Seattle Public Schools and the teachers union are continuing contract negotiations, but a strike beginning Wednesday is still possible.
Seattle Public Schools and Seattle educators have reached agreement on a couple of big issues during weekend contract talks, thoughWednesday’s scheduled start of classes could still be delayed.
The district and teachers union agreed Saturday to a guaranteed minimum 30 minutes a day of recess for elementary-school students. Teachers had originally asked for 45 minutes and compromised on at least 30, said Rich Wood, spokesman for the Washington Education Association.
Also according to Seattle union officials, agreement was reached Sunday to increase pay for certificated and classified substitutes, an attempt to address a general shortage of substitutes.
Seattle teachers voted overwhelmingly last week to strike if the district and teachers fail to reach a contract agreement by the first day of school. The strike would begin Wednesday.
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Wood said other big issues remained, such as pay, teacher evaluations and the length of the school day. The union has asked for an 18 percent raise over three years, in addition to a state-approved 3 percent cost-of-living increase.
The district has offered an 8.2 percent raise in exchange for additional classroom time.
The duration of recess has varied wildly across schools, Wood said, ranging from 15 minutes to 45 minutes.
“Any teacher or parent can tell you it’s important to have time to play and socialize and to get outside of the classroom,” Wood said.
The two parties also have reached a tentative agreement on paying career-tech-ed teachers when they host events or workshops for students outside the regular school day, the Seattle Education Association said.