more than taking tests. This is a great subject for that AP essay.

  • JoAnn September 9, 2015 (11:43 am)

    What happens to children dropped off or who show up at school? Some may not have a place to go. Is there any plan in place for them?

  • Bill September 9, 2015 (11:47 am)

    I’m all for High Pay for teachers. Higher pay will lead to better qualified teachers in the future as the best college students will be more likely to consider teaching as a career.

    But what about this “less test taking”? Why is that on the agenda? How else do we measure teachers performance and weed out the low performers? How else do we ensure our children are learning what they need and are expected to?

    At the end of the day, I want my kid to come home with the best education possible. If my kid comes home with a smile on his face but doesn’t know math at an age-appropriate level, then I’ll be furious.

    Tests work.

    By the way, I’m also “All For” recess. Kids need it. It’s proven to help children learn… And have some fun along the way.

  • What? September 9, 2015 (12:04 pm)

    Really hsm? That’s part of what this is about. So teacher pay should be based on student test scores? Solely, weighted? Teachers in schools with lower average test scores get paid less than ones with higher ones? Leaving no teachers wanting to work at schools that need them most? I see that being very difficult to put into action.
    And yes pay is part of it. Seattle has a pretty high cost of living and the avg teachers salary here is below the national avg. Per The Washington Post.
    There are 2 teachers in my family, both with masters degrees and almost 10 yrs. Experience that make $60,000 gross per year. I hardly call that a ton of money in today’s Seattle.

  • Ray September 9, 2015 (12:05 pm)

    I support the school district!

  • Josh September 9, 2015 (12:11 pm)

    If teachers don’t like the pay, get a different job!

  • Earnest WS Native September 9, 2015 (12:19 pm)

    Having had direct, inside experience years ago on the business side dealing with labor unions—in my case it was a bit more binary with union representation within a non-union production facility—I was exposed to realities which make me skeptical of all union/administration negotiations and stalemates.

    Neither side will talk about it in detail but both employ specialized labor lawyers that control and orchestrate everything—everything. Every action from early posturing by the district, “helpful” communiques from Nyland, talking points and press releases from both sides, and timing of significant events are carefully managed for maximum pressure on the opposition and to excite constituents and supporters. Even the crafting of words and statements are carefully crafted to excite—”doing it for the kids” comes to mind.

    Please consider the source of any statement from SEA and SPS with skepticism and try to find a neutral resource that supports or refutes any statement you hear or read before taking it as fact.

    Here’s an example I am struggling with and I hope someone here can answer factually—because I assure you folks from SEA and SPS are lurking and commenting here—is regarding the 30 minutes of extra time SPS is proposing:

    SPS wants the extra time for “for physical education, arts and music”. SEA says that SPS’s proposal means a “30-minute longer school day without a commitment to pay for that time”. This seams incredible to me. Which way should we interpret these statements?:

    1) Is SPS literally asking teachers to work an extra 30 minutes without any compensation? Like for free?

    2) Does SEA expect a pay increase because teachers are asked to work past their current contracted time? If so, does SEA consider the SPS offer a negative net because the extended time effectively dilutes their present compensation (with fewer hours)? Basically, an increase in pay to maintain (or increase) current compensation levels to offset the extra 30 minutes?

    Which is it, or is there another way to interpret their statements?

  • ScubaFrog September 9, 2015 (12:24 pm)

    I support the teachers. They aren’t paid livable wages. They have huge class sizes, and they’re expected to do the impossible. It’s Sad, and a commentary on America, that many aren’t empathetic towards the teachers’ causes. “If teachers don’t like the pay, get a different job!”. Being able to pay your rent/mortgage and eat is important. Unfortunately we’re living in the time of the biggest wealth gap in US history, and it’s unfortunate to see people shun the working middle class, and even hold the working class in disdain and contempt.

  • HelperMonkey September 9, 2015 (12:29 pm)

    How many times does it have to be spelled out that it isn’t all about the money? Or do the right wing whackos just have it all in their heads “URGH. UNION BAD. TEACHERS BAD. MY KID GOOD. TEACH KID FOR FREE! *bangs rocks together*” – that’s seriously what it feels like reading some of the comments here. That spoonfed worldview makes this easier to digest – why do any actual research on the strike and what the teachers are actually fighting for? It’s so much easier to get on the internet and spout half-baked, uninformed barely legible comments!
    /don’t have kids
    //stands with teachers

  • onion September 9, 2015 (12:45 pm)

    To Josh’s comment: My understanding is that there are not enough quality candidates for Seattle’s teaching jobs, particularly for the substitute positions. Could that possibly be due in large part to the local teachers’ pay scale and the cost of living in Seattle? I am not a parent, but the community gets the teachers and schools that it pays for — or doesn’t pay for. And our education decisions today will impact our community’s quality of life today and in the future.

  • Nwnative September 9, 2015 (12:51 pm)

    I’m not supporting either side both the union and the district have issues. I don’t really understand why people blindly support one side when both have caused this mess. I would like to see reforms on both sides but neither seems to know what compromise is

  • Billv34 September 9, 2015 (12:55 pm)

    The School Board does not control how society views the equitability of teacher pay. Where is the union’s proposal on what expenses should be trimmed to provide for their funding proposals? Anyone can advocate for more expenses, but that is not management. Right now, it’s the union that is preventing my children from going to school. But I guess that sentiment makes me Donald Trump. (For the record, I do believe that America undervalues teachers. I just don’t think the School Board has the power to print money.)

