The Seattle Education Association has reached a tentative agreement with Seattle Public Schools, an announcement that appears to signal the end of a four-day strike.
The agreement must still be approved by the membership; a vote to end the strike has been scheduled for Tuesday, and a vote to approve the agreement would likely happen later in the week. A school start date has not yet been announced.
The union and district have been in negotiations for months and continued to bargain after SEA’s contract expired Aug. 31. SEA’s 6,000 members went on strike on Wednesday, which would have been the first day of school, after they were unable to reach a contract agreement with SPS.
Monday afternoon, Seattle Schools announced there would be no school Tuesday. District officials would not say how soon classes would start after reaching an agreement with SEA but said they are hopeful it would begin quickly.
Students will have to make up the missed days.
Some of the bigger issues that stalled reaching a contract agreement were smaller teacher-to-student ratios in the special education and multilingual programs, manageable caseloads, more pay, and more student mental health support.
District and union leaders have both said they were committed to creating a more inclusionary special education program but disagreed on how to make that possible.
A copy of the new contract was not immediately available. SEA members need to vote on the contract before it’s made public, according to union leadership.