Tacoma teachers ending 8-day strike, district says
Teachers in Tacoma, Washington, hold picket signs outside a school last week.
September 22nd, 2011
04:39 PM ET

Tacoma teachers ending 8-day strike, district says

Teachers in Tacoma, Washington, have voted to end their eight-day strike, meaning classes will resume Friday for 28,000 students, Tacoma school district spokesman Dan Voelpel said.

A lawsuit that the school district had filed against the teachers' union will be dropped, Voelpel said.

A tentative agreement was reached Wednesday. Contract talks between the school district and union hadfractured over teacher pay, class size and how educators are transferred between schools.

In the deal that teachers accepted Thursday, according to Voelpel, class sizes will remain the same (the union had pushed for smaller class sizes); teachers will not face a pay cut (the district to cut pay by 1.35%); and a joint committee appointed by the district and union will determine how teachers are transferred.

Across Washington, state services cuts are in the works after the governor's office last week said the state is expected to collect $1.4 billion less in revenue between now and June 2013 than previously forecast.

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Filed under: Washington state
soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. kerberusII

    in the usa, you must have legal representation, that is personal representation of you and no one else, to survive in the american culture. at one time this was available through insurance, but that source like most other sources has been monopolized by the rich. unions will not help as the lawyers are more interested in the union than in you. the source that noted teachers in georgia are like everyone else is correct, but the source failed to advise the solution, make sure you have a personal lawyer like the wealthy. anything else is commentary, unless it suggests a better remedy which is to get yourself an army like julius caesar, for then you are the law.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shouterguy

      The union is your army.

      Otherwise you fight alone.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      If you need an army you're in a war. If you're in a war you're fighting somebody. If they're fighting against my elected representatives to get more money out of me for doing less work I'd say that attacking your own supply lines is bad tactics.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • curtis braune

      That's right!! The people who pay us are earning less, that doesn't mean we should earn less! They are attacking us – Teachers' unions unite and destroy the greedy public who refuses to give us what we know we deserve!!! Sure tax revenues are down; sure it's because the people who pay us are out of work or taking less home. That doesn't mean we should share their pain. They should sacrifice for us! Don't they know we care more about their kids than they do!

      September 22, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • whyme

      do a good job and you will get what is right. can I strike to get my taxes back?

      September 22, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shouterguy

    Proud of Tacoma teachers for standing up to the bullies.

    We need to stand together as working people, or the middle class is finished.

    Don't let them divide us!

    September 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Safety in numbers. United we stand, divided we fall.

      September 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Dumb. Why should teachers be somehow shielded from cuts brought on by less revenue? Is Tacoma suddenly going to collect more money because the union wants it? The money has to come from somewhere. How about not feeding hungry children. It has to come from somewhere.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoeSeattle

      You could just do a good job and let the chaff be separated from the wheat. Or are you worried which category you would fall into? Unions are the champions of the mediocre, not the middle class.

      By the way, everyone on the planet feels underpaid. Not just teachers. Everyone.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      United we stand against...the elected representatives of the people who pay you...to get more money for doing less work...during a down economy they're suffering under. And these geniuses have the nerve to want to teach anyone anything? Just........wow.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • whyme

      The working people? Really? The teaches just had the summer off while the non workers were working. We are Americans not workers.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @Jason the teachers were not spared they were layed off.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Maggie

    I don't know how any parent in their right mind could send their kids to these disgusting thugs now. You think that teacher cares about your kid? Right. I work night shifts, and I would work every night shift forever to be able to send my daughter to her private Catholic school. Awesome teachers who actually reach out to the kids and aren't too busy complaining about how rough they have it. Absolutely sickening terrorist unions.

    September 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Slap. Wake up Maggie I think I have something to say to you. Catholic schools are not rated highly in academics and are behind the times in Science. Brainwashing catholics.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      And I amtired of sending your kids on vouchers to school. You want to send your kid to private school, pay for it yourself.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • mpouxesas

      sooo happy for you that you send your kid to a private catholic school. If your kid is anything like you, i would not want to be her teacher....

