SEATTLE SCHOOL STRIKE: Talks continue; no classes Monday

4:32 PM: Seattle Public Schools has officially canceled classes for a fourth day as the Seattle Education Association strike continues. The district just sent this update:

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and Seattle Education Association (SEA) are making good progress on negotiations as they worked throughout the weekend but have not yet reached an agreement. We continue to bargain and remain ready to start school as soon as an agreement is reached.

There will be no school on Monday, Sept. 12 for all grades, including pre-school and kindergarten. A message was sent to families and staff this afternoon. It is posted to the website.

We will update families and staff on the status of school for Tuesday on Monday afternoon.

ADDED 8:50 PM: An update from SEA arrived a short time ago:

The 6,000 members of Seattle Education Association are continuing their strike for student needs, calling on Seattle Public Schools to provide adequate student supports, reasonable workloads, and respectful pay. Educators are becoming increasingly frustrated with the school board’s unwillingness to listen to students and educators and commit to providing the supports and staffing needed to succeed. Picketing will resume at 8 a.m. Monday at all Seattle schools.

The Bargaining Team met in-person with SPS and the mediator Saturday and Sunday, working about 14 hours on Saturday and remaining at the table today at this hour.

BACKGROUND: District updates are here; union updates are here. SEA’s contract expired August 31st, almost three months into negotiations; the strike began on what was supposed to be SPS’s first day of classes, Wednesday. This is SEA’s first walkout since 2015. That strike, like this one, started on a Wednesday; a tentative agreement was announced the following Tuesday morning.

62 Replies to "SEATTLE SCHOOL STRIKE: Talks continue; no classes Monday"

  • Westie September 11, 2022 (4:50 pm)

    We stand with our teachers who are in the classrooms and understand the challenges our students face.  Schools need resources in the classroom and at the building level if SPS is true to their mission statement to provide “excellence in education for EVERY student”.

  • SPS Info September 11, 2022 (5:01 pm)

    Wow, I knew it.

  • SPS Info September 11, 2022 (5:04 pm)

    How much does a Public School Teacher make in Seattle, WA? The average Public School Teacher salary in Seattle, WA is $60,458 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $50,496 and $73,714. ENOUGH OF THE STRIKES!!!

    • Support Teachers September 11, 2022 (6:21 pm)

      1) This isn’t solely about pay. 2) The numbers you just cited are below living wage in Seattle, so I’m not totally clear why you think they’re a strong argument that teachers should go back to work. 

      • The King September 11, 2022 (7:50 pm)

        Those were actually pretty good salaries… 1994

    • Amy September 11, 2022 (7:59 pm)

      Obvs no one goes into teaching for the money, so this knee jerk reaction that the teachers are already making too much is very short sided. 

    • Brian September 11, 2022 (8:57 pm)

      Even if this was about money… those salary numbers are terrible. 

      • Jissy September 11, 2022 (11:34 pm)

        For 9.5 months of work?    Christmas break, spring break and countless “in-service/planning days?? Oh, personal days, MLK & Presidents’ Day holidays, let’s not forget Indigenous Peoples day, Thanksgiving week, oh, oops, I mean parent/teacher conference week,  Mid-winter break…. Sheesh, someone stop me here.  

    • C September 11, 2022 (9:43 pm)

      Plus they have two months off in summer, ten paid holidays, two weeks off for winter break, a week off for mid-winter, and a week for Spring Break. Can we please stop the salary discussion? Pretty Cush schedule if you ask me. 

      • Belvidear September 12, 2022 (7:25 am)

        You know that teachers don’t just work during school hours, right?

      • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 12, 2022 (11:21 am)

        Looks like you should apply

      • Ly September 13, 2022 (4:20 am)

        C, go and be a teacher then. Or, if you have kids teach them yourself at home and see how “cush” it is.

    • Patience September 12, 2022 (10:25 am)

      One of the items the teachers are fighting for is the ability to take personal leave when they need it.SPS wants to charge 16 hour of PTO for every day the teacher uses personal leave before or after a scheduled school break, holiday, or other designated days.  EVEN when a teacher has secured a substitute for their personal leave.

    • Daniel September 12, 2022 (11:51 am)

      So lets round up the high end to 74000, it comes out to 6166 dollars/moth before taxes. A lot of times the people on the higher end of that scale require a graduate degree. You really think that’s an acceptable wage in the greater Seattle area. Yes perhaps they do have a longer vacation then most people, but while they work they have to work past the school days to grade papers, make lesson plans, etc… Perhaps we should pay a little more regard to our teachers.

      • Smoosh September 12, 2022 (4:12 pm)

        The high end is off by 50k. I don’t know where to OP got their numbers from but teachers in Seattle make way more than you guys are referencing. 

