SEATTLE SCHOOL STRIKE: Tentative agreement announced

9:23 PM: Seattle Public Schools says, “SPS and SEA bargaining teams have come to a tentative agreement. We will share an update on the start of school tomorrow afternoon.” SEA told its members in an email that was forwarded to us, “… Our tentative agreement is for a 3-year contract with Special Education ratios maintained and improved in areas, adding baseline mental health staffing in all schools, and raises above IPD every year.” The announcement comes after four days of striking.

9:36 PM: When we talked to SEA president Jennifer Matter in West Seattle on the first day of the strike, she said the agreement would have to be ratified before SEA members could go to work – unlike 2015 (the last SEA strike). But she said calling a general meeting could be accomplished quickly thanks to technology. In tonight’s message to members, Matter said, “… Ratifying the TA is part of our democratic union processes and to respect members’ voices we are keeping the TA among members only until it is ratified.”

9:42 PM: The media update that just arrived from SPS says, “… For now, the details of the tentative agreement are confidential. SEA members will review the proposed contract and vote tomorrow on whether to suspend the strike. Tomorrow afternoon, we will share an update on the start of school.”

30 Replies to "SEATTLE SCHOOL STRIKE: Tentative agreement announced"

  • ST September 12, 2022 (9:31 pm)

    I’m so glad to hear this.  Great news.  

  • Norisa Diaz September 12, 2022 (10:22 pm)

    Vote No! One week to study the agreement with full details!Educators must oppose any effort by the SEA and the NEA to shut the strike down on the basis of an agreement that does not meet their demands. In a recent statement, NEA President Becky Pringle noted that she is in direct talks with the president of the Washington Teachers Association, Larry Delaney, and local affiliates.This should be seen as a warning. Only weeks before, the NEA affiliates worked with federal mediators to shut down a strike by 4,000 teachers in Columbus, Ohio without teachers being able to review the details and vote on the proposal. Read more at

    • another teacher September 13, 2022 (7:56 am)

      maybe that’s how it works in Ohio, but not here.Today teachers will see the contract, and an abbreviated version with the main points highlighted.We will meet via zoom and listen to hours of commentary by teachers. If a teacher is not informed by the time they vote today, it is their fault and not the fault of the union nor SPS.

    • Frank September 13, 2022 (2:47 pm)

      I hope you’re not serious…I really don’t want to hear teachers talking about “wanting to get back to teaching” if they delay ending the strike.A dedicated negotiating team spent countless hours (into many late evenings) working with the district to get to this point. To pretend that every teacher reading every detail is going to make some huge difference is ludicrous.I’ve been supportive of the teachers union thus far as I’ve juggled work and having my daughter her at home, but if they delay more than a day, they are going to be losing any goodwill I have for them. 

  • Parent September 12, 2022 (10:23 pm)

    GREAT NEWS!!!  After the last 3 years has brought we will almost certainly make this our last year in SPS, just isn’t right for our kids as they move up the grades.  One went private this year and it was a severe pinch financially but also the best decision for a bright child that SPS couldn’t meet where they were academically.  Can’t afford private for the second but will be finding somewhere.  Our eyes were really opened when we went to Kumon and our first grader was at a preschool reading level and it was also mentioned private is 2 years ahead of public.  COVID has really affected students and the pass everyone culture isn’t doing anyone a service.   

    • Kadoo September 13, 2022 (7:11 am)

      The person at Kumon should not have said that private schools are two years ahead of public. That is not consistently true. I worked for a private school for 14 years. 

    • Kadoo September 13, 2022 (8:34 am)

      Kumon should not have told you that private schools are two years ahead of public schools. That is not consistently true. I worked in a private school for 14 years. 

  • S September 12, 2022 (10:30 pm)

     “… Our tentative agreement is for a 3-year contract with Special Education ratios maintained and improved in areas, adding baseline mental health staffing in all schools, and raises above IPD every year.” If this is all they are getting, that is a shame and a wasted effort. The elementary school for my kids has an SEL program that was cut in half last year. Our school went from 2 SEL classrooms, each with a teacher and 2 aides, to one room, with one teacher and two aides for the same number of kids. I have volunteered on campus for many years now, and this school is held together by the dedication of staff and administrators going above and beyond their job descriptions everyday to make sure these kids are safe. It is a miracle everyday that there are not serious injuries or kids leaving campus that aren’t quickly tracked down. I would love to see every single general education classroom staffed with an extra support person. I would love to see every single kid with an IEP fully served, and all those not yet identified but going through the process also having support. Our school community made efforts to advocate for our SEL program last year, and we pretty got a shrug from the district. I’ve been hoping that when my kids go back to school after this strike, it would be with the knowledge that some tangible change would have taken place, such as more adult working with kids in the building. But if they are happy with maintaining the Special Ed ratios, what was the point of this?

    • Wseattleite September 12, 2022 (10:52 pm)

      There is tangible change. Raises above IPD every year. 

      • S September 12, 2022 (11:23 pm)

        Yes, that’s a great change to those bringing home the larger paycheck, and I’m happy for it. But if we aren’t increasing the number of support staff that work directly with the kids, it’s not enough.

