Seattle teachers ready for final days of bargaining as strike looms

Sep 5, 2022, 12:20 PM
Seattle schools...
Seattle Public Schools logo. (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7 TV)
(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7 TV)

Seattle teachers will hold an organizing event this afternoon in Seattle as they get ready for the final days of bargaining in hopes of striking a deal with the school district on a new contract. The Labor Day event actually precedes a rally that’s supposed to happen Tuesday afternoon. If a strike is going to happen that keeps children out of school, it would hit on Sept. 7.

Follow this link to read additional stories from KIRO

Jennifer Matter, head of the Seattle Education Association, did say that bargaining teams were working on Labor Day to try to strike a deal: “Our bargaining team is prepared and has been prepared to meet all weekend long even though it’s the Labor Day holiday, because nothing is more important to us than reaching a tentative agreement before school starts. So yes, we are bargaining today.”

Teachers rejected an effort by the Seattle Public Schools to try to cut a side deal essentially that would avert a work stoppage on the first day and guarantee that students could be in class. The memorandum of understanding would have kept teachers and staff working under the old contract but Matter said the option was rejected. She gave no indication that others with the SEA were willing to sign off on it as negotiations progress: “We need to focus on meeting at the bargaining table and reaching an agreement that’s how we get back to school on time. We feel a strong sense of urgency to reach a tentative agreement. The district needs to match that sense of urgency.”

On its website, Seattle Public Schools did publish a lengthy statement on the attempt to make sure the first day would happen. Part of the statement read: “We understand this Uncertainty about a delay is difficult and unsettling for our students, staff, and families. We hope that SEA will reconsider this MOU and sign it before Tuesday.”

The district’s online statement also said that it urged the SEA to not strike and that if it agreed to work under the old contract to ensure the first day of school is not delayed, then any agreed-upon salary increases from collective bargaining would actually be applied retroactively to Sept. 1, 2022.

Jennifer Matter said that the rally set to take place Tuesday could run down two different tracks. One would firmly send the union towards a strike, but if an agreement is reached it could be different: ” I would love for tomorrow’s rally to say that we have a tentative agreement, for us to be celebrating.”

Matter stopped short of saying that a strike was likely and said that the bargaining team and all SEA members were taking things day by day: “I wish I could predict what’s going to happen on Wednesday. But I do know that if the community would reach out to the school board and superintendent, and ask them to match our sense of urgency to reach a tentative agreement. Then I have more confidence that we could hammer out an agreement and meet the students’ needs for Wednesday.”

The efforts to get ready for the Tuesday rally are supposed to take place at Judkins Park in Seattle on Labor Day from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The rally by SEA and its supporters on Tuesday is supposed to start around 4:30 p.m.

Follow this link to read additional stories from KIRO

Local News

KIRO 7 News Staff

Huskies, Seahawks games paused after drones fly over stadiums

A similar incident occurred Saturday night over Husky Stadium as the University of Washington football team took on the Stanford Cardinal.
1 day ago
I-90 Traffic Mess...
Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

WB I-90 now re-open; many furious over construction planning

Traffic has been a nightmare for many in western Washington this weekend, especially those who attempted to go westbound on Interstate 90.
1 day ago
Kent shooting...
Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 News

Kent shooting likely a case of domestic violence

A Kent neighborhood is on edge after an argument between two acquaintances ended in gunfire on Saturday morning.
1 day ago
Auburn shooting...
KIRO 7 News Staff

1 dead, 2 injured in drive-by shooting in Auburn

An investigation is underway after one man was killed and two other men were injured in a drive-by shooting Friday night in Auburn.
2 days ago
Generic Cop Lights...
Lisa Brooks

Suspect in Walla Walla trooper shooting held on attempted murder charges

Attempted murder and weapons charges have been filed against 37-year-old Brandon O'Neel of Walla Walla, in connection with Thursday night's shooting of a Washington state Patrol trooper.
2 days ago
Juanita Creek...
Nicole Jennings

Business owner transforms Juanita Creek section for migrating salmon

Cafe Juanita owner and executive chef Holly Smith took it upon herself to transform her portion of Kirkland's Juanita creek -- and give the migrating salmon a healthier highway.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Seattle teachers ready for final days of bargaining as strike looms