Tacoma teachers strike

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Tacoma teachers strike

Public school teachers continue to strike over pay in Tacoma.

Public school teachers continue to strike over pay in Tacoma.

Public school teachers continue to strike over pay in Tacoma.

Public school teachers continue to strike over pay in Tacoma.

Tacoma public schools were not able to open their doors for students yesterday, the first day of school, due to striking teachers. Various media sources reported between 6,000 and 8,000 teachers over nine public school districts all over Washington who picketed in order to negotiate better pay with their school districts.

The strikes began with the McClearly Decision. In 2014 the Supreme Court reached a decision that Washington State was inadequately funding public schools. Last June the decision was put into practice, providing Washington State a $1,806 increase per student.

The school district and the teachers’ union are in dispute about how the extra funding should be distributed. This funding was specifically aimed for teachers’ salary increases, which is why the teachers around Washington were able to get the large salary increases and why the union is getting much support.

Across Washington, the teachers were able to negotiate an average of over a 10% increase. Tacoma Public Schools, however, offered a 3.1% pay raise, while the Tacoma Education Association, the teachers’ union, wants a pay raise of at least 10%. Other districts received significantly more, including Shoreline (24%), Seattle (10.5%), and Clover Park (15%).

“We’re not being treated fairly. If you can, try to support us, it’s not something we want to do,” said Susan Chin, a 1st grade teacher at Skyline Elementary.

While over 30 school districts were able to reach a decision through negotiations with the teachers, it is unclear when Tacoma Public Schools and the Tacoma Education Association will reach an agreement.

Although school is delayed and may have to add days at the end of the year, many students are supporting the teachers. Rita Tumbush, student at the Science and Math Institute in Tacoma, Washington, said, “Most students are in agreement that teachers deserve higher pay, and if a strike is the only way to achieve this, then it is okay.”

Although the schools may not be open, some schools are still running breakfast and lunch for students as normal. 12 schools across the school district are serving meals for free to help out students that rely on those meals throughout the school year. All athletic practices and games are continuing as normal as well.

While it’s unclear for how long this strike will continue, Rita Tumbush believes that “ it will end when the school district realizes that teachers deserve and need a higher raise.”

There are two major union organizations for teachers in the United States to collectively bargain and strike for the changes they want to see in the education system: the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.

Branches of the organizations exist within each state. The American Federation of Teachers describes themselves as “a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities.”

The main idea of a union is to provide a community and collective voice to better bargain and fight for a change they would like to see in the education system such as higher wages or fewer hours. Unions also lobby for different political movements or parties, using the power of their collective voice to influence change.

Since Annie Wright is an independent school, being a part of union organizations that collectively ask for higher wages from the government would not apply to the teachers that work here. Although teachers at Annie Wright are not part of a larger union, they still have the right to personally strike, as stated by the National Labor Relations Board of the federal government. “Everybody has the right to strike,” said head of schools Christian Sullivan.

In terms of teacher salaries, according to Sullivan, “It is important for schools to ensure that teachers are well paid… in order to attract and retain really good teachers into the profession as a whole, not just for public schools but for private schools too.”

There are two major union organizations for teachers in the United States to collectively bargain and strike for the changes they want to see in the education system: the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.

Branches of the organizations exist within each state. The American Federation of Teachers describes themselves as “a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities.”

The main idea of a union is to provide a community and collective voice to better bargain and fight for a change they would like to see in the education system such as higher wages or fewer hours. Unions also lobby for different political movements or parties, using the power of their collective voice to influence change.

Since Annie Wright is an independent school, being a part of union organizations that collectively ask for higher wages from the government would not apply to the teachers that work here. Although teachers at Annie Wright are not part of a larger union, they still have the right to personally strike, as stated by the National Labor Relations Board of the federal government. “Everybody has the right to strike,” said head of schools Christian Sullivan.

In terms of teacher salaries, according to Sullivan, “It is important for schools to ensure that teachers are well paid… in order to attract and retain really good teachers into the profession as a whole, not just for public schools but for private schools too.”

 

Unions & Annie Wright

There are two major union organizations for teachers in the United States to collectively bargain and strike for the changes they want to see in the education system: the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.

Branches of the organizations exist within each state. The American Federation of Teachers describes themselves as “a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities.”

The main idea of a union is to provide a community and collective voice to better bargain and fight for a change they would like to see in the education system such as higher wages or fewer hours. Unions also lobby for different political movements or parties, using the power of their collective voice to influence change.

Since Annie Wright is an independent school, being a part of union organizations that collectively ask for higher wages from the government would not apply to the teachers that work here. Although teachers at Annie Wright are not part of a larger union, they still have the right to personally strike, as stated by the National Labor Relations Board of the federal government. “Everybody has the right to strike,” said head of schools Christian Sullivan.

In terms of teacher salaries, according to Sullivan, “It is important for schools to ensure that teachers are well paid… in order to attract and retain really good teachers into the profession as a whole, not just for public schools but for private schools too.”