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Seattle teachers to receive 10.5 percent pay raise in tentative agreement

Seattle Schools will start Wednesday as originally scheduled as the teachers reached an agreement Friday night.
Credit: KING

Seattle teachers will receive a 10.5 percent pay increase as part of the tentative contract agreement reached with the district Friday night.

School will start as scheduled on Wednesday for students in first through 12th grades and on Monday, September 12 for kindergartners.

Members of the Seattle Education Association, which represents represents more than 5,000 education staff members, will vote on the agreement at Benaroya Hall next Saturday, September 8.

The one-year agreement includes the double-digit pay increase for all members, including teachers, paraprofessionals, office professionals, certified educators, and substitutes. The deal also calls for five additional parental leave days in addition to increased nurses and prep time, secondary counselors, school-based race and equity teams, professional development, and enhanced health care, according to the district.

Seattle teachers had voted Tuesday to strike if no contract agreement is reached by September 5.

RELATED: List of Washington teachers unions negotiating for more pay

“The entire team worked hard to ensure the negotiation process progressed smoothly and that we reached an agreement before the start of the school year,” Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau said in a released statement. “I am thankful for their work. We have incredible educators in SPS and we value them as individuals and professionals. I look forward to a great school year!”

Seattle Education Association president Phyllis Campano had said the union had been prepared to work through the weekend.

"We must balance our desire to support our educators while at the same time sustaining critical services and programs students need and families expect," Seattle Public Schools wrote in a statement, noting the district projects a budget shortfall in 2019-2020, which is expected to grow.

Thousands of teachers across the state are in negotiations for higher pay after the state legislature allocated extra funding for public schools in June, including $2 billion in the current budget for teacher salaries. The funding stems from the McCleary decision, where the state Supreme Court rules Washington was not adequately funding public education.

KING 5's Ted Land contributed to this report.

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