Talisman

The Student News Site of Ballard High School

Talisman

Talisman

While this might seem like a good step in relaxing beauty standards, the clean girl aesthetic is a cause for concern.
Unnaturally Natural
February 8, 2024
It’s inferable that in a workplace, where conduct is (or should be) monitored and regulated, fighting against harassment, the comments, sly remarks and hovering hands, would be simple.
Smelling like Prison
February 8, 2024
Follow Us on Instagram

Teachers vote unanimously to strike; first day of school postponed

Seattle teachers and district fail to negotiate a fair contract days before school starts

Jaya Flanary, Editor-in-Chief
Originally published September 8, 2015


Max MiyakeSome teachers grouped together outside schools in their red SEA shirts to make a public appearance. Today, BHS teachers walked out of Ballard’s main entrance in unison.

Max Miyake

Some teachers grouped together outside schools in their red SEA shirts to make a public appearance. Today, BHS teachers walked out of Ballard’s main entrance in unison.

Teachers begin their strike tomorrow, Sept. 9, what was to be the first day of school. Picketing outside every Seattle school will occur from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

On Sept. 3, Seattle Education Association union members met at Benaroya Hall to discuss the strike. They voted unanimously to begin striking tomorrow unless an agreement was negotiated with Seattle Public Schools.

Teachers had about 10 major requirements they wanted the district to agree to including, but not limited to, compensation, recess, caseload caps, standardized testing and substitutes.

On Sept. 4, Superintendent Larry Nyland emailed a bargaining update to parents explaining the district’s proposition of an additional 30 minutes in a school day paired with a 13 percent salary increase over the course of three years. But according to today’s union press release, SPS is offering 2 percent the first year, 3.2 percent the second year and 3.75 percent the third year.

Teachers, on the other hand, are requesting a higher salary raise (6 percent each year for three years) due to not receiving raises in the past six years. SEA members’ contracts expired on Aug. 31. Both the SEA and SPS were willing to negotiate a new contract settlement but were not able to agree upon one.

The SEA Bargaining Team, including Ballard’s Language Arts teacher Joe Kelly, met daily since the unanimous vote to negotiate. They made progress with SEA requirements, but did not meet all of them.

On Sept. 5, SPS agreed to a district wide minimum recess time of 30 minutes for elementary school students. Teachers included this in their list of demands because kids are proven to focus more in school if they have longer recesses. Recess also helps students problem-solve and be in a social environment.

According to the SEA website, on Sept. 6, district negotiators “agreed to increase pay for certificated and classified substitutes, and to addressing the sub shortage in general.”

The Bargaining Team met again yesterday and today to continue their attempt at reaching a tentative agreement. SPS and the SEA both seemed to agree on wanting school to start on time. 

In their Sept. 8 bargaining update the SEA claimed, “As we’ve said all along, we’re dedicated to negotiating a fair contract and starting school on time, but the school board and district administration must recognize that educators need to be part of the decision making about what is best for students.” Nyland stated in his Sept. 4 email, “We are committed to the bargaining process and will continue to make ourselves available to SEA to reach a settlement.” 

Yet at 8 a.m. this morning the SEA posted, “We don’t have a tentative agreement, and our strike deadline is almost here . . . Seattle Education Association members want a fair contract, not a strike. But we’re prepared for a strike. With every passing hour, it’s more and more likely that we’ll be walking the picket lines Wednesday morning instead of welcoming students to a new school year.”

Under 24 hours before Seattle students were to begin their first day of school, many didn’t know whether to go or not. At about 3 p.m. today SPS tweeted they were considering a counter offer the SEA presented to them but they eventually didn’t take it.

Simultaneously, local parents have created an online petition supporting teachers. They also brought food and letters from their children supporting their teachers to the Bargaining Team. 

According to the SEA Twitter account, teachers not on the Bargaining Team are preparing to strike by going through strike training. BHS teachers met today to make rules and regulations such as not parking in the school lot, not using their school emails and not using school services during the strike.

Some teachers grouped together outside schools in their red SEA shirts to make a public appearance. Today, BHS teachers walked out of Ballard’s main entrance in unison.

Despite the official announcement of the strike, a school board meeting was held tonight to vote on authorizing legal action against the teachers for illegally striking. The last time teachers did strike was 30 years ago, in which the strike lasted three weeks.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Talisman

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ballard High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Talisman

Comments (0)

All Talisman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Teachers vote unanimously to strike; first day of school postponed