Two unions argue the district did not provide cost-of-living raises they say were promised to them in their four-year contracts.
The unions representing office professionals and para-educators for the Issaquah School District voted to authorize a strike Tuesday evening, according to the Issaquah Reporter.
Service Employees International Union Local 925 and the Issaquah Association of Educational Office Professionals argue the district did not provide cost-of-living raises they say were promised to them in their four-year contracts, both of which began in fall 2017.
In response, the district says the state no longer allocates funding for cost-of-living raises, a change it didn’t foresee when the contracts were originally negotiated.
Districts weren’t required to use a portion of the salary money on cost-of-living adjustments this school year, after lawmakers provided $776 million toward funding educator salaries during the last legislative session. But nothing prevents them from doing so, said T.J. Kelly, interim chief financial officer for the state education department.
According to a post on SEIU Local 925’s website, the next step is to form a strike committee to decide the timeline for a potential work stoppage.
Meanwhile, the district says the correct path forward should be with an arbitrator.
The strike authorization does not apply to certificated classroom teachers, who are represented by a different union and contract.