Tacoma teachers ratify the new contract.
The final vote was 1,683 YES, 15 NO and three invalid ballots. Classes will resume Friday throughout the Tacoma School District.
Tacoma teachers said the contract is a huge victory for them and their students. School district administrators and the Tacoma School Board proposed increasing class sizes, cutting teacher pay and imposing subjective and potentially discriminatory policies regarding teacher staffing decisions. Unwilling to continue working under an expired contract, and refusing to concede on those issues, 87 percent of Tacoma teachers voted to strike Sept. 12.
Here are the highlights of the new contract:
- Protects existing class-size/caseload limits for all TEA certificated members
- Protects existing salary scheduling; one less building optional day
- Protects current displacement language for this year; committee with equal representation from TEA and administration will study and implement new policy using objective and appropriate criteria in the 2012-13 school year. Any new policy must be approved by two-thirds of the committee members.
Kudos to governor Gregoire for bringing both sides to Olympia to hammer something out. Still, I imagine that the special session if it happens and the next regular session of the legislature are going to have a lot to do with if there are future strikes. If we get even more cuts, there will probably be more strikes as the issues will be tougher to negotiate.