SEATTLE– Seattle teachers have approved a new three-year contract following a strike that delayed the start of the school year in Washington state’s largest district.
The results of the vote were announced Tuesday by the union, the Seattle Education Association.
The Seattle Times reports that 71% voted in favor of the contract covering certificate-holding teachers and staff.
The strike began on September 7, which was to be the first day for about 49,000 students in the district. The start of the school year has been delayed by five school days.
Teachers on the picket said their main concern was educational and emotional support for students, especially those with special needs or learning difficulties that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
The new contract includes additional classroom support staff.
Seattle Public Schools agreed to pay 7% raises for teachers. The district originally proposed a 6.5% raise, which included a state-funded 5.5% inflationary adjustment.
In the second year of the contract, members would receive a salary increase of 4% for inflation and 3% the following year.
The contract will cost the district about $228 million over three years and will add nearly $92 million to already projected budget shortfalls.