        • Yf September 12, 2022 (11:41 pm)

          Where is all the money coming from to fund your wish list?

        • Parent September 13, 2022 (7:53 am)

          We all want good support for our kids, but how much more can we keep increasing the number of staff AND increasing compensation for staff with enrollment numbers (and overall budget) going down?

        • CAM September 13, 2022 (8:30 am)

          Sometimes maintaining the current numbers is technically increasing when the former language would have led to cuts. And they are getting increases at some schools, the contract language may provide insight into why those particular increases were important. It also puts mental health supports in all schools which is an increase as well. Unfortunately when government negotiators start from the position of takebacks with their labor unions, sometimes maintaining the status quo is all that is achievable and is not a loss. 

      • Josh September 13, 2022 (8:18 am)

        It’s almost as though the union was using the SEL, working families and Multilingual kids as bargaining chips to be traded in for an outsized raise all along.  So happy to see a teacher above advocating for a no vote. Another couple weeks of this will really keep the community on your side.

    • Math Teacher September 13, 2022 (8:22 am)

      I believe SPS was trying to get rid of the ratios. 

  • James September 13, 2022 (6:36 am)

    I would gladly vote for any tax reformations that place the onus of taxes off low- and middle-class people and back on corporations so we can properly fund, support, and build the best education system in the nation. Teachers, teacher assistants, and school staff deserve better.

  • Parent of 2 September 13, 2022 (7:45 am)

    Hmmm… so it was about the money.

    • flimflam September 13, 2022 (11:41 am)

      A bigger part of it than teachers would admit, I’d wager. Anytime ANYONE says “it’s not about the money” it is indeed about the money.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes September 13, 2022 (12:05 pm)

      It isn’t and even if it was, what would be the problem?

      • Adam September 13, 2022 (1:39 pm)

        Well, we could start with the lies? And then… wait, no, let’s first talk about the lies. Then we can move on to the next terrible excuse by teachers to sell our kids short. And no, I’m not some shill for school admin, they’re garbage too. But in this fight we all knew what the teachers wanted and they held special needs kids over us b/c it’s an emotional issue. I’ll tell you what, teachers, cops, nurses, concrete drivers, whoever. I want to pay the best, and I want to pay them the best. I’ll start fighting for that the moment your shi—y unions stop holding onto so many of the worst. I’m not happy about handing over higher wages when your system essentially fights harder for loser employees than they do for the ones who should, individually and through all their hard work, make a ton more. Let’s figure that out, and let’s get you “heroes” paid

    • Colby September 13, 2022 (1:34 pm)

      In the words of my wife who is a teacher “I’d rather take smaller class sizes and a more manageable workload, than a raise.”On that note. For what teachers do, they deserve pay increases. As a spouse of a teacher, I also know that we spend around $2,000 of our money each year on her classroom and student supplies. Only $200 of that is tax deductible. 

  • AmyC September 13, 2022 (8:32 am)

    General consensus among educators in other forums is that they’re happy a tentative agreement has been reached, but angry and likely to vote no on ratifying it, because all they’re being given is a summary. At their last general membership meeting, they voted to NOT suspend the strike until the full TA had been distributed and there had been appropriate time to review it (I believe up to 72 hours….until they reach a quorum at 70%.) Any chance of checking back in with Jennifer about this? I want the strike to end as much as the next person, but I don’t want the educators to lose their only bargaining chip (strike) without getting to see the full agreement. It sounds a little fishy. 

    • T/A Summaries September 13, 2022 (10:50 am)

      I have been involved in a lot of labor negotiations (private sector building trades, so it may be different here).  I can’t think of a time where either labor or management insisted on reviewing an entire revised CBA before ratification. Maybe a few people want to look at the entire proposed CBA but very much in the minority.   Not saying this is wrong: it’s a union members’ absolute right to vote the T/A up or down.  But, it’s unusual to not rely on the summary in my experience and this seems to show a lack of trust from the teachers in their leadership/appointed bargaining committee that it: (a) has negotiated the best CBA for their members; and/or (b) that the “summary” accurately reflects the changes to the proposed CBA.  Just my two cents. 

      • CAM September 13, 2022 (4:03 pm)

        As a public employee union member for over a decade, it is not typical to review the entire agreement before voting. You are provided a summary of the changes that were made/any new language, any MOUs are provided in full to be reviewed (and typically voted on separately), and a recommendation from the bargaining team. Waiting for hundreds of people to review an entire document and then up or downvote over things that weren’t even being negotiated is not a good practice. This idea that’s being pushed by some group that SEA is being secretive or hiding something is bizarre. 

  • Shawn Bruce September 13, 2022 (9:18 am)

    Great news ! It’s time to heal as a community and embrace the academic school year as one. 

  • Bricky September 13, 2022 (5:10 pm)

    This is great news. I am curious how high the pay raise will be. It’s not about the money but…

    • St WS September 13, 2022 (9:02 pm)

      But it’s always about the money.  

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