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Teacher union approves new contract with Seattle Public Schools

The teachers' union reached a tentative agreement with Seattle Public Schools on Sept. 12. Members voted to approve the new three-year contract Monday night.

SEATTLE — The Seattle Education Association (SEA) voted Monday night to ratify a new contract with Seattle Public Schools (SPS).

The SEA tweeted Tuesday morning that members voted to approve the contract, which will last for the next three years. 

Here's the voting breakdown for the new contract:  

  • Seattle Association of Educational Office Professionals voted 82% in favor
  • Paraprofessionals voted 66% in favor
  • Certificated voted 71% in favor

"We united, took action and achieved a contract that does more for us and our students," the SEA said in the tweet. "THANK YOU to everyone who supported us - our unity made a difference!"

The union voted to go on strike the Tuesday after Labor Day weekend and picketed until they reached a tentative agreement with SPS on Sept. 12.

Under the new contract, union-represented teachers and school staff will get a 7% raise this year, followed by a 4% raise over the next two school years. If the cost of living increases in the second and third years of the agreement, wages will increase to match it.

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Additional expenditures will include hiring part-time social workers at some schools, hiring five certified nurses next year and creating a new racial equity advancement specialist position.

Libraries will also receive additional funding under the agreement. Those in schools with the highest needs will receive $50,000.

Special education will receive additional support, with professional development opportunities for teachers to support instructional practices to better serve students' learning needs.

The first day of school was originally scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 7, but was pushed back to Sept. 14 because of the strike. SPS will have to make up five days of school. Those dates will be negotiated by the district and the teachers union before being approved by the school board. 

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