  • ST September 11, 2022 (5:05 pm)

    This continues to be extremely frustrating.  I don’t know what else to say as a working parent of two young kids who counts on school and expects them to be at school right now.  I’ve said this here and will keep saying it: I really hope that both sides (SEA/SPS) are really considering the big impact this has on working parents, especially those in the service industry with no child care options or those that are too expensive to actually utilize.  We have to often take PTO or stretch our work time thin to make this all work.  Really, really frustrating to not see this resolve over the weekend and it really doesn’t sound like the two sides are even that close to a final deal on all points based on the public comments.   It’s been hard enough to juggle COVID, remote/hybrid/closed school … and now a prolonged strike.  Figure it out. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.

    • CarDriver September 11, 2022 (6:56 pm)

      SPS Info/ST. Based on your comments you clearly aren’t interested in what the teachers are trying to achieve. Your only expectation of them is the daycare they provide your kids. Wow just wow. Guess an education that helps every child isn’t a priority with you.

      • Frustrated September 11, 2022 (7:30 pm)

        You’re assuming that people who want this to be resolved are anti-teacher. That’s not true.

      • ST September 11, 2022 (7:43 pm)

        Actually, that’s not what I said.  I didn’t take a side.  I merely mentioned that I hope both sides (teachers’ union and the district) are carefully considering the impacts on parents (especially those in service) who rely on their kids being in school so that they can work and make ends meet as part of the overall calculus.    I am lucky to have some flexibility to work remotely and take time off during this strike.  Many other parents do not have that luxury.   It’s actually somewhat insulting as a working parent, who gave it everything they could to help their kids through as best as possible remote/hybrid learning  in partnership with their teachers – while working a full time job – to argue that all we are seeking in return to school is “day care” from teachers.       I don’t want my kids or any kids to fall farther behind.

        • Your Neighbor September 12, 2022 (10:54 am)

          The vast majority of teachers are parents too. My wife is a first grade teacher and we have kids. We cannot afford childcare and this situation has been a nightmare for us. What’s insulting is the appalling nescience of comments like yours. I don’t want my kids or any kids to fall farther behind.” Fair enough. Last year, the district provided bare minimum support to already overloaded teachers. My wife had 36 students, four of which had severe disabilities (this is a can of worms). Now the district wants to take away what little support they had left. This is Not about salary. It’s about the reality of the current classroom situation, straight up. Bottom line, teachers are getting hosed. Kids are going to fall farther behind if we don’t support our teachers. PS: The district doesn’t negotiate over the weekend. They send out robo-calls instead making it seem as though something is happening, when in fact they have already closed shop while teachers continue putting in 18hr days providing community support and preparing for Monday.

      • St WS September 12, 2022 (12:26 am)

        What an incredibly rude and ridiculous thing to say. Teachers aren’t expected to provide day care, just the contractually required 180 days of teaching time in classrooms that was scheduled to start on the union approved calendar on September 7. What parent wasn’t planning on that being the reality when they mapped out their summer child care? Summer camps don’t run during strikes. Parents have to work, kids require supervision, camps are closed, schools should be open…it is a legitimate complaint for any parent to make.

    • Alki resident September 11, 2022 (7:40 pm)

      You must be new to Seattle Public Schools. Teachers aren’t your babysitter. They deserve to be heard and seen. They continue to be hero’s, maybe appreciate them more. 

      • ST September 11, 2022 (7:57 pm)

        If you are referring to my post, I guess you can read my post however you want to.  Not what I said at all. 

        • Alki resident September 11, 2022 (9:39 pm)

          No it was directed towards WS Info. Not sure how it got to you. 

  • MW September 11, 2022 (5:15 pm)

    A note for families seeking free lunches. They have been moved to Seattle Parks and Rec sites and will not be distributed at schools during the school closures. 

    • WSB September 11, 2022 (6:07 pm)

      We got the announcement on that and are writing a separate story right now.

  • Bill September 11, 2022 (5:38 pm)

    Go Teachers!!!   Get what you need to make our kid’s classrooms places of learning.    It’s time the district treat you as the professionals that you are instead of some third rate labor force.  

  • WS Info September 11, 2022 (5:39 pm)

    I knew that they would cancel classes, it was quite obvious. First of all, they gave us false hope. They said that the talks were going well, and that they were “optimistic” that school would open. Clearly, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Second of all, they started blaming it on the unions saying that the unions, “planned it” as in cancel the classes. They’re to blame! Keeping kids out of school is the worst the can do, especially special ed students. Also, they claim that they’re “doing this for the students”, When its all about the $$$. Teachers get paid a lot, like maybe 50,000 to 70,000 per year, BUT they aren’t to blame. The strikes are needed, yeah, but why can’t they just give the teachers what they need and get kids back into school. Why? Because they want $$$. SPS needs to stop this Bulls!!t. And give the students some education! Need I say more: The base salary for Public School Teacher ranges from $50,496 to $73,714 with the average base salary of $60,458. The total cash compensation, which includes base, and annual incentives, can vary anywhere from $50,496 to $73,714 with the average total cash compensation of $60,458.

