Teachers to picket outside middle school

SEATTLE – A strike is looming as teachers are expected to picket outside Eckstein Middle School today to voice their disgust with contract negotiations between the Seattle Education Association and the Seattle School District.

Teachers overwhelmingly voted down the latest contract proposal from the district on Monday night. Teachers say there are three major sticking points preventing an agreement. The latest proposal called for elementary teachers to add an additional 30 minutes to their work day. Teacher evaluations would include student test scores and it increases the case load for school therapists and nurses. Those three items need to be stricken from the contract or teachers say they won’t come to class.

The Vice President of the Seattle Education Association, Phyllis Compano said, “We want teachers to stay. Right now, our teachers leave within five years. We have the youngest school base of teachers so they get some experience and they move on. So, we want an educator base for our kids.”

Yesterday, parents received a letter from the school district, informing them to prepare for the start of school to be delayed.

Teachers have not set a date to vote on a strike. The Seattle school year begins Sept. 4th.