      September 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryDavidSandwich

      Everyone is looking for employment and these self-righteous imbeciles are demanding more pay.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Inflation is about 4% each year the teachers get pay freezes and finally get a 1.9% increase, doesn't really add up to much of a raise does it.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      While this is a reply to Maggie it is maenat mainly for Scottish Mama. You are absolutely off base. Private and Catholic scholls highly outperform public schools. They graduate everyone, they test higher in scores and they send immensely more kids to College. Where are you getting your information from??? Union headquarters?? Get real and wake up. You are abaolutely wrong on everything you post on this sites.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • srlaymon

      And if your child had a disability would the good catholic school still provide services for her or would they forward her on to your local public school? Do you not think that class size is an important issue for STUDENTS? How large are the class sizes in your private school? In our area they average 13-15 students per class while the public school averages 25-30 because the legislators and school districts want to save money. How is that the teachers' fault?

      September 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      In Missouri the class size is 17 to 20 students.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. mpouxesas

    On a serious note, Maggie, you think your kid is better off in a private school? wake up and smell the roses...the world is not/will not treat your kid any differently because she/he went to a private school. In fact you are doing a diservice to your kid by sending her to private school. The curriculum in private schools is far less compatible with any (bad) public school...

    September 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Someone

      okay, so maybe Catholic schools aren't the best, but she does have a point.Teachers who go on strike to complain obviously don't care much about the kids. It's not like they have to work all year round, or anything,

      September 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @ someone many teachers take courses during the summer to keep current on their craft.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Dude you"re making a case against public schooling. Everybody knows private education is better BECAUSE it's not compatible with public education. Every parent who's had to hug their kid and wipe away tears after another day at the
      "Lord of the flies" daycamp (and that's a lot) wishes they had the money for private education or the education to do a good job of homeschooling.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • curtis braune

      Private schools not being as rigorous as public schools, including bad public schools, is a bunch of smelly stuff. Such statements need proof. Charter schools offer proof that an alternative system works better. States that have vouchers for private schools have even proven through student testing that the states quality did not drop but the price tag did! It's time to look into it!!!!

      September 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KIGMFan

    Scottish Mama,
    Your reply is exactly why Maggie is right. First, you failed to even address Maggie's claim that teachers are more concerned with everything but educating the kids. Secondly, given that public math and science test scores continue to lag far behind our world peers – to brag that Catholic schools are behind in science is utterly unbelievable. Clearly, you didn't address Maggie's points with any logical conversation. That's exactly the response I figured would be made from a public school teacher.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • D-Rob

      I can field those questions. I have taught in the public schools for 19 years. In regards to being behind the rest of the world, here's the dirty little secret about that. The rest of the world only tests their kids who actually are doing well. If you don't do well, you get tracked to votech schools. We test EVERYBODY, including the mentally disabled kids who don't have a prayer of passing any kind of test. As to teachers not caring, there may be some, but most teachers I have met care greatly about their kids. It's the parents that present most of the problems. Parents who sweep in and save their children from ....gasp.....actually being responsible for their actions! BTW, I have 15 hours beyond my Masters, I get to school an hour early and leave an hour and a half to two hours after the kids are gone, and I bring home $3800/month. Yeah, I'm in it for the money!

      September 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • True

      D-Rob I agree with you about the special education students. They must take the same tests unless they have something different stated in their educational plans. The gimmick is the concept used by schools that all kids can learn. What people don't realize is that school systems have felt the push to not classify as many special education students. It has nothing to do with actual learning or the kids at all. The idea was to get as many kids out of special education classes and into regular education classes.It was paraded to the nation as some sort of equality issue when the real reason was money. Teachers found themselves as inclusion teachers with assistants whose salaries were much less than an actual teacher. It saved tons of money on this by not having to pay benefits etc.. I wonder where that legislation came from? The result is a level playing field. Now nobody learns because the classes are either totally disruptive or the pace of learning is dismal. The response on that issue is to differentiate in the classroom. Of course all of this comes from experts who never were great teachers, but spent the night at Holiday Inn last night. The great thing is that the U.S. should keep it's head up about public education. We may not lead the world with our education model but our schools churn out a fresh supply of excellent athletes which are in great demand as our corporate college and pro sports constantly need a fresh supply to reinforce all the ones who are continually suspended or put in prison.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chicago Teacher

      Well, scores are down when you are trying to sell a product (education) to a consumer (student) that has no interest in what you are selling. And on top of that their family also does not value it.