    • Support Teachers September 11, 2022 (6:26 pm) says you need to make $83k/year in Seattle just to comfortably afford a 1-bedroom apartment. 

    • Smoosh September 11, 2022 (7:28 pm)

      Where are you getting these numbers from?  You can go to SEAs website and find that the salary range for certified staff is WAY higher than you are posting. A brand new teacher with just BA and a certificate with no CEs starts at 65k and a teacher with 15 years and maxing out CEs made 125k last year. 

    • Amy September 11, 2022 (8:04 pm)

      50-70K for a job that requires you to at least have a 4 yr degree is not a lot of money for the area, I know because my pay is in that range and I couldn’t afford to live in WS if it was just myself. How much do you think is enough to teach your kids?

    • Oh Seattle September 11, 2022 (8:26 pm)

      Are you posting from the 1990s or the rural South or Midwest? Perhaps you’re a child still living with your parents?  Because the salary range you’re talking about like it’s  professional athlete money is actually very little today in Seattle.

  • K September 11, 2022 (6:30 pm)

    Also, you cant get seattle parks childcare unless you had already signed up for afterschool childcare. This is not fair.

  • 937 September 11, 2022 (6:33 pm)

    Not a comment pro OR con. The issue is heated enough.

    Just a simple observation that school is supposed to let out June 26th. We are now looking at school continuing into July. How many of us (or teachers) are going to want to begin summer vacation after the 4th of July?

    Also it will be a VERY short summer for those graduates moving onto semester based universities.

  • hawkbit September 11, 2022 (6:54 pm)

    All teachers should be able to afford to live in the communities they serve. We have a SPS student impacted by the strike and we fully support the strike and the teacher’s union demands.

  • Seaview parent September 11, 2022 (6:58 pm)

    Definitely feels like amateur hour at the district office. Why would you put a deal in front of teachers that you knew they wouldn’t accept? And if you didn’t know, why aren’t you talking with teachers to understand what’s needed?

    • wsres September 11, 2022 (10:17 pm)

      I agree. The new superintendent is not looking good at this point and neither is the school board for choosing him without interviewing other people. From what I understand, he has never taught students. The district sent out emails basically stating bargaining goals for what the district wanted and they sounded similar to the SEA union’s bargaining goals, but in reality either the district was lying or they are really out of touch on how schools can achieve those goals without providing resources for them, like more support for students. I support our teachers.

  • SpedParent September 11, 2022 (8:23 pm)

    Teachers in Seattle earn way more than previous comments suggest. The contract signed in 2019 gave them a big increase, so under the contract that just expired, the range is about $63,000 to $124,000. They also have great benefits, including a pension, something that is almost unheard of in private industry these days. 

    • St WS September 12, 2022 (12:59 am)

      THANK YOU for this link!! Data speaks volumes. Seattle public school enrollment is down about 2,000 kids over 9 years, Seattle public school staffing has increased by about 2,000 staffers over the same 9 years, of which about 500 new positions included special ed support staff. Where, Seattle, do you want the district to get the money from to pay for the latest demands??Seattle, we have a long term problem waiting for us: this is the 4th school year in a row with disruptions to learning time. Math and reading delays are growing steadily. Parents had better wake right on up. While many blindly support the union, our kids are losing. They don’t have a union. We’re their “union”. They will not get better learning outcomes after this. Every lost day is shameful. The education our kids will receive at the end June/first week of July, or on some random make up day squeezed in on what would have been a scheduled break will not be the same quality as the education they’d be getting right now. 5,000 students lost first week of school. Forever. Again. 

      • wsres September 12, 2022 (6:58 am)

        The students will still get 180 days of learning and their first week will be the first week it starts. Increases in special education staff have been made in the past nine years because OSPI that Washington state governing body for schools has come down hard on Seattle public schools because they have not been following IEP language and have understaffed special education historically. I am sorry you do not believe that we need more special education support, but if we are doing full inclusion we do need more of that support in general education classrooms.

      • Bronson September 12, 2022 (9:36 am)

        Then as a parent, take some ownership and initiative and set some time aside to work with your children on the things they may be missing. A week’s delay is not some fatal impediment to your child’s learning ability. Many of us have gone through disruptions in our learning at their ages and yet here we are with doctorates, MBAs, and bachelor degrees or trades and or quite functional adults with good careers. Stop expecting teachers to be a babysitter and get involved. 

