Teachers Strike | KNKX

Teachers Strike

Ashley Gross / KNKX

This story was updated at 4:24 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, to reflect that teachers have approved a salary agreement.

A bitter labor dispute that delayed the start of school in Tacoma by more than a week  has now come to an end.

The Tacoma Education Association, which represents more than 2,400 teachers, librarians, office professionals and other school staff, has approved an agreement with the school district over salaries. 

Ashley Gross / KNKX

The strike by teachers in Tacoma has gotten increasingly bitter as it’s stretched into a second week. One long-time middle school teacher tearfully announced her resignation in a short video clip posted by a USA Today correspondent on Twitter.

As teachers in a record number of Washington school districts strike this week, a top official with their union says the unwillingness of superintendents and school boards to negotiate higher pay raises for teachers is a crime. 

"It's wage theft," said Stephen Miller, vice president of the Washington Education Association (WEA), Thursday in an interview on TVW's "Inside Olympia" program. "They are taking wages away from public employees."

Ashley Gross / KNKX

School was supposed to start in Puyallup and Tukwila Wednesday, but teachers have gone on strike after failing to reach contract agreements.

The Washington Education Association said almost 6,000 educators are on strike in nine Western Washington school districts, including in Centralia and Tumwater.

Tacoma faces a possible strike as well, after more than 2,000 educators voted to authorize a strike if no deal is reached by Thursday.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

 (Updated at 10:43 am on Aug. 29, 2018, to add that the Tacoma Education Association says the raise the district is offering is 0.6 percent above what's in the current contract.)

Just a day before school is set to start in Kent, the Kent Education Association said on Facebook it has reached a tentative agreement with the school district.

The teachers' union had been at odds with district administration and said the district was trying to use money from the state intended for teacher salaries to plug budget holes. 

Ashley Gross / KNKX

Seattle teachers will take a strike authorization vote Tuesday afternoon after failing to reach a tentative contract agreement with the school district. Teachers in other districts in the Puget Sound region, including Stanwood-Camano and Kent, have already voted to authorize strikes.

Attribution: Ozzie425er at the English language Wikipedia

Classes in the Kelso School District are set to resume with a two-hour late start Monday after the teachers union and the district reached a tentative contract agreement.

The Daily News reports that the faculty ratified the pact Sunday evening. All 226 teachers present at a membership meeting voted to approve the contract.

The Kelso Education Association has been negotiating with the district since April and had been working without a contract since June 30.