San Juan Island teachers ratify contract, end 4-day strike

KING 5

Striking San Juan Island teachers ratified a new contract Monday afternoon, ending a four-day strike that began Friday. Classes for the school district’s approximately 750 students will resume Tuesday.

According to the San Juan Education Association, the new contract includes a 3 percent pay raise, in addition to a 2.3 percent state-funded cost-of-living adjustment. Other key contract issues include professional development and classroom budgets.

Union President Amy Hull said she was proud of San Juan teachers for taking a stand, and she praised community members and businesses that offered their support.

“We all came together,” Hull said.

San Juan Island teachers went on strike Friday, one day after the district resumed classes following summer break.

About 97 percent of the San Juan Education Association’s 55 teachers and educators voted on Thursday to strike when they were unable to negotiate a new teacher’s contract with the San Juan Island School District.

"Superintendent [Dana] Diaz and the school board refuse to invest in the quality teachers our students deserve," Amy Hull, president of the San Juan Education Association, said in a statement. "Professional, competitive pay is necessary to attract and keep caring, qualified, committed teachers for students in the San Juan Island School District."

Teachers were frustrated that the district didn’t meet their requests for substantial salary increases and more control over professional development and purchasing curriculum materials, according to a release from the teacher’s union.

The teacher’s union and the school district have been in negotiations since July, and were at an impasse when contracts expired on Thursday.

The 55 members of the San Juan Education Association were the only teachers on strike in Washington, although contracts continue to be negotiated in some districts.

The last time teachers went on strike in Washington state was in 2015.

© 2017 KING-TV


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