        • Sasquatch September 12, 2022 (11:32 am)

          Parents could be reading with their primary kids daily. Other things you can teach at home are helping your kids learn to count money using spare change and bills, reading a face clock, opening a combination lock, budgeting for a new purchase, picking the most cost-effective cell phone plan, typing….things like that. All of this helps with school. Even fine motor skill development such as drawing or cutting and pasting with actual scissors and glue can be very helpful.

  • You salary obsessed A@‘es September 11, 2022 (9:13 pm)

    Never in my life do I see people so openly discussing one’s salary and what they are worth. It is dehumanizing. For instance, a k teacher with a small class size of like say 19 kids is watching and teaching five and six year olds and caring for them all day long. By themselves. No supports. How many of you can do that? Well? So the kids feel safe and loved and they learn to love school and be away from home for the first time. How many of you can do that? If we were babysitters then sure gives us babysitter wages hourly per child. I would make a hell of a lot more. We are smart as hell us teachers. We stay in it for the kids. In this city a ton of us could get way better jobs with better salaries. Does it mean we will be complacent with our own pay. We need to lift up others. Sounds like many of need a freaking union. Get with the times. We are in a pro labor swing. Either get on board or just shut up.

    • SpedParent September 11, 2022 (10:37 pm)

      Now there’s a typical response from far too many in this city… “either get on board or just shut up.” As a parent and a taxpayer, I just feel it’s important to know the facts. Please don’t tell me to shut up. Thank you.

      • Jissy September 11, 2022 (11:44 pm)

        NO, SPED parent!  You heard it, “we are smart as hell us teachers”,  maybe even more than you, you unenlightened parent!!!  How dare you!  Gag.  I will discuss your salary all day long since my tax dollars pay for part of it.  Get a grip.  You want me to shut up?  I sure will, with my next tax levy vote.  

      • teachers September 12, 2022 (7:00 am)

        I think you are missing the point. Teachers are constantly devalued and talking about whether they are worth the salary is one of the ways we are devalued. if people really want to see where there is a waste in educational dollars then let’s look at the downtown district employees salaries, shall we?

    • St. WS September 12, 2022 (12:17 am)

      Homeroom teachers are not alone with their students all day long. The kids have multiple recesses, lunch in the cafeteria, visits to art teachers, PE, library and music. There are assemblies and time with specialists. There are support people floating through, too. This is what is frustrating to me! This whole “I walk 5 miles uphill to school  in the snow both ways” kind of complaining from teachers. And if you don’t like people talking about your salaries, don’t hold the city’s kids hostage for more money and expect people not to ask how much it will take for you to release them. 

  • Wesattleite September 11, 2022 (10:31 pm)

    The only way anyone can actually evidence that this is “about the kids”, is if part of negotiations move the next contract expiration date to well before the start of the school year. If that isn’t changing, it’s not being done for the benefit of the kids. 

    • Math Teacher September 12, 2022 (12:46 pm)

      @ wesattleite – The teachers have been bargaining all summer. If you think that next time, they should be at the bargaining table while school is in session, that means that they wouldn’t be teaching their actual classes, you know the thing they generally do for the benefit of the kids.

      • Smoosh September 12, 2022 (2:42 pm)

        Bargaining is done by the union.  That’s what you pay your dues for.  Often times bargaining has unit reps who get paid by the union for their time.  They could bargain during the school year.  Many pro teacher folks talk about how the union wanted to start sooner but even with that bargaining began while school was in session so your entire argument is invalid.

  • WS mom September 11, 2022 (11:58 pm)

    None of this is “for the kids”, and I see of lot of propaganda from the teachers all over media and social media. Meanwhile, academic levels are appalling, and our experience with social workers and the principal in our local school has also been very disappointing. In the end, parents who can afford it turn to private school and this is what we are left with :(

  • Quiz September 12, 2022 (3:45 am)

    This is absurd. These teachers need to get back to work. 

    • Math Teacher September 12, 2022 (12:48 pm)

      We’d love to get back to work. Please tell the District it’s time for them to get serious about reaching an agreement.

      • Quiz September 12, 2022 (2:13 pm)

        The district isn’t on strike. 

  • BigB September 12, 2022 (7:47 am)

    Contact your state rep and ask them to support an educational voucher system.  The money and power should be in the hand of the students to pick a school solution that serves them best.

  • Volunteer!! September 12, 2022 (7:59 am)

    Volunteer in a classroom!!!    Before you pass judgment on what teachers do, go spend 6 hours in a classroom at a school like Gatewood that is one of the schools in West Seattle that has a program for students with emotional and behavioral issues.

    • Smoosh September 12, 2022 (2:45 pm)

      We do.  That’s why the argument that teachers make of being unsupported is hurtful and untrue.  Every parent also doubled as an in person teacher for almost 2 years, including an extra 7 months after vaccines were available when the teachers in this district refused to return to in person despite it being safe from an evidence based perspective. 

Sorry, comment time is over.