Tick Tock. Tick Tock. The Snoqualmie Valley teacher’s union strike deadline of Sunday at 3PM is quickly approaching.
Following union advice, some SVSD teachers removed personal belongings from their classrooms on Friday, preparing for a possible strike which would lock them out of their schools. Pets, plants, medications and personal belongings were carted out at the end of the day.
Local community centers also prepare to offer emergency childcare for working parents, including the Snoqualmie Valley YMCA and Si View Parks Teachers are preparing strike signs with help from the Washington Education Association. Picketing locations are also being scouted.
All while negotiations between the SVEA teacher’s union and the Snoqualmie Valley School District continue.
Early Friday morning, September 6th, SVSD announced they had increased their salary package to 2% for each year of the three-year contract. They also announced elementary class size targets of: 25 students per class in kindergarten; 27 students for grades 1-3; and 29 students for 4th and 5th grade classes. Once class size goes past the target, teachers can receive extra compensation up to $1,800 per year.
The SVEA website responded by saying, “After more than six hours of mediation Thursday night, the district still refuses to put any meaningful cap on elementary class sizes. They suggest that granting us one-time bonuses for overcrowded classes somehow meets their responsibility to offer an adequate education to students who will now be too easily overlooked in the back corners of our rooms.”
Teams negotiated on Friday for another five hours, and it appeared there was hope. The district reported, “The teams spent the evening working on the mechanics of the compensation related to elementary class size. Both teams plan to reconvene on Saturday, September 7, at noon to continue their work in an effort to negotiate a contract settlement.”
The union, though, now says that special needs students were not included in the negotiated class target number, which stalled negotiations. The SVEA website says, “That progress stalled when the district introduced a plan that refused to acknowledge the existence of special-ed students.”
The SVSD website is now updating parents on how to stay informed in the event of a strike. (See below.) The SVEA website is also informing parents how they can show their support to teachers if do end up on a picket line.
Teachers have been told to be prepared for a 7PM union meeting to vote on tentative contract – if one is reached. They will be notified of that meeting before the Sunday 3PM strike deadline.
How will families be informed that school is cancelled?
If the union declares a strike, the district will immediately work to notify its families through a variety of communication tools, so parents will have as much time as possible to prepare and make other arrangements for their children. The district will:
- post the update on the District website: www.svsd410.org
- send an email notification via District E-News
- post a link to the website headline onto Twitter: @SnoqValleySD
- record a message that people can access on the District hotline: 425-831-8494
- initiate the district’s emergency call-out system to send a message to all parent cell and home phone numbers in our database. Parents, please make sure your schools have your current numbers on record.
- plus, media coverage