Kent teachers ready to strike if new contract can’t be agreed upon the first day of school Thursday
On Monday, members of the Kent Education Association (KEA) voted to authorize a strike amid negotiations on a new contract with the Kent School District.
According to a statement from the KEA, members voted overwhelmingly to walk off the job this Thursday, unless they have a new contract agreement with the district.
The teachers are looking for a modest pay increase, but KEA claims the district is refusing to offer a fair deal to the teachers.
They also said they have no confidence in the Kent School Board or the Superintendent — Israel Vela, who took over the role this year after serving as the interim superintendent.
A state mediator is expected to join the contract talks this week.
Teachers were still in the classroom Monday to begin preparations for the school year, with many wearing red to show support for the union.
On Friday, the union requested a mediator, and that mediation is scheduled to begin Tuesday.
The Kent School District said it is working with the teachers union and will post any changes to Thursday’s start of school online and through social media.