MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle School Board unanimously OK’s new teacher’s union contract

Sep 29, 2022, 7:11 AM | Updated: 9:20 am

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Photo from Flickr

The final vote on a new three-year contract for Seattle Public School’s (SPS) teachers is unanimous, approving the deal teacher’s ratified Sept. 20 to meet some of the demands that teachers went on strike at the beginning of the school year.

Members of the Board all agreed Wednesday night to approve the deal worked out between the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and the District.

Seattle teachers ratify new agreement with District

It took over a month to hammer out a tentative agreement between the two sides, as well as a five-day long strike by teachers that delayed the start of classes by a week.

In some details released by SEA about the tentative contract agreement, all educators and school staff represented by the union will receive a 7% raise in the first year, followed by a 4% raise in 2023-24 and a 3% raise in 2024-25. If the cost-of-living increase is higher than 4% or 3% in years two and three of the contract, the wage increase will go up to match the cost-of-living increase.

It also creates new staff positions in mental health support for students.

An additional 0.5 full-time social workers will be added to each comprehensive K-8, middle, and high school this school year.

Five additional certified nurses and added speech-language specialists will bring the ratio to one specialist for every 46 students this year and one specialist for every 44 students in the following two years.

The new contract extends through the end of August 2025.

According to the finance office of Seattle Public Schools, the $231 million contract is a bit higher than was anticipated by the District.

The Seattle Times reports the agreement will add some $94 million to the budget shortfall already plaguing SPS.

The five school days students missed due to the teacher’s strike will be made up at the end of the school year.

SPS employees and the Board also approved the two other contracts with paraprofessionals and educational office staff, each of whom will receive salary increases over three years.

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