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Seattle teachers vote to lift strike after tentative deal reached with district

The Seattle Education Association voted Tuesday to suspend its teachers strike. Photo courtesy of Seattle Education Association/<a href=Facebook” height=”532″ src=”https://cdnph.upi.com/svc/sv/i/5741663055287/2022/1/16630580857010/Seattle-teachers-vote-to-lift-strike-after-tentative-deal-reached-with-district.jpg” title=”The Seattle Education Association voted Tuesday to suspend its teachers strike. Photo thanks to Seattle Education Association/Facebook” width=”800″>

The Seattle Education Association voted Tuesday to suspend its teachers strike. Photo thanks to Seattle Education Association/Facebook

Sept. 13 (UPI) — Seattle teachers voted Tuesday to get rid of their strike after their union reached a tentative agreement on a fresh contract with Washington state’s largest school district a night earlier.

The Seattle Education Association said Tuesday evening of the 78% of its members who participated in the vote, 57% approved the motion to suspend the strike which includes delayed the beginning of the 2022-23 school year for nearly weekly.

“We came together and showed our strength on the picket lines and inside our community, and today the membership has made our voices heard that we’re prepared to make contact with our students,” the union said in a statement.

Seattle Public Schools confirmed in its statement that the beginning of the academic year has been scheduled for Wednesday.

“We have been excited to welcome students to the initial day of school for the 2022-23 school year,” the district said.

The union vote happened after Monday’s announcement that it had reached a tentative agreement with the institution district, paving the best way to end the strike.

The institution board announced the agreement in a short statement having said that the conditions were being kept confidential.

The Seattle Education Association explained the agreement is for a three-year contract which includes pay raises while maintaining special education ratios, improving other unspecified areas and adding baseline mental health staff to all or any schools.

“We stuck together, made our strength and unity known and our action worked,” the Seattle Education Association said in a statement. “Our solidarity on the picket lines and the enormous community support we received made all of the difference.

“We ought to all be pleased with what we accomplished and what we stood up for: student supports and respect for educators.”

Jennifer Matter, Seattle Education Association president, said in a video posted to Facebook late Monday a second vote is usually to be held to ratify the agreement once its language is finalized.

“That is huge,” she said.

The announcement employs both sides failed to come quickly to an agreement on the weekend forcing schools to stay closed on Monday, further delaying the institution year that were scheduled to start out last Wednesday when a lot more than 6,000 teachers walked off the work.

The walkout was popular of higher teachers’ pay and improved support for students with special needs.

“We realize it has been a challenging week for the community, especially families,” the institution district, which serves some 50,000 students in Seattle, said Tuesday. “We have been happy to reach an agreement and prepared to start the institution year.”

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