  • SillyGoose September 9, 2015 (1:07 pm)

    @sam c that beautiful school is Madison Middle School doesnt it look fantastic, we are so lucky to have that beautiful school and it’s awesome teachers in WEST SEATTLE!

  • mamikaze September 9, 2015 (1:09 pm)

    My special ed student deserves to have aides with her as needed, not as dictate by the budget. This negotiation is about keeping the building properly staffed by aides, therapists, and specialists as much as it is about pay.

  • T Rex September 9, 2015 (1:09 pm)

    Know why a lot of your kids are upset that school did not start? The teachers.

    My grandmother was a teacher and one of my biggest influences in high school was one of my teachers. It takes a special person to teach. And they have degrees just like most of us. Why are they not paid for that degree like the rest of us?

    I hope they hold their ground and stay on strike until they get what they want. The more pressure you as the parents put on the SPS, the quicker that will happen.

    Slam dunk the SPS and Larry Nyland with emails, voice mails, whatever you can do to make him very uncomfortable.

  • SupportingSEA September 9, 2015 (1:13 pm)

    Thank you HelperMonkey! I was thinking that exact thing. I am getting so sick of people thinking this is ONLY about teacher pay. That is one of the items but NOT the only item. Everything on the table is about doing what is right for kids. Equity teams to help teachers close the achievement gap, caseload limits for school psychologists and special ed so they can spend much needed time with their students, cutting back on the number of standardized tests, additional support for school secretaries and support staff. All these issues are being fought for BY the union FOR YOUR KIDS! This is not only about money! Do the research and know the facts.

  • Alan September 9, 2015 (1:15 pm)

    @HIGHSCHOOLMOM and other self-centered, entitled, give-me-services-for-free, don’t-like-it-get-another-job commenters. There is a national teacher shortage and you are part of the reason for it.

    The fact is that many teachers do realize every year that they can get other jobs. In Vegas, dealers make more in tips than the teachers do. Teachers realize that they can make more and not have to listen to this kind of trash-talk.

    That your poor AP student was going to be at a disadvantage just gave me a good laugh. I am so glad I am not a teacher.

  • Ray September 9, 2015 (1:20 pm)


    “right wing whackos”? Really? That is what you come in here with?

    You know, the city of Seattle, which swings Democratic by such a wide margin it is disheartening. The same Seattle that votes for practically every tax, levy, etc on the planet.

    And it is “right wing whackos” that are at fault here.

    Talk about accusations with absolutely no support, basis, or relevancy.

  • Martino September 9, 2015 (1:45 pm)

    Whatever happens, I just wanted to start my freshman year soon.

  • West Seattle since 1979 September 9, 2015 (1:49 pm)

    i support the teachers. Maybe if something needs to be trimmed, it could be the salaries of people like Nyland.

  • jetcitydude September 9, 2015 (1:55 pm)

    The State Supreme Court is the most corrupt group I’ve ever seen. They all should be impeached.

  • brian September 9, 2015 (2:17 pm)

    To the parent who is complaining about how this is affecting the AP students, you should realize that students who take AP courses are the students who have benefited the most from the public school system in this city.
    This strike isn’t about those students. This strike is about the other students who are getting the shaft.

  • WestSeaMom September 9, 2015 (2:22 pm)

    Teachers we support you!

  • HelperMonkey September 9, 2015 (2:33 pm)

    RAY: I didn’t accuse anyone of anything, or say the “right wing whackos” were at fault for any of this, but they’re the ones on this comment thread stupidly just blaming the union and not looking at the facts about what the teachers are fighting for, just going with their knee-jerk reaction to “UNION automatically = BAD”. I had to call them something. How about instead of “right wing whacko” we call them “anti-union wingnuts”? Nothing I call them is going to change their minds and I wasn’t accusing anyone of anything other than poor comprehensive skills and myopic reasoning.

  • wow September 9, 2015 (2:40 pm)

    Wow @HIGHSCHOOLMOM. Selfish much? I’d argue, as many others here would, that the kids who are NOT in AP need classes and school help much more than your super special entitled student. If you feel so strongly maybe you should be looking at private schools. The strike is hard on everyone. We all bear the weight of the burden, and hopefully we will all benefit when it is resolved.

  • aa September 9, 2015 (2:44 pm)

    More recess Less tests? That’s the most ridiculous thing I have seen. How will that help them compete in the world as a working adult?

  • Bonnie September 9, 2015 (2:48 pm)

    from my friends facebook post: She is a SPS teacher: Please share this post–the truth. The district refused to come to the bargaining table today. They have not indicated whether they will join tmrrw. Next negotiations are scheduled for Friday, although the union has asked to meet today and tmrrw.

    This is a common tactic used by districts in situations like this; they use our children as pawns to leverage their negotiating power, to wear parents down, to stifle support for teachers.

    Do not let them continue to use our children as pawns for power, pawns for testing, pawns for failed, inequitable systems. Write to the school board and continue to support our teachers!

  • Brenda September 9, 2015 (2:49 pm)

    Go BACK to work teachers!

