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No agreement yet between Tacoma School District and teachers

Post by Debbie Cafazzo / The News Tribune on Aug. 31, 2011 at 5:54 pm with 16 Comments »
August 31, 2011 6:19 pm

UPDATE (6:18 p.m.) – The teachers union is preparing to begin voting now.

There’s no tentative agreement yet between the Tacoma Education Association (TEA) and the Tacoma School District, union officials told teachers who gathered this afternoon at Mount Tahoma High School.

“Hopefully, we’ll start school tomorrow,” said teacher Michael Merrill, as he was entering the meeting.

Merrill, a 26-year-teacher who teaches at Lincoln High School, said seniority is the main issue for him.

The school district today announced that it had made changes in its proposals, including a proposal to keep class sizes unchanged. That issue has been a major sticking point with teachers, who say increased class sizes would be bad for students. Earlier, the district had proposed increasing class size to save money.

The district also said today that it wants to continue to base layoff decisions on the “current system that relies on seniority, while retaining flexibility in the assignment and reassignment of teachers.”

TEA President Andy Coons told teachers today that the district proposal would be too subjective, and “open to abuse and manipulation.”

Teachers are meeting now to decide their next steps. Union officials say that it will take a vote of 80 percent of their membership – more than 1,600 votes – to call a strike.

School is scheduled to start Thursday.

The Tacoma School Board gathered in executive session this afternoon to discuss the state of labor negotiations with the union.

Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. BigSwingingRichard says:

    I hope the teachers will let the hostages free soon.

  2. chillmama says:

    So does this mean that school will begin tomorrow? And we have to listen in daily to see if that changes?

  3. Go for it! Give up nothing…you will never get it back!! Sometimes we need to make a statement……the kids will be fine and better off! Stay strong and united!

  4. It is illegal for public employees to strike. That is the law. They are breaking the law if they strike. They must continue to work under the old contract and go to an arbitrator if it comes to that. What if the cops went on strike because there were to few of them on the street and then they say…. I’m striking for the citizens. Yeah right.

  5. frankiethomas says:

    No strike – school starts Thursday!

  6. Moisemorty says:

    I’m sorry, but as husband of a teacher, I’m getting sick and tired of spending our own money for school supplies and tools that the school should be providing!! Then there is the countless hours of work that there is no pay for, because of the lack of help in the classroom..
    The school district continues to demand more and more with less and less every year.. It need to stop!!!

  7. olympicmtn says:

    Our family is sick and tired of hearing teachers sick and tired about working. Get real, every professional works more than 40 hour weeks. Did they not teach you that in college or work ethic 101?

  8. Moisemorty says:


    40 hours a week?? My wife puts in a average of 60 hrs a week and it’s not about the hours!! It’s about the district not giving teachers the tools, supplies and help to give the kids a education that they deserve… Maybe you should have taken business 101, there you would have learned that you need a lawn mower in order be successful in the lawn care business..

  9. If you want to see how underpaid teachers are, then just look in any school parking lot to see the old jalopies they drive. (Actually, its rare to see any car older than 5 years old in a faculty parking lot. What does that tell you?)

  10. moonbeam says:

    As the WIFE of a teacher, I am pleased that tomorrow is the start of school. My husband has been in his classroom getting prepared for the year for the last three weeks, has used our limited resources in anticipation of what the children will need, easily works sixty hours per week during the year, and certainly isn’t whining about being overworked or underpaid. He left a lucrative career in order to become a teacher, and he had no delusions about the monetary, energetic and time sacrifices teaching would involve. I would submit that all these pro-strike teachers that are apparently so disenfranchised with the system should find new employment. They are free to leave education at any point, and there certainly are others who would be more than happy to replace them. And as far as the children of Tacoma Public Schools are concerned, starting school tomorrow on time is exactly what they deserve.

  11. Wrapper98439 says:

    Moonbeam, great post. I don’t understand the strike deal. Why would anybody with any pride come out and admit that they work for a piece of crap company that treats them so bad that they have to strike? Take Boeing. They spent a good deal of money to move the new plant to South Carolina. If Washington had stepped up to the plate, they could have had the new plant and thousands of jobs here. Eventually the whole company will be gone.

  12. BigSwingingRichard says:

    Mike Merrill said “seniority is the biggest issue for him”.

    After 26 years of teaching PE, protecting the incompetents is his biggest concern. I wonder why?

  13. “I hope the teachers will let the hostages free soon.”

    Me too!

  14. “Take Boeing. They spent a good deal of money to move the new plant to South Carolina.”

    There are couple of issues here.

    One, Boeing had to take over the existing plant because the outsourced contractor couldn’t get the job done.

    Two, they went to escape the machinist union.

    Three, South Carolina helped bankroll the deal.

    I’m not sure what more you wanted Washington to do. Right to work state maybe?

  15. “It’s about the district not giving teachers the tools, supplies and help to give the kids a education that they deserve… ”

    Wait you say it giving teachers the tools, but your union representative says it’s about seniority.

    Btw, what exactly does your spouse need in the way of tools and supplies?

  16. I SUPPORT OUR TEACHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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