Striking Seattle teachers, school district to resume negotiations Saturday

SEATTLE —Negotiators for striking Seattle teachers and the school district said late Friday afternoon that they would resume contract talks on Saturday.

"After productive talks w/mediators today, both sides have agreed to resume negotiations Saturday!" the Seattle Education Associated tweeted at about 4:25 p.m. Friday.

"We are pleased to confirm SPS & @SeattleEA are officially resuming negotiations tomorrow," Seattle Public Schools tweeted a few minutes later. "Hopeful to get kids back to school soon."

About 5,000 teachers from the district's 97 schools have been on strike since Wednesday -- which was to have been the first day of the new school year.

No contract talks have been held since Wednesday, although both sides have been meeting separately with a federal mediator.

The district is offering teachers a pay increase of nearly 9 percent over three years. The teachers union has countered with a 10.5 percent increase over two years.

The strike affects about 53,000 students in the Seattle school district -- the largest in Washington state.