SPS’ teacher union authorizes strike vote as it ‘actively bargains’ with district
The union representing the teachers of the largest school district in Washington state, the Seattle Education Association (SEA), has authorized a strike vote as it bargains for improved working conditions.
The SEA board of directors approved a strike authorization vote Tuesday. Wednesday, the union will have a general membership meeting to discuss, with a strike vote possible over the weekend, according to Jennifer Matter, president of the SEA.
“None of us want to strike. But we have a choice. We can go back to school the way things were before, with a lack of student support and widespread educator burnout. Or we can unite and advocate for something better, for a contract that puts in writing the district’s responsibility to do more for all of our students and educators for years to come,” Matter wrote in a statement to KIRO Newsradio.
“We are still actively bargaining and hope SPS chooses to come to a tentative agreement. SPS has the power to avert further action—they do this by settling a tentative agreement that meets student needs.”
Seattle Public Schools’ 50,000 students are scheduled to resume classes Sept. 7, except for kindergarten and preschool, grades which usually start Sept. 12.