  • Workin' for a livin' September 9, 2015 (3:03 pm)

    One good way to test whether this is or is not all about the money would be for the district to agree to all the student oriented items (special ed staffing ratios, ESA workload, reducing disparity in discipline in all schools, enhanced communication with families, evaluation process designed to help identify and support underperforming teachers, increased instructional time starting in the third year of the contract) and stick to their guns on the salary offer of a 13.75% increase over three years, with the clause written in about bargaining over compensation for the increased instructional time before it begins in 2016-2017. If all the protestations that this strike is only for the sake of our students are genuine, it seems this should lead to a rapid agreement and start of school.
    But who’s going to listen to reason at this point? Too many entrenched opinions and too much noise!

  • Erik September 9, 2015 (3:05 pm)

    The race to achievement is one of the bigger obstacles to true learning. I run into this often when teaching adults how to learn; being so focused on the outcome that they get lost on the way. I know many 4.0 pointers that couldn’t find their way out of the simplest puzzles only because they’re so used to parroting the answers and not knowing how to ask better questions. If we’re going to rate teachers by test scores then we better get used to a dumber society.

    • WSB September 9, 2015 (3:18 pm)

      Two important points from the district briefing, which is just wrapping up (toplines have been added to the story above):
      #2 – Talks ARE expected to resume tomorrow morning

  • Argh September 9, 2015 (3:07 pm)

    Write to our “elected”school boards members and Superintendent.
    Tell them to do put their energy into supporting our teachers and kids.
    Our SPS districts NEEDS TO HEAR from all families affected by this.
    Emails contact:

    hmm…wondering what district people are doing today????
    Let’s not forget the district is employed by tax payers too to do a job. Let’s do it!!!!!!


  • DP September 9, 2015 (3:12 pm)

    @Aa – some students, primarily those poor and minority, got as little as a 10 minute recess the entire school day. Pathetic. That is what teachers were fighting for…an opportunity for students to get out and play and be kids.
    As far as those tests you speak of, these aren’t simple spelling tests. They’re speaking out against the state tests. As an SPS employee, and as someone who has observed these tests in action, I can tell you that they in no way prepare you for a competing, working adult life.

  • Seattle Resident September 9, 2015 (3:13 pm)

    I fully support the teachers behind this! GO THEM!!

  • frustrated WSB reader September 9, 2015 (3:20 pm)

    WSB, have you considered a radical redesign of your web site so it is more friendly to readers? I know of very few other news sites that start with old, time stamped news on top and all the freshest info at the bottom of a post. You put a lot of effort into your reporting, and it shows. The design of WSJ is an embarrassing throwback to 2003-era blogs.

  • WS Mom September 9, 2015 (3:27 pm)

    We support our teachers! They are fighting for the quality of our children’s edu, as well as salary.
    My 3 yr and my self were on the picket line this morning, showing support.
    As a tax paying citizen I say: Shame on Seattle! Pay the teachers, give our kids recess, less tests & stop short changing our future!

  • kj September 9, 2015 (3:30 pm)

    “Less tests?” Aargh. I know I’m an anal English teacher, but Geez people.

  • Seth September 9, 2015 (3:36 pm)

    Just pay the teachers – they earned it and they deserve it and give children more recess time, they need it too. Test taking is not the answer. Having a positive learning and playing environment is the key to success. We need happy teachers and happy students then we can move on with our lives.

  • Bill V September 9, 2015 (3:44 pm)

    “This is a common tactic used by districts in situations like this; they use our children as pawns to leverage their negotiating power”

    Stated without any irony, I gather.

  • Westside September 9, 2015 (3:46 pm)

    “More recess Less tests? That’s the most ridiculous thing I have seen. How will that help them compete in the world as a working adult?”

    Now THAT is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Play is probably more important for intellectual development than anything that happens in the classroom (especially for younger kids). Testing demonstrates little more that one’s ability to successfully complete a test. I am betting that far more recess and far less testing would make for much more competent adults in the workforce. You know, unless the jobs of the future will all involve taking tests.

  • CanDo September 9, 2015 (3:47 pm)

    And still not a squeak about contracts just signed by our football players for millions annually. I love football and love our Seahawk players especially, but damn… Their salaries are off the charts and you say teachers shouldn’t have a modest raise in 6 years? How much were those teachers worth who placed themselves in front of mentally ill shooters to protect a community’s children? How much is reading, writing, socialization, math and history worth to your children? You want them to get into college but don’t want to pay the teachers who prepare them for that?

    I stand with teachers! They are underpaid and under appreciated for the mountains of work they do in and out of the classroom.

  • Ray September 9, 2015 (3:54 pm)

    The statement:
    “Let’s not forget the district is employed by tax payers too to do a job. Let’s do it!!!!!!”

    Cuts both ways.

    “Let’s not forget that TEACHERS are employed by the TAXPAYERS to do a job. They should do it.”

    THEY are letting the children down here.

  • Leanne Hust September 9, 2015 (3:56 pm)

    Thank you Seattle parents and students for your support!

  • Lynn September 9, 2015 (4:10 pm)


    1) Is SPS literally asking teachers to work an extra 30 minutes without any compensation? Like for free? *The district wants to add 30 minutes (7%) to the day in year three of the contract and has proposed an 8.9% raise over those three days.

