It’s a done deal.
The Tacoma School Board today ratified the new three-year teacher contract in a unanimous vote, one week after leaders from the district and teachers union reached a deal leading to the end of an eight-day strike.
“We ratified the contract and are ready to move on,” said Kurt Miller, school board president, after the brief meeting.
Andy Coons, president of the Tacoma Education Association union, said: “I’m so glad the contract was ratified by the school board today. We look forward to being able to focus on the students for the rest of the school year.”
The union’s membership approved the contract last week.
The actual document, which is lengthy, still is being put together, and likely won’t be made public for 45 days.
But under the pact:
- Pay is frozen at the current levels, with teachers giving up one optional paid training day the first year. That training day will be reinstated the second year unless there are more state funding cuts. The salary section of the contract will reopen for negotiation the third year.
- Current class size limits are maintained.
- A committee will develop a new process to govern teacher transfers and reassignments that will use factors in addition to seniority. The new process will be in place by next school year. For now, the current practice of using seniority will stand.
The board’s ratification also clears up the issue of whether striking teachers and other salaried workers affected by the strike will receive full checks on their next payday, Oct. 5.
The district last week said it would be illegal to pay them for time they didn’t work. But the union said withholding money from the paycheck would be unfair and retaliatory.
Teachers noted that they aren’t paid by the day – their salaries are parceled out over the year.
The district said it sought advice from the state Auditor’s Office, and was told there wouldn’t be an issue as long as a contract is in place by payday that specifies employees will get 24 equal payments over the year.
That’s in the contract.
Hourly employees will only be paid for the time they worked.