AP

Teachers go on strike in southwest Washington state over class sizes

Aug 30, 2023, 7:04 AM | Updated: 7:40 am

Empty Class Room (Photo by �� Jeffry W. Myers/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)...

Empty Class Room (Photo by �� Jeffry W. Myers/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

(Photo by �� Jeffry W. Myers/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Teachers in a small school district in southwestern Washington state are on strike over class sizes and other issues, postponing the start of the academic year.

The Camas Education Association was striking for a second day Tuesday — carrying signs and chanting outside several schools — after Monday’s bargaining session failed to yield a new contract deal with the Camas School District, The Columbian reported.

The union, which represents 460 staff members across the district, was picketing at several schools.

Union leaders said their requests to redirect surplus funding to keep class sizes smaller, increase funding for supplementary programs and improve special education support are not being heard.

“As educators, our priority is keeping our students in a positive learning environment,” Kate Gooding, a Camas High School English teacher, told the newspaper.

The district said in a statement that the union’s latest proposal included “higher than previously requested salary increases,” and it felt the union was regressing in talks.

The union’s latest formal proposal dated Aug. 27, however, shows the union did not request a salary raise that would go above what’s provided by the state’s annual inflationary factor. The district’s latest proposal shows it had offered the union a raise of 2% plus the inflationary factor.

“Nobody has asked for a raise,” said Joe Farland, an English teacher leading the strike Monday at Camas High School.

The district and union appear furthest apart on the maximum class size for kindergarten. The district has offered a maximum of 22 students while the union is seeking 18.

Nearby, in the much larger city of Vancouver, Washington, the Evergreen Education Association said Monday it was prepared to strike starting Wednesday if a contract deal isn’t reached with the Evergreen School District.

Elsewhere in the region, Battle Ground Education Association union members on Tuesday evening were planning to decide whether to ratify a tentative agreement with the Battle Ground School District or vote to strike.

 

AP

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

13 hours ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

2 days ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

2 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

3 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

3 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

9 days ago

Teachers go on strike in southwest Washington state over class sizes