    2) Does SEA expect a pay increase because teachers are asked to work past their current contracted time? If so, does SEA consider the SPS offer a negative net because the extended time effectively dilutes their present compensation (with fewer hours)? Basically, an increase in pay to maintain (or increase) current compensation levels to offset the extra 30 minutes? *Yes.

  • sam-c September 9, 2015 (4:13 pm)

    (SillyGoose- Madison Middle IS beautiful, but I was referring to the 4th photo- the caption has since been fixed)

    Go teachers!!

  • Seth September 9, 2015 (4:14 pm)

    Let’s make both our kids and teachers happy by giving them what they need which is more $ and longer recesses. Stop being so stingy and hateful towards our little people and those who help them to grow up and become adults. We are a wealthiest nation in the world and Seattle is one of the wealthiest cities in the country. It is very expensive to live in this part of the country.

  • david September 9, 2015 (4:21 pm)

    @ Ray
    wrong again ray, the real gripe is with the republiCON legislators who are not doing their job…
    wake up sheeple! the legislators have done a fantastic job of divide and conquer! you need look no further than the way teachers are paid…

  • Lola September 9, 2015 (4:22 pm)


    I personally know of Three Teachers who for the life of them cannot get a job in Washington State. One is a 20 year veteran of Teaching in Washington, she took a year off from teaching and now cannot get a teaching job back. I guess from what people tell me since she is a veteran with many years under her belt they probably do not want to hire her at the hire salary that they would have to pay her.

    The other two were recent College grads who could not find a Teaching Job in Washington state. Both have since found Teaching jobs in different states.

    That tells me right there that something is wrong with our School System in Washington State.


  • Mo September 9, 2015 (4:28 pm)

    WSB FYI- The contracted teacher work day is actually 7.5 hours with 2 additional hours each week. One hour is for Professional Learning Communities (PLC) alternated with staff meetings and the other hour is dedicated to teacher collaboration. (The average is 8 hour days 4 days a week and 7.5 one day a week).

    The student’s current instructional time is 6 hours and 10 minutes each day. This is what is currently being debated. The district /was/ proposing to extend instructional time by 30 minutes each day. This would either extend the teacher work day by an additional 30 minutes each day or take away from what is considered preparation time (which we all do on our own time for hours each day anyway!).

  • Leon September 9, 2015 (4:28 pm)

    HelperMonkey… Whackos or Wingnuts? Why do you have to call “them” anything? Name calling just makes you look foolish and weak.
    And Wow. Angry much? No matter how one feels about this whole mess, your disdain for smart kids (“super special entitled student”) is astonishing.

  • wseaparent September 9, 2015 (4:29 pm)

    Shame of you teacher’s for allowing this to happen, you had 4 months to sort it out and take the high road, for the kids and the community. Your demands are outside reality and the problems and cost of living are the same as many families in this City.
    Shame on you for setting the wrong example to our kids by pinning the blame on SPS
    Shame on you for not wanting to find a common ground and keep fighting for want you want without affecting the community.
    Shame of you for not realizing that this is how it is in real life and that every family struggles for.
    Shame of you for not finding good leadership within your union. You are not dying of malnutrition or doing forced manual labor, so strike yes sure, what a farce!!!

    This is not an issue to be fixed by forcing parents and taxpayers to foot the bill overnight

    and for the public to be informed here’s the link to teachers salaries you can sort, search, etc

  • Ann September 9, 2015 (4:32 pm)

    Just for the record, I’m no longer a teacher, but I left teaching for many of the same reasons being debated in this strike.

  • flimflam September 9, 2015 (4:37 pm)

    ok. the photo of the precious little child holding the “i’m 7 I deserve recess” is just tugging on my heartstrings…

    wasn’t this issue actually agreed upon?

    pretty gross to see these children being trotted out to garner sympathy.

  • Cecelia September 9, 2015 (4:41 pm)

    In regarding the 30 minutes extra. YES SPS literally wants the teachers to work 30 extra minutes with no extra pay for it.

    What is worse is they didn’t even add this to the negotiations until mid Aug. Contract negotiations started in May. Why would they throw something into the negotiations with such far reaching implications as extending the school day so late in the summer.

    I can tell you as a parent I want some input in extending the school day by 30 minutes. SPS loves to throw things in at the 11th hour so no one has any time to do anything about it.

    But wait….we can do something this time. The teachers are striking and I SUPPORT THEM!

  • Ws resident September 9, 2015 (4:42 pm)

    I do NOT support the teachers striking.

    Be adults and go to work like the rest of us! If you are unhappy with your career CHOICE (pay and conditions) then find something you would be happy with. Not going to work and delaying school sets a bad example for the kids. There are many careers where people work hard, make a difference in the world and are not paid well. It’s a choice! The teachers are beyond frustrating.

  • Hr September 9, 2015 (4:46 pm)

    1) Is SPS literally asking teachers to work an extra 30 minutes without any compensation? Like for free? YES

    The district wants to add 30 minutes (7%) to the day in year three (10% student contact hours in high school) of the contract and has proposed an 8.9% raise over those three years. (AND you need to subtract the 1.7 % raise that expires next year)

    2) Does SEA expect a pay increase because teachers are asked to work past their current contracted time? YES

  • Former Strker September 9, 2015 (4:57 pm)

    Having been on strike for more than two weeks in Kent six years ago, I suspect that SPS teachers are striking for exactly the reasons they say — recess, a livable wage, and the addition of 30 minutes to the school day without fair compensation.

