Teachers in Seattle on Sunday approved a labor contract with the school district, officially ending a week-long strike that had delayed the start of school for 53,000 students.
The Seattle Education Association said 3,000 out of the 5,000 teachers in the district total turned out at Benaroya Hall to vote. The SEA said 83 percent voted to accept the contract.
Teachers described the mood during the discussion and debate as passionate, divisive and intense.
The final vote required a simple majority.
"I want to stress to public and legislature that vast majority of teachers voting "no" were not voting no against this groundbreaking gain, they were voting no against legislative inaction against school funding," said Jonathan Knapp, president of the Seattle Education Association.
The walkout began Sept. 9 and was suspended pending the outcome of Sunday's vote. The sides reached a tentative agreement last week that allowed the first day of school to begin Thursday.
Members of the Seattle Education Association ratified the three-year deal at a meeting Sunday in downtown Seattle. The contract gives teachers a 9.5 percent pay raise over three years, guaranteed 30-minute recesses for elementary students and more teacher input over standardized tests.