      Teachers work harder than every one of you dregs on society.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maggie

    Do you union thugs get paid extra for posting on here? We all know your tricks. You are a bunch of disgusting, pathetic, money grubbing group. You don't care one bit about kids or you would have gone back to work three weeks ago. And targeting the judge's house? Nice touch. I'm sure anyone would want you teaching their kindergartener. "Oh, we have to buy our own school supplies". Right, with the money that is supposed to go to supplies, you put right into your own benefits and salary. Anyone who sends their kids to Tacoma schools doesn't care about their kids, with this bunch teaching them. Disgusting.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • vanessa

      You got that right Maggie.!!!

      September 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. vanessa

    nonononnononononononono wayyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!:)

    September 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. vanessa

    Maggie i think you hit it right on the head prase the lord to that! why do so many teachers care about the money i mean ya you need some but i would be in it for the kids not just the money greedy little people.

    September 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • D-Rob

      Hmmm. How about this? Why do so many doctors care about money? I mean, you need some, but they should be in it for the patients, not just the money. Greedy little people. I teach public school, and I'm definitely in it for the money. I have 15 hours beyond my masters, spend 2-2.5 hours before and after school grading papers and working on my room, and I bring home a whopping $3800/month. It's hard to fathom what some people's perceptions are about public school. BTW, I don't belong the union (they don't do much anyway) and I'm a conservative.

      September 22, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Praise the Lord

      And why do many teachers find themselves isolated? They go to the wrong church, don't join expensive civic organizations, and don't let their kids play with the right kids. Just remember that many of the losers are praying to the same god as the winners? I guess somebody just didn't have enough faith. Isn't that the Christian response? No...it's just politics.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. srlaymon

    Many of you either did not read the article, or just don't care what it really says. It doesn't say teachers received a raise, merely that they were allowed to keep their same level of pay rather than taking a pay cut. How is that greedy? Additionally, fighting against a class size increase is not demanding a lighter work load, it is fighting for students to be able to receive as much of the teachers time as possible. More students in a class means less help from the teacher, so how is that lazy?

    September 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Maggie

    Hey D-Rob: Have doctors quit taking care of patients? No, only the dirtball teachers who have no qualms, even going against a court order, about not showing up on their job for THE FIRST MONTH OF SCHOOL. If doctors or nurses did that it would be an outrage, but since we all know, yes even your Union President, that the kids aren't learning anything in public schools anyway, no one cared that much. I pity any child you ever "teach", I mean collect money from their parents, from.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • You Idiot

      If your children are like you, then any teacher who gets them are just taking money from the parent. You are STUPID!

      September 23, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. Maggie

    The teacher's quit fighting the class size because they KNOW it will protect their own salary if they have bigger classes. Fewer teachers, protect the old union teachers salaries. Again, we all know your tricks now. We are just in it for the kids, its for the kids, oh and our $90,000 a year salary, our health insurance with our fat surgery and massage therapy included, and like 20 weeks off a year now. But it's ALL ABOUT THE KIDS, right?

    September 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chicago Teacher

      I hope you home school your child so she can grow up to be a hateful, spiteful tea gulping mindless drone repeating fox news soundbites...just like her mom.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Praise the Lord

      Hopefully your children will grow up to become a board member and make your system Christian like it ought to be. Right?

      September 23, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. s kel

    LOL I heard some Ignorant TEA PARTY slug , maggie, I think call unions "terrorist thugs" . That statment for someone from the worst originzation terrorist group , that wants to see this nation fail.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. s kel

    save America, kill off the tea party.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. haywire

    I don't get paid for the 3 months off I get in the summer. And teachers in my county max out at about 70k. I don't complain I don't make enough $. I'm just tired of everyone crapping on teachers. Most decisions in the school system are made without teacher input.

    September 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. haywire

    I mean seriously, do I complain in a public outrage that you are rude when you wait on me at the store or bank or dmv? Do I complain that I wait for 3 hours in the ER when I have insurance that I actually pay for? Do I complain that every mechanic or doctor or dentist doesn't seem to have hours outside the ones I work. But if I took time off to take care of any of those things I would be one of those thugs that doesn't want to work for my $ right?

    September 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
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