    And …

    I suspect they are striking because they are fed up. Fed up with being the target of ignorance (that’s you @highschoolmom and @ray).

    Teachers are fed up with an administration that fills up school schedules with tests in order to collect precious “data” that never drills down to the individual kid, but that is used to justify that administration’s own existence. They are fed up with homelessness and substance abuse and mental illness and having to be social workers because the system is so broken that school counselors are registrars. They are fed up with the expectation that they must sacrifice time with their own families because their school children are so needy, because papers must be graded, lessons planned, phone calls made. They are fed up by those who suggest they are lazy, don’t care, are resting on their laurels. They are fed up by those who use “all those breaks” to suggest that teachers have it easy (when teachers take work home on those breaks and spend much of that time grading/planning/communicating). They are fed up with being told that the quality of their art can be measured largely by tests designed by corporate textbook publishers whose only interest is to line their own pockets.

    Teachers are fed up with you @highschoolmom and @ray. They are striking against you. They are tied of being beaten and broken and of caring so much and being the target of so much vitriol.

    You want teachers to stay in the classroom? Celebrate them. Honor them. Show them that you value what they do.

    How do you do that? You pay them and you show some respect.

    Until that happens, teachers here and elsewhere will continue to strike. And then they will quit.

    Good job @highschoolmom and @ray.

  • david September 9, 2015 (4:59 pm)

    @ wseaparent
    wrong again “wseaparent”
    the board is where you would like to direct those comments. The board are the ones who sat on their laurels all summer…

  • Maria September 9, 2015 (5:10 pm)

    Spending on a war is not a problem but, education is not a priority ?
    Those test are ridiculous and only help those who are collecting the money…

  • WSSupporter September 9, 2015 (5:21 pm)

    As I drove around with Seattle today I saw a number of groups of hard-working teachers protesting to better support learning and their students. While it is inconvenient too many of us, they are demonstrating to my children the very nature of what it is to be an American. You stand up and be counted and you do not hide. I am proud of our American forebears who dumped tea in Boston Harbor and I am proud of the thousands of teachers throughout the city who participated in a protest to better meet the needs of Seattle Public School children. These are not the “union thugs” some would like you to believe, instead these are the nurturing teachers who will help my children grow academically and civically. Thank you teachers, I support you.

  • au September 9, 2015 (5:32 pm)

    @Former Striker-Well said!

    @westseaparent, yes its good to have an opinion but please try to inform yourself of the facts before setting your mind. If you were following any of this you would know how the district has been bargaining (or rather not bargaining).

    And these ‘smarter balance’ tests are ineffective at best and insidious at worst.

    Things need to change, Thank you teachers and all who are trying toeffect that change.

  • Mo September 9, 2015 (5:33 pm)

    @wseaparent – You can look up teachers salaries. When you do look at the district TRI pay. The increase being asked for is cost of living increases which is only for a small fraction of the salary.

    The cool thing is teachers are teaching children that they are worth more. That students should have substitutes if their teachers call out sick, that students should have recess no matter their parents income (rich kids get far more recess than poor), that special education students should actually get their services because their district was able to recruit and retain enough special education teachers, that teachers can afford to live in the city in which they work. It’s neat that students are learning this. But no one wants them to learn this way. NO ONE. Not parents, not teachers, not administrators. But the students are worth it and the teachers are worth it.

    Stay educated and informed.

  • private schools rock September 9, 2015 (5:53 pm)

    I saw kids walking to school today. I bet they and their parents were surprised. I don’t see this strike ending until next month.
    Why didn’t SPS cancel high school sporting events during this strike?

  • NotOnHolden September 9, 2015 (6:19 pm)

    We need to stop with the crab bucket mentality, there is no need to drag others down because you are not getting the same.

    It’s the same crap with the people against a higher minimum wage. I know I once made a ridiculously low wage for a ton of work, but would I deny another person the higher minimum wage because of that? No! I know what it’s like to struggle and still do to some degree. We should be lifting people up, not kicking each other down while we all fight over the scraps.

  • Koenig September 9, 2015 (6:20 pm)

    So it wasn’t “legal” to dump tea in Boston, to participate in the Underground Railroad, to participate in the civil rights movement, to burn draft cards? Now I am sure that a city teacher strike is not so impactful as these events, but I get the point that protest is very American!

    We stand by teachers!

  • Lynda September 9, 2015 (6:27 pm)

    In support of the teachers. But how much did 5000 solidarity red tee shirts cost? And out of whose budget? Kind of ridiculous if you ask me. Buy some books or something you would think.

  • See ya in Oct September 9, 2015 (6:30 pm)

    Does anyone know if Seattle teachers receive Strike Pay?

  • Bree September 9, 2015 (6:43 pm)

    We were wondering why the lights were on to slow down in a school zone by Lafayette if there is no school? This was around 3PM today.

    • WSB September 9, 2015 (6:45 pm)

      Maybe SDOT didn’t get the message about the strike? I hear that while the strike was announced at 6:18 pm last night – we reported it instantly from district HQ – some messaging didn’t go out via e-mail for hours.

