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Teacher strikes and a lawsuit as the school year begins

Teachers in Tacoma started their strike Thursday morning, the first day of school in their district, and will continue on Friday. It’s not the only district in Washington with teachers walking the picket line.

Tacoma district officials say they added millions in new money to teacher salaries. But Teacher’s Union President Angel Morton says they cut some salaries.

“Teachers are paid on a salary schedule that looks like a multiplication chart, so each one of those cells has a dollar increment in it,” Morton said. “They lowered some of those dollar increments and made others larger.”

The district estimates it is already $25 million in the red, and will run a $32 million deficit with proposed pay raises. The city’s parks system has offered free day camps for kids during the strike. Those camps are already full.

Tumwater lawsuit

KIRO 7 reports the Tumwater School District filed an injunction is taking the Tumwater Education Association to court. No classes are scheduled for Friday. A hearing in Superior Court is expected at 10 a.m. Friday.

Association president Tim Voie has called the move a bullying tactic. Meanwhile, mediators continue to bargain in Tumwater.

Teacher strikes

Teachers in Centralia started their strike on Thursday and will strike Friday. Posted on the district website: “Everyone have a great weekend, be kind, have fun, and please watch/listen over the weekend for announcements about classes on Monday.”

Teachers in Puyallup will continue their strike on Thursday as both sides negotiate. KIRO 7 reports the strike is the first in 72 years for the district.

Students in the Stanwood-Camano School District haven’t started school yet. School is canceled again on Friday while bothe ides negotiate. “Earlier this evening, the District prematurely sent out an auto dialer message indicating a tentative agreement had been reached. We are working through final details and will continue this process this evening until an agreement is reached. We apologize for the confusion created as a result of the message.”

The Tukwila School District has canceled classes for Friday.

There are six additional districts with teachers on strike in southwest Washington — Longview, Evergreen, and Battle Ground.

Teachers in Ridgefield, Hockinson, and Washougal have reached a tentative agreement.

Teachers in the North Thurston School District could vote to authorize a strike Friday if no contract agreement is reached between the union and district officials. Under North Thurston’s current contract, teachers make between $45,000 and $86,000. North Thurston Teachers Association President Ray Nelson says that’s not competitive with other districts.

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