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Valley teachers to strike if deal not reached by Sunday

Teachers file out of the Mount Si High auditorium Tuesday evening, moments after overwhelmingly approving a possible strike if a contract isn
Teachers file out of the Mount Si High auditorium Tuesday evening, moments after overwhelmingly approving a possible strike if a contract isn't reached by Sunday afternoon. Many wore red in support of their contract push.
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

Valley students will go back to school on Wednesday, Sept. 4. But classes may be cut short by next week if a deal isn't reached soon.

Cheers broke out inside the auditorium at Mount Si High School after 291 of 299 teachers in the Snoqualmie Valley Education Association voted Tuesday, Sept. 3, on a possible strike, the Snoqualmie Valley's first since 1983.

The vote, made in a two-hour locked door session, greenlights an association strike if teachers don't have a new contract in place by 3 p.m. Sunday.

The teachers' current contract expired Aug. 31, and the union and Snoqualmie Valley School District have been negotiating the terms of a new contract for several months. Although the school district reports several agreements have been reached, the negotiations have stalled over issues of class size and teacher compensation. Last week's negotiations included an all-day mediation session last Thursday, followed by more negotiations on Friday.

SVEA president Lisa Radmer said the vote signalled "absolute frustration" with the contract deadlock.

On Saturday, a post on the sveaunion.org website stated "After 20 hours more of negotiation, now with mediators from the Public Employment Relations Commission, we are no closer to resolution than we were last Tuesday."

According to Radmer, the 1983 strike was not over compensation or class size, but over female teacher's rights to have a baby and return to work.

 

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