  • seattletimebandit September 9, 2015 (6:52 pm)

    I’m with you @Kj: “Less testing”, correct. “Less tests”?, back to school people! FEWER tests!!

  • Dino September 9, 2015 (6:54 pm)

    Hey Lynda, as the proud owner of one of those 5,000 unity shirts, I regret to inform you that you forgot to add “ill-fitting” and “scratchy” into your description… Thanks for your support, I sincerely appreciate it.

    We all paid for these shirts by way of our union dues. Care to wager whether I spend more on my monthly (or annual) union membership or on uncompensated classroom materials, supplies, and student needs expenses?

    No complaints from me (other than the ill-fitting nature of the shirts) but my union dues are a fraction of what I routinely contribute for the benefits of students in my classroom, school, and larger community.

  • Earnest WS Native September 9, 2015 (6:59 pm)

    Thanks, @Lynn, @Cecelia, and Hr for answering my question about the added 30 minutes. What is amazing to me is that since SPS will actually pay teachers for the 30 mins, teachers would realize added income (I know, not much) coupled with “helping the kids” with more instructional time. Rhetorically, why wouldn’t teachers invite the opportunity for more student time while making $$ on the added 30 minutes?

  • marriedtoateacher September 9, 2015 (7:14 pm)

    You deserve 10 times what you get.
    All SPS teachers and their students need more resources, more assistance, more respect and a lot less testing.

  • soi September 9, 2015 (7:23 pm)

    14% pay raise will cover the 30 minutes. Can we open schools on Friday?

  • Rope September 9, 2015 (7:23 pm)

    Teachers do not receive strike pay.

  • wseaparent September 9, 2015 (7:42 pm)

    It is obvious that the fact that not everyone is on the side of the union has touched a nerve. Parents need to unite and vocalize that we won’t accept anything that perturbs the daily life of many families.
    Teachers and the union need to come down to the real world and accept what they are offered and continue their work (good or bad) that you do everyday and that is to teach our children. That would be a better example than just walking out because you don’t like it. That mentality just shows children that walking out of your job is o.k.
    Then continue your talk with the government agencies and state to provide proper funding, it won’t be easy or be overnight but I would say that is a better example.

    Finally stop pointing blame to such and such be professional and accept reality…… for the good of the children and the community.

  • Park pro September 9, 2015 (7:50 pm)

    For those skeptical that recess is an academic issue, there is a positive correlation between recess and test scores, as well as classroom behavior. There are several studies, but the CDC has an overview of several.

  • Greg September 9, 2015 (7:56 pm)

    I can’t help but notice that all the anti strike people posting here are really just angry anti teacher people who can’t pass up an opportunity to bash teachers. While the people that support the strike and teachers are the ones who have the facts and a solid knowledge of the situation- says a lot about the two sides on this issue.

  • MOVE! Seattle PLEASE! September 9, 2015 (8:00 pm)

    At the end of the day the teacher’s will certainly receive an increase in salary, the only unknown at this time is how much the increase will be. Why not teach while the contract discussions continue instead of holding the children and parents as leverage?
    Remember the hand that pays you – the school district and the tax paying public.

  • dcn September 9, 2015 (8:00 pm)

    Earnest WS Native,

    If teachers are already spending countless hours outside of the school day grading, planning, communicating with families, etc., then adding more instructional time will take away from all of that. Asking teachers to give up 30 minutes of prep time to have more instructional time will decrease the quality of that instruction. We’ve heard countless testimonials here from teachers, relatives of teachers, and friends of teachers that they are spending way more than an 8 hour day at their jobs. They can only be spread so thin.
    If the district added that extra 30 minutes by hiring more teachers to teach more art, music, etc., then it would be a benefit, but I don’t believe this is what they are proposing.
    Likewise, forcing teachers to move out of the city or take second jobs to make ends meet also decreases the quality of instruction because they will have fewer hours to put into their jobs if they are commuting long distances or moonlighting.
    To Former Strker: your post was awesome.
    Finally, someone I know who used to live here but now lives in Chicago posted the link below on Facebook. I think it sums up perfectly the current issues of education and equity in Seattle. He went through a teacher education program for high school science, but quit after his student teaching experience when he realized the extent of the issues facing teachers today. He’s brilliant, and it was a loss for all his potential future students when he quit.

  • A teacher who cares September 9, 2015 (8:18 pm)

    @ WS Native,
    Have you spent a day in a public school in the last few years? It is hard, mentally kids are pretty much mentally done with academic work. Keeping a few after for tutoring is common practice. Testing and learning how to take tests are taking up weeks of time. Asking teachers to work an additional 30 minutes without instructional assistants sets up our Sped and ELL students for 30 minutes of frustration. The pay increase offered equals less than $1 more per day. Would you agree to stay at work with frustrated people for $1?

    Sure, lots of students could benefit from extra time and support, but don’t throw it on the table last minute. Allow models to be discussed, pay incentives, and give teachers, parents, other community groups who run after school programs a chance to talk options.

    And it’s not all about $, there’s also integrity. Test scores should not be tied to evaluations. Recess should not be negotiable. We want highly qualified teachers to want to work in our district, right now, we are losing them to neighboring districts.

