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>>

  • How to get free eclipse glasses

    How to get free eclipse glasses

    Friday, August 18 2017 9:43 PM EDT2017-08-19 01:43:18 GMT

    ATHOL, Idaho - With the total solar eclipse just days away, many people are scrambling to find a pair of glasses to safely watch the once-in-a-lifetime event. But the hot commodity is almost nowhere to be found in the Inland Northwest, except at Silverwood Theme Park. Silverwood has 3,000 pairs of glasses. The first 200 people in the park get a free pair, the remaining 2,800 will be sold for $6 each. Glasses are only given to people who buy an admission ticket. 

    >>

    ATHOL, Idaho - With the total solar eclipse just days away, many people are scrambling to find a pair of glasses to safely watch the once-in-a-lifetime event. But the hot commodity is almost nowhere to be found in the Inland Northwest, except at Silverwood Theme Park. Silverwood has 3,000 pairs of glasses. The first 200 people in the park get a free pair, the remaining 2,800 will be sold for $6 each. Glasses are only given to people who buy an admission ticket. 

    >>
  • Woman stuck in swimming pool turns to Facebook for help

    Woman stuck in swimming pool turns to Facebook for help

    Saturday, August 19 2017 1:59 PM EDT2017-08-19 17:59:35 GMT

    EPPING, N.H. (AP) - A New Hampshire woman who became stuck in a swimming pool after the ladder broke turned to Facebook to ask for help getting out. Sixty-one-year-old Leslie Kahn was swimming in her pool Aug. 11 when the ladder broke, leaving her stranded. She said she didn't have the strength to pull herself. No one else was home and her cellphone was inside.

    >>

    EPPING, N.H. (AP) - A New Hampshire woman who became stuck in a swimming pool after the ladder broke turned to Facebook to ask for help getting out. Sixty-one-year-old Leslie Kahn was swimming in her pool Aug. 11 when the ladder broke, leaving her stranded. She said she didn't have the strength to pull herself. No one else was home and her cellphone was inside.

    >>
  • 3 Spokane Valley children killed in Alberta crash

    3 Spokane Valley children killed in Alberta crash

    Friday, August 18 2017 4:49 PM EDT2017-08-18 20:49:08 GMT

    HANNA, Alberta - Three Spokane Valley children were killed in a car crash in Alberta earlier this week.  RCMP in Hanna, Alberta responded to the crash on Wednesday evening near the intersection of Highway 36 and 570. Investigation shows an SUV traveling westbound on Highway 570 collided with a semi-truck traveling south on Highway 36. The driver and the adult passenger of the SUV were taken to a Calgary hospital. 

    >>

    HANNA, Alberta - Three Spokane Valley children were killed in a car crash in Alberta earlier this week.  RCMP in Hanna, Alberta responded to the crash on Wednesday evening near the intersection of Highway 36 and 570. Investigation shows an SUV traveling westbound on Highway 570 collided with a semi-truck traveling south on Highway 36. The driver and the adult passenger of the SUV were taken to a Calgary hospital. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/