Teachers threaten to strike in Puyallup

PUYALLUP,  Wash. - The teacher’s union in Puyallup is threatening to go on strike if the school district does not provide an agreeable pay increase by the first day of classes this upcoming Wednesday.

Karen McNamara is the president of the Puyallup Education Association. She says the union negotiated with the school district since May, but they were unable to come to an agreement.

McNamara has worked in the district as a teacher for more than three decades. The teachers have never strike against the school district, McNamara says. However, it’s starting to look like that may be what happens this year.

“Use the money allocated by the state to make us have a fair and competitive wage with our colleagues around the area,”

McNamara says there is $15 million available from the McCleary decision to go toward teacher salary.

The district says they offered the union $8.7 million – a 6 percent raise for teachers.

McNamara says it's still not enough

“It’s not fair. It’s not right. When Puyallup Teachers can drive down the road and make $15 thousand more than they are making in Puyallup why wouldn’t they,” she said.

The district and the union are meeting on Sunday at 11 a.m.