    I work in a great school, but we don’t even have a computer lab, actually, we have 3 classrooms currently without any working computers or internet. Our district can do better, our kids and community deserve better.

  • Ttt September 9, 2015 (8:39 pm)

    @ earnest ws native :
    SPS is not willing to pay teachers for the extra added 30 minutes they are proposing. That is one of the reasons why teachers are striking. Ask any teacher if would like to add 30 more minutes of instruction time AND get paid for it and the answer would be yes.

  • DP September 9, 2015 (8:55 pm)

    @MOVE! – are you suggesting that teachers and “the tax-paying public” are separate entities?

  • pupsarebest September 9, 2015 (9:05 pm)

    I guess I’m old-school, (no pun intended) but the current anti-teacher witch-hunt that prevails appalls me.
    Teachers are part of the backbone and lifeblood of America, and now are villified as deadbeats, “takers” and do-nothings…which filthy political party is responsible for this nasty and disingenuous take on the venerable, respected, vitally-important teaching profession?
    I think we all know.
    Former Strker, your comment is perfection.

  • lynda September 9, 2015 (9:09 pm)

    OK Dino, glad you bought your own tee shirt through your union dues. Sorry that they all don’t fit right. But at as minimum $10 per tee Shirt times 5000 times as there are union members. $50,000 according to Dino out of SEA dues. Nice. Great Knapp.

  • CMT September 9, 2015 (9:36 pm)

    I support the teachers!!! Hang in there!

  • chris September 9, 2015 (9:38 pm)

    I’m wondering what the household income is of those with negative comments about the teachers. Could you live in you neighborhood on the average teacher’s pay? To the wsm with the app student. Maybe you should tutor /homeschool your app student so he or she doesn’t fall behind

  • evil twin teacher September 9, 2015 (10:04 pm)

    I want to prepare my students as best as possible for a great, successful future.
    That is why my classroom is set up in small office cubicles. I interface directly with my students via computers for all instruction.
    I hold each student accountable to his or her data by having them track their progress of the 4th grade common core learning standards using a performance matrix. Students who master content quickly earn recess and those who struggle are put on performance plans, and often improve! – though a few have to be let go.
    For group projects they collaborate in the “board room” and those with the weakest results are “fired” by the rest of the class. I like to call it “corporate survival”. Students can always earn back a spot through financial donations – cash – to me.
    They can also improve their grades in this way.

  • G September 9, 2015 (10:15 pm)


    And which political party has been responsible for putting every obstacle possible in the way of charter schools, who by the way, have their doors OPEN? Charter schools and their teachers and staff had have had to endure nasty comments from those questioning their credentials, their motivation, their integrity. They have had to put up with silly caricatures of charter schools as standardized test factories presided over by greedy Scrooges. “It’s all about the money,’ remember that favorite refrain from charter opponents? How does that feel when it’s on the other foot?

    Oh, and please don’t call my political party, the GOP, “filthy.” This is not civilized discourse. Thanks.

  • Grateful September 9, 2015 (10:25 pm)

    Teachers are and should be a cornerstone in our communities. They should be supported tirelessly. I’ve been in the classrooms with my kids these last few years as they’ve begun their public school education and I am consistently in awe of how hard our teachers work. What is being asked for is not out of line, not at all. This is tough for all involved but necessary, change must occur on several fronts.
    We are with you – hang tough!

  • KBear September 9, 2015 (10:36 pm)

    Lynda, T-shirts and picket signs are costs of doing business. They are needed to spread the message. If you support the teachers, direct your ire at the school board and the state legislature.

  • Curate September 10, 2015 (12:20 am)

    Just stunning the amount of snark directed at teachers in this thread. So misplaced and clearly about something entirely different. And pettiness! Seriously, @Lynda? STOP IT with the t-shirt comments. Show some respect, even if you disagree.

  • MsD September 10, 2015 (1:12 am)

    I hope “wseaparent” is just a screen name and this person doesn’t actually have children being taught to take whatever anyone offers, no matter the offer, and that keeping to a daily routine is the most important thing in life.

  • Loubob September 10, 2015 (5:34 am)

    Former Striker: Thank you. No. Money will not solve the social ills plaguing the US, but it will be for most teachers that glimmer of hope that helps us to get out of bed every morning and stare down the barrel of the gun that we all helped create. It is but one small bandage that holds us together when we silently scream in rage as we trudge through a well-intended system that is dragging down our kids. Every day teachers perform miracles. Nothing short of that. Every day.

  • soi September 10, 2015 (7:04 am)

    Can schools open Friday? Please. Please. I’m happy to buy supplies for teachers. I don’t want teachers working 60-80 hours work week or through summer when schools are closed. That’s crazy. I don’t think anyone, even the most rabid anti- everything crowd can justify such hours. Don’t do these things if you aren’t being paid. But please, please open the schools Friday.

  • Gatewood Mom September 10, 2015 (7:22 am)

    @flimflan You say it’s “pretty gross to see these children being trotted out to garner sympathy”?
    I took my kids to the strike yesterday to support their teachers and to participate in a real life history-making civics lesson. My seven-year old is probably better versed in the issues on the table than some adults. We aren’t trying to garner sympathy, we are trying to show our kids how to stand up for what is right.
    @Former Strker You are right on! Thank you!

