VANCOUVER, Wash. — Seven of eight school districts in Southwest Washington have reached agreements, ending labor standoffs that delayed the start of school for thousands of students.
The Longview, Evergreen, Washougal, Vancouver, Camas, Hockinson and Ridgefield school districts all reached tentative agreements and have begun classes.
Negotiations are still ongoing in Battle Ground.
Here's a look at the latest information for each district. This list will be updated each day.
Battle Ground Public Schools
The latest: Battle Ground Public Schools has announced classes are canceled Tuesday, Sept. 11. The first day of school was supposed to be Wednesday, Aug. 29. The teacher's union and district remain $4.7 million apart in their offers, which represents an 8 percent difference in teacher salaries, Battle Ground Public Schools said in a statement Monday.
Number of days lost so far: 9
Camas School District
The latest: They have a deal. The Camas School District and Camas Education Association achieved a tentative agreement Sunday. The CEA voted on formal approval on Labor Day, and school started as scheduled on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Number of days lost: 0
“A first-year teacher in their first year will be making a little over $50,000 and a teacher with 16 years of experience and roughly two masters degrees will be making a little over $97,000 a year and that’s total compensation,” said Camas Education Association lead negotiator Mark Gardner, who is also a high school teacher.
Evergreen Public Schools
The latest: Evergreen Public Schools and the Evergreen Education Association came to a tentative agreement early Sunday morning and Evergreen Education Association members ratified the agreement Sunday afternoon. Around 27,000 Evergreen students began their first day Monday, September 10.
The first day of school was initially scheduled be Tuesday, Aug. 28.
Number of days lost: 8
Hockinson School District
The latest: Classes in the Hockinson School District started Tuesday, Sept. 4 after a settlement. The first day of school was supposed to be Wednesday, Aug. 29.
Number of days lost: 3
“We appreciate our community’s patience during these negotiations and their enthusiastic support for education in Hockinson,” Superintendent Sandra Yager said in a prepared statement. “We are eager to welcome our staff and students back to school and to embark on another exciting school year.”
Longview Public Schools
The latest: Longview Public Schools and the Longview Education Association and Longview Classified Public Employees Association reached a tentative agreement early Sunday morning.
On Friday, a judge ordered employees of Longview Public Schools to be back at work on Monday, Sept. 10 after the district filed a motion in Cowlitz County Superior Court. Classes will start on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
The first day of school was supposed to be Wednesday, Aug. 29.
Number of days lost: 7
Ridgefield School District
The latest: The Ridgefield School District started class on Sept. 4 after a settlement was reached. The first day of school was supposed to be Wednesday, Aug. 29.
Number of days lost: 3
"A big thank you to the bargaining team members on both sides and an equally big thank you to our community for their patience during the process. We can't wait to see you on Tuesday," the Ridgefield district announced on its Facebook page.
Vancouver Public Schools
The latest: Vancouver Public Schools started classes on Wednesday, Sept. 5 after a settlement was announced. The first day of school was supposed to be Wednesday, Aug. 29.
Number of days lost: 4
The deal reportedly included a 12.5 percent salary increase. It passed with 93 percent approval.
Washougal School District
The latest: The Washougal School District on Thursday said the Washougal Association of Educators ratified a two-year contract. School started on Friday, Sept. 7. The first day of class was supposed to be Tuesday, Aug. 28.
Number of days lost: 7
WHY ARE TEACHERS STRIKING?
So why are they striking now, and why are they asking for such large increases?
According to a spokesperson with the Washington Education Association, it was a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to ask for a big pay increase, and retain qualified teachers after years of underfunding by the state.
It all started with the McCleary court decision in 2012, that found Washington wasn't doing enough to fund education. Since then, the state legislature has approved billions of dollars to fund schools, including $2 billion that would go directly to teacher salaries.
The funding for each school district was being negotiated on a local level, and the Washington Education Association says they have negotiated salary increases in more than 30 districts.
Here is a list of Washington teacher unions negotiating pay contracts.
The Washington Education Association has published an interactive map showing districts where unions have reached agreements. View the map here.