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
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  1. Maggie

    You DO get paid for the three months, your salary is for one year of work. Plenty of teachers work during the summer and make money on the side. Waa waa waa, no one believes all the lies anymore. And, seriously, with public schools having basically one day off a week for "Teacher's Inservice Days" (hahaha) you REALLY don't have time to run to the bnak of DMV? Try and plan a little better. What would you do if you had to actually work a night shift or weekend? Or even an 8-5 job with two weeks of vacation a year? Oh, the horror.

    September 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Van Vuren

      Hey Maggie, how about I hang 34 13-year olds around your neck for 8 hours a day and we'll see how much time off you need. And since you're apparently in the business of misinformation, most California teachers gave up all of their inservice days to save school districts money. If our job seems so easy to you, maybe you should have gotten into it...Couldn't make it through college, huh? Or is it a matter of your not willing to work that hard for that little money? By the way, bank isn't spelled "bnak."

      September 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert in VA

      Maggie: you do not have a clue. Just because you were in school does not mean you have any idea what teachers do.
      Try it – you won't last long!

      September 22, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • politeobjection

      I am not a teacher myself, but am married to a teacher and have a sister and brother-in-law in the profession. It seems like you might not have any close connections to teachers, so I will take the opportunity to clarify a few misconceptions. Although most do get paid year-round, the salary is based on the number of months they actually work and is then spread out over a full twelve months so they aren't left without income during the summer months. So in fact, they do not get "paid" for summer vacation. Additionally, the teachers that I know are expected to report to work on inservice days and are there for a full working day. Many teachers spend hours planning, correcting assignments, assisting students after school and helping with extracurricular activities above and beyond normal school hours. All three of the teachers close to me are masters-prepared individual passionate about education. The most senior of the three makes $47,000 a year after spending 6 years at university and shelling out his own money to receive a professional certification mandated by his school district. As a society we do not value our educators or our educational system. This is evidenced in the way that we continually acquiesce to cuts in state education budgets, the steady increase in classroom size, and the growing expectation placed on teachers to provide the behavioral and moral education that were once-upon-a-time received in the home. I find the many demeaning comments I have read regarding teachers over the last couple of weeks a disturbing indicator of the value our society places on public education. I agree that striking for 8 days at the cost of students was not a fabulous choice, however the core reasons for this strike- attempting to prevent burgeoning classroom size, fighting salary cuts and preventing being transferred on short-notice to a position that one may not be qualified to fill, are valid. If no one else is willing to stand up for educators, they are left with little choice but to stand up for themselves.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • sorry PoliteObjection

      I've watched Maggie's rants on the board and you just can't dance and be polite with an idiot.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Maggie's Farm

      @ Maggie
      You are almost as exciting to listen to as one the great speakers we always get to listen to at inservice days while we are kicking our heals up. You should be the head of the U.S. Department of Education.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I can't agree more Maggie.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Kassie

      You obviously have no clue about how hard a teacher works. A teacher may only be in a classroom from 8-4 a day but ALL teachers take home their work. We work lunches, recesses, weekends, nights, holidays, when we are sick, and when we have family emergencies. We no longer have prep time to prepare quality instruction because during our prep hours we are tutoring YOUR KIDS on the subjects they have difficulties in. In service days are full of workshops and seminars, that are REQUIRED! You are not allowed to leave during that time to get errands done! We observe, learn, work hard, and reword the lessons we do to make them better every year for our kids. I may not make a lot but in the words of Taylor Mali "I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could...what do you make?"

      September 23, 2011 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. joeinalabama

    I can't believe they didn't fire all of them.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • AhhhhAlabama

      Shout out from another Race to the Bottom State

      September 23, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. Metro

    I don't know what state you live in, but my state has no "in service days" anymore. In addition, they started our school year August 14th and will continue until June 6th. In addition, they are required to take classes during the summer as the certification requirements change almost yearly. They are required to do this on their own dime, but if they DON'T, they lose their jobs. I think things vary state by state, so you painting every teacher by what goes on in yours is a little bit biased.
    I realize that nothing is going to change you opinion, or your derision towards teachers, but it's unfair.

    Teachers, don't respond to someone who doesn't have the capacity to learn, such as Maggie. This is one person you're not paid to educate.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Robert in VA

    As a teacher, I worked 2000 hours a year, How many 40 hour weeks is that? You figure out – if you can, thank a teacher!

    Before you think about saying "only 40 hours a week – I wish I could do that rather than the 50 that MOST people work."

    Many of those weeks were 60 hour weeks and most included working on weekends.
    You have no business being critical if you have not tried the job yourself – most people would not last through a full grading period before they gave up.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bix

    Maggie, get a clue. You need some serious education yourself if you think teaching is a cakewalk. May you get fired, you heartless viper.

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

    I thought you were about to make a good argument about unions, then I realized that you were just an idiot who has no idea what you are talking about. Way to go! Instead of attacking corrupt teachers, lets attack the whole bunch. Nice mentality, and you wonder why some teachers would go to a union. Its because of idiots like you who fail to recognize that the profession is for many a rewarding and demanding task that they have chosen as their mission in life. As a non-union teacher who doesn't believe in striking, I would rather you just be the poster child of what is wrong with education.

