KIRO Newsradio Headlines: Kent educators ratify contract, end strike
The nearly two-week teacher strike in Kent has ended, and that means students are finally back from summer break.
The teachers’ union, the Kent Education Association, and the school district came to an agreement Wednesday.
According to the union, the new deal includes additional training and collaboration time, manageable caseloads for occupational therapists, smaller class sizes, and a pay raise totaling 8 percent this year.
But while one strike ends, another continues — Seattle teachers are picketing for a second day at schools across the district.
Seattle Schools teacher strike persists into second day
On what would have been the first day of school, Seattle teachers are on strike.
The district did offer them a raise and bonus payments, but they say they want more than just financial improvements.
They say workloads need to be lessened because right now, teachers are having to wear too many hats — and that is burning them out. For example, a teacher has to act as a therapist for kids who went through a global pandemic, and in some cases have to act as a school nurse during an emergency, because not every school has a full-time nurse.
One special ed teacher tells KIRO Newsradio she and her colleagues routinely work 12-hour days, as well as weekends — which go far beyond contract hours.
The teachers are asking for smaller classes, lower counselor caseloads, more special ed support, and better ratios, improved multilingual education, more mental health counselors for students, and higher pay.
Puget Sound area hit with minor earthquake
A minor earthquake was felt around the Puget Sound area early Thursday morning.
The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network says the quake, with an initial magnitude of 3.7 struck at 1:08 a.m. and was located about 40 miles northwest of Seattle in the Poulsbo area.
It was about 14 miles deep.
No reports of damage or injury.
Sewage spill closes some Lake Washington beaches
Another sewage spill in Lake Washington has closed a portion of the lake to swimmers and pets.
King County says 15,000-20,000 gallons leaked into lake Washington, closing beaches from Chisolm Beach Park to Burrows Landing Park.
KIRO 7 TV reports the King County Council learned the spill happened when an old generator at the East Pine Pump Station failed.
It was restarted after about 45 minutes.
Listen to KIRO Newsradio on 97.3 FM. Stream it live here.