The WEA said it’s working with the school district to reach a contract agreement that “brings us back to the classrooms as fast as possible.”
“Educators want to be in the classrooms with their students and need SPS to give those students the supports and adult attention they deserve,” the WEA said in a statement.
The union said its priorities in negotiations include additional support for Special Education and Multilingual Education programs, workload and class size control to prevent educator burnout and better pay to help staff live in the community they serve.
In Seattle, SEA President Jennifer Matter said the group’s membership voted overwhelmingly in support of the strike.
“We had a really difficult decision to make, and believe me, that decision was not taken lightly on whether or not we would authorize a strike,” Matter said. “Because no one wants to strike. It’s not something that people just choose but SPS has given us no choice because, again, we can’t go back to the way things have been. We need to fight for something better.”
Following the union vote, SPS said in a statement it’s “committed to negotiating on a new contract with our educators.”
“SEA agreed on Monday to meet with a mediator to help guide our conversations,” Beverly Redmond, the assistant superintendent of public affairs at the district, said in a statement.
In notifying families that schools would be closed Wednesday, the district noted meal sites will be open during the day and that it is working on childcare resources.