    September 23, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. That's right

    Yes, fire them all and then see who wants to talk about rights. That's the way to do it! This air traffic controller will never again ask for any better working conditions like break time, more pay, better hours, or ssssssnnnnnoooozed. Sorry, just dozed off there for a second. Anyway....

    September 23, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. s kel

    Maggies at her ignorant tea party lecture tonight so she can unjustly blame and hate all teachers, firefighters, police, highway workers, ect...

    September 23, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • emerson

      Oh brother, would you please try and stay on subject. I lean pretty far to the left but even I'm getting tired of anytime I take a look at comments, someone has a slam against: Palin, Tea Party, Bush etc... It's looking really bad for our side when it seems like staying focused on the article is too difficult. There are PLENTY of political articles to comment on. If you really can't think of a statement to make about the subject of the story- don't just throw in an insult to the right. Just go to the cnn heading "politics" and there you'll find lots of places to put your remarks to good use.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. Nebraska Teacher

    I am a teacher who puts in 60 to 70 hours a week for my high school math courses. My wife is an elementary teacher. We take time for our children and very little time for ourselves. We both work weekends on our school work. We are very dedicated to the children that we teach and feel very underappreciated by our own district. We do have inservice days; however, instead of having time for teachers in our department to collaborate, our district manages to fill the time with busy work. Most teachers are trying to make a difference. Until anybody has been in the profession or has walked near the shoes of those that are in it, please don't judge the sacrifices that I make for the good of our society. On that note, I have just finished grading papers (12:15 a.m.)...a normal night as a teacher.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. David Witcraft

    Back at the turn of the century, teachers were one of the most valued citizens in small towns. People were thankful for an educated person that wanted to teach their kids. Now most parents regard teachers as day care providers. The number one complaint when the teachers went on strike was "what am I supposed to do with my kid now?" School districts add Administrators and support positions yearly, then cut classroom positions. How many of you even know who the elected trustees of your school district are? If you ignore something, you can hardly expect excellence.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. 240K per yr

    The teachers now-adays are worthless... ALL the good teachers have left their profession. The only teachers left are the ones who are too old to teach or too young with little experience. Days are the gone where the teacher LOVED what they do and had passion. Now are the days where old grumpy dont care for anything complaining teachers are common. They wont quit or retire and milk the school dist for every dime. The young fresh out of college are the worst. They always assume every kid has ADD .. and if they arent teaching, they would be un-employed .. because they arent qualified for anything else.

    Yes I am a high school drop out 1/2 of 9th education.. and have zero respect for teachers, but I make $240k per yr – making products protecting US troops for Raytheon... all I've learned has zero teacher credit.

    Fire em' ALL

    September 23, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Kassie

      how difficult it must be to know EVERYTHING!!! Your username says it all! It doesnt matter how much you money you make in a year! I make a hell of a lot less than that, work hard for my students, and love my job. I pray for the teacher who gets your kids and has to deal with a parent like you who knows everything about education while knowing nothing about it. Get a clue, most teachers strive to make a difference and save the world on a salary that is an eighth of yours. We do it for the kids, for the future, and because we believe every person deserves the chance to have an education. And not every young teacher assumes a child has ADHD! That is diagnosed by the doctor NOT by the teacher. You know NOTHING about education, teaching, or a classroom. I strive everyday to make the lives of my students better and to make them successful in their educational careers.

      September 23, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
    • 240K per yr

      I know NOTHING about education but my hard work has a price tag. Teaching is absolete and it shows on the teachers.... they have out dated material and newest material they incorporated is "Gay History". WOW – my kids will now be really confident in the real world knowing about that. I vote they have age limits for teaching – no one under 30 and specially NO ONE OVER 50 (college excluded). I think 20 yrs of teaching should be enough. Fire the rest and place their salary in a pool where each teacher meeting the age limit makes $150k per yr. I guarantee you – you will have the top of the line teachers in their field.
      Eliminate homework, Social Studies specially GAY History and Language Arts. Replace with Gang violence/prison life/effects of illegal drugs and Modern Technology.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. softnutz

    Im all for private unions I just dont get how these teachers can strike while getting paid on tax doallers thats like people on foodstamps strikeing about how much they get. Besides with computers teachers are pointless do it at home on a computer screen for half the price baby sitters is all teachers are tax government ones at that

    September 23, 2011 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. gung hoe

    @emerson Thank you for your blog about people that all they
    can do is says derogotory comments against the right for no reaso at all

    September 23, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
    • softnutz

      Lets blog about how your worried about other people nimwit

      September 23, 2011 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. softnutz

    Looking back I would say teachers were a waste of time they lie and don't teach nothing. Wastefull spending to promote lies that people need a teacher to learn thats what parents are for.

    September 23, 2011 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. softnutz

    Teacher=over paid under worked tax funded baby sitters 6 yrs of college does not mean more than 60k unless you actually do somethink then no more than 65 and thats highly fair. Nobody in a daycare I mean school excuse me should make over 60k

    September 23, 2011 at 5:00 am | Report abuse |
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