Negotiators Reach Deal To End Tacoma Teachers Strike - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Negotiators Reach Deal To End Tacoma Teachers Strike

SPOKESMAN.COM - Negotiators reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for Tacoma teachers Wednesday night, providing a breakthrough that could end a strike that has forced the cancellation of more than a week of school.

Both sides said in a news conference late Wednesday that they were pleased with the deal. Teachers will have an opportunity to vote on the plan Thursday in hopes of restarting classes Friday.

The announcement came after more than seven hours of talks at the office of Gov. Chris Gregoire, who had asked negotiators to stay until the two sides could reconcile their differences. She has no direct control over Washington schools but stepped in to use her influence as a mediator.

"It was give and take. It was understanding," Gregoire said. "It was getting rid of misinformation and misunderstanding."

Negotiators declined to immediately discuss the details of the agreement, saying they wanted teachers to see it first. The two sides have been disputing issues including pay and class size, but the major sticking point is how the district handles teacher transfers. The district wants to consider some factors in addition to seniority.

The Tacoma Education Association, the union for 1,900 teachers, has been defying a court order for them to return to work. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Bryan Chushcoff has said he's considering giving the district the option of replacing teachers who are on the picket line, and the next court hearing is set for Tuesday.

Tate and local public employees, including teachers, have no legally protected right to strike, according to a 2006 state attorney general's opinion. But that opinion also noted state law lacks specific penalties for striking public employees.

Jennifer Boutell, a mother to 8- and 10-year-old girls, said she's lucky to be able to stay at home and watch her daughters during the strike, but everyone's patience is running out. On Wednesday, she dropped of her daughters at a community center so they could be around other kids their age.

"Today I just couldn't take the bickering," said Boutell, who also writes on a local blog named Tacoma Mama. "It was an emotional necessity for everyone."

The strike has forced Boutell to delay freelance web development projects, and she said she knows of parents at her daughter's school who have skipped work. Day care centers around the city are charging $35 per day per child during the strike, she said.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • One killed, neighbors lose everything in Spokane Valley condo fire

    One killed, neighbors lose everything in Spokane Valley condo fire

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 2:10 AM EDT2018-08-21 06:10:55 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters say a condo fire that happened Sunday night killed one person and destroyed at least nine units at the Central Park Condominiums off of 6th Avenue. Billowing smoke and flames was all anyone could see. "It's hard and it all happened so sudden. Within two minutes, everything gets taken away from you. 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters say a condo fire that happened Sunday night killed one person and destroyed at least nine units at the Central Park Condominiums off of 6th Avenue. Billowing smoke and flames was all anyone could see. "It's hard and it all happened so sudden. Within two minutes, everything gets taken away from you. 

    >>
  • Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:13 AM EDT2018-08-15 06:13:21 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>
  • Pet owner asks B.C. firefighters to return 5 puppies found while fighting fire

    Pet owner asks B.C. firefighters to return 5 puppies found while fighting fire

    Monday, August 20 2018 7:24 PM EDT2018-08-20 23:24:43 GMT
    BC Wildfire ServiceBC Wildfire Service
    BC Wildfire ServiceBC Wildfire Service
    A group of B.C. firefighters who took home five puppies they believed were lost during a fire is now being asked to return them to their owner. Heidi Lang told Castanet that the firefighters mistakenly scooped the puppies up along a road that runs through her farm.   According to a Facebook post by B.C. Wildfire Service, the firefighters spotted the dogs as they headed back from the Monashee Complex in the Kamloops Fire Centre, an area of the North Okanogan where over a do...>>
    A group of B.C. firefighters who took home five puppies they believed were lost during a fire is now being asked to return them to their owner. Heidi Lang told Castanet that the firefighters mistakenly scooped the puppies up along a road that runs through her farm.   According to a Facebook post by B.C. Wildfire Service, the firefighters spotted the dogs as they headed back from the Monashee Complex in the Kamloops Fire Centre, an area of the North Okanogan where over a do...>>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/