Teachers have rejected a contract proposal from the Seattle School District with the first day of school just more than a week away. (AP Photo/file)

Seattle teachers reject district contract offer

Teachers have rejected a contract proposal from the Seattle School District with the first day of school just more than a week away.

Issues dividing the teachers and the district include wages, working hours and teacher evaluations.

The vote Monday night by almost 1,800 members of the Seattle Education Association was nearly unanimous, according to union President Jonathan Knapp.

"We need to see a different attitude from the district bargaining team about what is possible to talk about because previously they were simply telling us it was not possible to talk about these elements anymore," said Knapp.

Schools Superintendent Jose Banda expressed disappointment in the teacher's vote but remained confident the two sides can settle their differences. Bargaining sessions are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. School is scheduled to begin Sept. 4.

Knapp expressed similar optimism. "We feel like there's good possible agreements available on all of these [issues] that are not overly expensive for the district and we're looking forward to getting back to the bargaining table and hearing some of their new ideas."

The Seattle School Board is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the contract negotiations.

In the South Kitsap School District, more than 75 percent of union teachers approved a resolution Monday to authorize a strike in protest over class sizes. The school district and the union have been negotiating since March. Bargaining resumes Tuesday.

Tim Haeck, KIRO Radio Reporter
Tim Haeck is a news reporter with KIRO Radio. While Tim is one of our go-to, no-nonsense reporters, he also has a sensationally dry sense of humor and it will surprise some to learn he is a weekend warrior.
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