What we know so far is that at the General Membership Meeting this evening, members of the Seattle Education Association voted to ratify the new agreement with Seattle Public Schools.

Per the Seattle Education Association’s website, the highlights of the contract include:

  • Recess: Guaranteed 30 minutes of recess for all elementary students.
  • Reasonable testing: New policies to reduce the over-testing of our students.
  • Professional pay: Base salary increases of 3 percent, 2 percent and 4.5 percent, plus the state COLA of 4.8 percent
  • Fair teacher and staff evaluations: Test scores will no longer be tied to teacher evaluations, plus there is new contract language that supports teachers’ professional growth.
  • Educator workload relief: Additional staff to reduce workloads and provide student services.
  • Student equity around discipline and the opportunity gap: Creating race and equity teams at 30 of the district’s schools.
  • The administration’s proposal to lengthen the school day: Teachers will be compensated for additional work.

It was a great time in Seattle during the strike with parents, students, the Seattle City Council, legislative districts, community organizations, other workers’ unions and citizens showing their support for our teachers.

Now it’s time to settle back into the new school year but something has changed and I believe we are all better for it.

We met, made new connections, showed pride in our teachers and our school communities, shared laughter and concerns, shared our food, our homes, our time and energy with our teachers and now they return to the classrooms knowing we appreciate them and are here for them.

We have their backs.

Dora Taylor