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Update: Snoqualmie teachers approve contract deal; school on Monday

Snoqualmie Valley School District teacher Jack Webber holds his ballot with one hand, along with a picket kit. Valley teachers were technically on strike Sunday afternoon, but negotiations today appear to be gaining ground. Valley teachers went into a session to vote on a tentative contract deal at 7 p.m. Sunday. - Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Snoqualmie Valley School District teacher Jack Webber holds his ballot with one hand, along with a picket kit. Valley teachers were technically on strike Sunday afternoon, but negotiations today appear to be gaining ground. Valley teachers went into a session to vote on a tentative contract deal at 7 p.m. Sunday.
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

Hundreds of Snoqualmie Valley teachers walked into the Mount Si High School auditorium, blue ballots in hand, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, to vote on a new two-year contract

Shortly after 8 p.m., the deal was in hand. But it passed by less than an overwhelming margin: 59 percent of the 295 teachers gathered Sunday evening voted to approve the deal, which lays out a roughly 6 percent pay increase for teachers while mandating class-size relief triggers for classrooms with more than a minimum number of students:$7 per overload student starting in 2013, on up to $9 per student in 2016. Triggers range from 26 students for a kindergarten teacher to 30 students in grades 4 and 5.

The Snoqualmie Valley Education Association’s bargaining team had announced just before 4 p.m. Sunday that it had reached a tentative contract agreement with the Snoqualmie Valley School District.

The agreement averted a teachers strike that had been set to begin Monday if no settlement was in place.

The union had voted overwhelmingly last Tuesday to strike if a deal hadn't been put in place by Sunday afternoon. Teachers made picket kits at a gathering at the Snoqualmie Fire Station Saturday morning, and some had signs ready to go, in hand or stashed in their cars, in the event of a strike.

An educator's car in the Mount Si parking lot Sunday evening, with picket signs about special education.

 

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