  • M September 10, 2015 (7:39 am)

    The average teacher makes less then the average City of Seattle employee. Think about that

  • soi September 10, 2015 (7:40 am)

    I don’t understand why there’s doubt or questions what school employees make. If you work for the state, your pay is public record. For example, the News Tribune published this info. You can see what everybody makes. You can compare salaries across the state for being a school aide or a principal and get an idea if you make good or bad pay. I don’t know why Seattle Times and TV news don’t do these investigative basics.

  • stb September 10, 2015 (8:41 am)

    evil twin teacher–You win!

  • maplesyrup September 10, 2015 (9:33 am)

    To anyone suggesting that teachers just suck it up because that’s the job they accepted and whatever else, just ask yourselves what kind of talent you want in the teaching pool in 3-5 years.

    Because if our teachers continue to be underpaid (and yes on a national scale they are underpaid), the best ones are going to leave for other districts or the private section and we’ll be left with the bottom of the barrel.

    Or worse, Seattle won’t be able to attract top teaching talent and will have to raise pay eventually anyway. And in the meantime your kids’ educations will suffer.

    Think of this as a few days’ sacrifice for better conditions for everyone in the long haul.

  • soi September 10, 2015 (9:53 am)

    I’m learning a lot about fair labor laws taking another comp day, but praying school opens tomorrow. Salaried teachers and staff, if you make less than$50,440 and work more than your 40 hour work week, you are entitled OT as of 2016. You can thank Obama for that. Please file federal complaint if you are working 50-80 hours work week and not be compensated. It’s unfair, unhealthy, and unsafe work practice. Document, document, document. This is so basic, find a labor lawyer to file lawsuit on your behalf. Your union should have guideline for how to deal with this. I think people would not want a sleep deprived teachers or any workers for that matter working. It’s not productive and dangerous. That’s why we have labor laws.

  • G September 10, 2015 (10:03 am)

    Both union dues and materials purchased for students are tax deductible. School materials are a above-the-line-deduction, union dues are itemized. Strike pay is taxable as other income.

    I’ll be honest I’m not a fan of the strike for a variety of complex reasons, but these are tax tips you’ll want to keep in mind when Uncle Sam asks for his cut.

  • maplesyrup September 10, 2015 (10:37 am)

    G are those tax deductions on a 1:1 basis? I’m asking because sometimes you get to deduct far less than you spend. For example when we looked at donating our car to charity it was less than 20% iirc.

  • Workin' for a livin' September 10, 2015 (12:17 pm)

    @ Greg,
    To say that one side or the other is “the ones who have the facts and a solid knowledge of the situation” has to be sarcasm (intended or unintended) on your part!
    There is so much misinformation flying about on both sides, but many of the commenters are clearly not keeping up with the issues. They assume that the recess issue is still a sticking point, while it has already been resolved. Adorable 7-year old Rose from Roxhill already has got what she was asking for, once she gets back to school.
    Many commenters take the “work more for the same pay” argument at face value, when the SPS proposal doesn’t call for the additional 20 minutes of instructional time until the 2017-2018 school year and calls for bargaining additional compensation for that added time before it goes into effect.
    And, if recess is increased from as little as 10 minutes at some schools to 30 minutes everywhere, does that mean 20 minutes less instructional time? There’s a lot more outcry about 20 minutes being added two years from now than there is about 20 minutes less being in place this year.
    The statements about no cost of living increases in years and needing 20%+ increases over the next three years to catch up don’t match up with the information about the teachers’ expiring contract providing them a 5.5% increase in the past two years.
    I would encourage everyone on both sides to become more informed before asserting that they, and they alone, know all the facts. Let’s all take a deep breath and recognize that behind the screen names here we will find people who in real life are our friends and neighbors, our customers and our favorite local merchants. We are entitled to disagree and to express our opinions, but we owe it to each other to do it civilly and respectfully. Hopefully, we will all still be friends when we get through this strike!

  • G September 10, 2015 (12:39 pm)

    Depends. Out of pocket school materials are a 1:1 basis, up to $250 (it might be $300 now, can’t remember).

    Union dues would depend upon whether you are itemizing or not. If you’re not itemizing, you’re out of luck. Even if you are, you would receive a deduction only if your TOTAL miscellaneous deductions (dues are a misc deduct) are above the 2% of threshold of AGI (adjusted gross income.) Meaning, if you’re making bank, forget about it.

    I think that every high school student should learn what it takes to open a business and how to do a few tax returns. I would invite everyone spend a season doing taxes, it will dispel a lot myths and open some eyes.

  • pupsarebest September 10, 2015 (1:14 pm)

    Some have taken umbrage at my use of the word “filthy” to describe a political party.
    (Which, by the way, I did not name—if your party springs to your mind in connection with that word, so be it.)
    It was in interest of brevity I used the offending word, as it encompasses at least a dozen other pejorative adjectives, all accurate and well-earned, I could have used instead.

  • G September 10, 2015 (6:03 pm)


    Thanks for not sharing the rest of your “pejoratives” with us; most conservatives have a pretty idea what they are, we have to endure them on a daily basis. But if your comment qualifies as a semi-quasi-apology, I’ll take it. Times are lean.

Sorry, comment time is over.