STRIKE SUSPENDED: Seattle Public Schools classes start tomorrow after union members vote to return before ratification vote

5:05 PM: Just in from the Seattle Education Association:

Following a tentative agreement with Seattle Public Schools that better meets students’ needs, particularly for Special Education and mental health supports, the union of 6,000 substitutes, teachers, office professionals, and paraprofessionals of the Seattle Education Association voted this afternoon to suspend their strike and return to class. …

The tentative agreement, which is embargoed until ratified by the SEA membership and SPS board, 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 vote to ratify the tentative agreement will take place later in the week.

Via Twitter, the union says 78 percent of its membership voted, and 57 percent of those voting supported suspending the strike. We’re now waiting for the district to announce when school will start.

5:20 PM: The announcement’s just in – school starts tomorrow for all students, including kindergarteners and preschoolers. That’s exactly one week later than the originally scheduled first day. And as with the original plan, the first day of school will not be an early-release day (though subsequent Wednesdays will be).

7:58 PM: Regarding the five missed days of school, here’s what the district says: “Five days will need to be made up during this school year. Students are required to attend 180 days of school. The additional dates will be negotiated by SPS and SEA, and then approved by the Seattle School Board. Once agreed on, we will notify families and post the updated 2022-23 school year dates to our website.” After the last SEA strike in 2015, six days had to be made up – here’s how that was done.

24 Replies to "STRIKE SUSPENDED: Seattle Public Schools classes start tomorrow after union members vote to return before ratification vote"

  • Boinsted September 13, 2022 (5:16 pm)

    SPS just called – schools are in session tomorrow. No early release. 

  • Bricky September 13, 2022 (5:20 pm)

    Great news. Only 57% voted to get back in the classroom. Interesting 

    • High Point September 13, 2022 (6:20 pm)

      I was thinking the same. Interesting. If I’m doing my math right, 44% of the union members just voted to end the strike. Rules are rules, but that doesn’t show much confidence educators have in this process. Hopefully this doesn’t result in a bunch of teaches leaving all at once. 

      • The King September 13, 2022 (9:09 pm)

        A recent survey given to seattle teachers showed that 55% of them are planning on not being with the district within the next three years. Parents thinks there are problems now…….

      • N September 13, 2022 (10:30 pm)

        Shocking and not a good sign at all.

  • Jimmy September 13, 2022 (5:34 pm)

    Hopefully the district is not going to have it be a requirement for classroom teachers to have a special education endorsement so then the classroom teacher will be writing the IEP for special education students, this is something that other smaller district attempted to do in order to do away with just having a special education teachers have a case load of special education students and working in collaboration with classroom teachers. 

  • AnotherMother September 13, 2022 (5:39 pm)

    So they tell us at 5pm the night before??  

    • Duffy September 13, 2022 (7:03 pm)

      Better than 6pm?

    • Momtastic September 13, 2022 (7:33 pm)

      I completely agree. I’m happy they’re coming to a consensus, and hopefully the teachers are getting what they need, but more notice sure would have been nice. Nothing like waiting in breathless anticipation by the phone for days on end only to have little more than 14 hours notice that kids are starting school. Surely it could have been handled better. 

      • Duffy September 13, 2022 (8:00 pm)

        But if they don’t know until they know, how are they supposed to let you know before that?

        • AnotherMother September 13, 2022 (9:27 pm)

          At a certain point you call it the next day. Kids and parents have a lot going on before, during and after work. My kids didn’t find out until after soccer practice, basically right before bed so we’ve been scrambling. And for kids going to a new school it’s a lot to process. Still glad school is starting.

        • Momtastic September 13, 2022 (9:47 pm)

          They could start school Thursday…? Give at least a day’s notice? Or start Monday? Ya know, just more than an evening to prepare. 

      • WS Parent September 13, 2022 (9:18 pm)

        Good grief, all of the entitled parents and people w/o children need to stop complaining about what YOU’RE getting or not and support educators. I hope they reject the lousy deal from the district and reconvene the strike – and continue to stand firm for what they deserve/need. It will, after all, benefit the children in our communities.  

        • AnotherMother September 14, 2022 (1:41 pm)

          Not sure who the entitled parents you reference. This parent is looking our for her kids and also cares about our teachers. Some parents work and need time to change schedules, get kids ready mentally and physically. Glad they are back today but SPS tends to send out incomplete and inaccurate emails and overall they just seem incompetent. Hence the strike in the first place. BTW SPS is the district, the teachers are the educators I support. And I support other parents. 

    • Alki resident September 13, 2022 (8:03 pm)

      It was a day to day strike, take them Friday if it doesn’t work tomorrow for you. 

  • Patience September 13, 2022 (5:48 pm)

    Note:  the teachers won’t be able to see a written copy of the tentative agreement for a couple days – some may not trust the Seattle School District’s “promises”.

    • Wseattleite September 13, 2022 (6:35 pm)

      They would have to not trust their own representatives in that case. 

    • D September 13, 2022 (7:02 pm)

      *or their leadership to give them a high level over view. I’ve never seen the entire unit wanting to see the full bargained and unradified contract. Membership has a lot of distrust for both SPS and their own leadership. Sad, really. 

      • Mommy Dearest September 14, 2022 (6:09 am)

        I think there’s overall distrust of all authority after the past few years, so I don’t think it’s appropriate to say this is specific to SPS. Anyone vaccinated who still got covid is feeling it pretty deeply right now

    • Parent September 13, 2022 (7:03 pm)

      “Promises” that have been negotiated and agreed upon by the union negotiaton team, yes?  What’s the point of sending people to negotiate for you if you don’t trust them? 

  • Parent September 13, 2022 (7:11 pm)

    If a rigorous discussion and vote takes 8 hours, then the 4-day-long voting period right as school was about to start was … what?

  • Localteacher September 13, 2022 (9:29 pm)

    Hi Folks- Teacher here. Collective bargaining is a process.  There are no hard stop times. SEA ran a meeting with 4,600 people today trying to explain a myriad of changes to a 240 page contract.  The fact that members agree to work tomorrow when they cannot review, digest and make sense of a contract that represents many different types of workers in a large organization is a testament to how much they care about families and kids. We heard many times today how stressful it is for members to keep all of you and your children on the ropes waiting for school to start.  The people who staff schools have no control over when bargaining gets going and we certainly don’t enjoy the uncertainty that comes with an open contract year. Many of us have children who attend SPS.A high quality public education system benefits all of us. You cannot maintain that system with poor working conditions and substandard pay. We appreciate the respect and support shown by the community during the bargaining process.

  • Highschool student September 14, 2022 (6:43 am)

    Does no one care about the students opinion 

  • Parent of two September 14, 2022 (7:29 am)

    I thank the teachers for voting to end the strike without reading the full contract. My kids are thankful to be coming back to school, and had no problem getting ready, as I told them every night whether or not there would be school then next day. More days off means more to make up later. 

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