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. softnutz

    And how do teachers work 60 hour work weeks when there off the entire summer lets Do the Math teachers. You dont do NOTHING and get payed why too much! Your obsolete!

    September 23, 2011 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
    • D

      Hmmm....responding to ignorance....,teachers on average have a 7.5 hour a day contract and perform on an average of 10hrs a week of work.,.for Free...grading papers..making calls...tutoring to name a few...using correct contract hours that computes to approximately 360 hours of free work for a 36 week school year...or if you make a gross salary of 50k a year then 360 hours of free work would equate to how much making too much but not getting paid for it what MATH GUY????!!!!!

      September 23, 2011 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Sagebrush Shorty

      Perhaps one of the teachers could give you grammar lessons.

      September 23, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Oakspar

      I'm not sure where you are at, but here, the teachers work ten months and are paid for ten months. The other two months they are unemployed and unpaid. So, you could argue that salarie comparisons are skewed, because they would be paid more than they are if there were paid for 12, rather than 10 months of work.

      Example – a $30,000 teaching salary (10month) would equate to a $36,000 salary for a 12 month emplyee.

      While many in the private sector would love to give up two months of pay for two months off, teachers have no choice, and two months does not leave much oppurtunity for gainful summer employment (many young teachers work retail or food services during the summer).

      Yes, the day is 7.5 hours long – with students – but there is paper grading, tutoring, clubs, a host of required meetings, and continuing education (a requirement to maintain licence) – none of which teachers in this state get paid for. (Coaches are paid, but at a level that would be criminal if you divided it by the hours put in).

      The only way you could be jealous of a teacher (in a non-union state, at least) is if you are unemployed – a condition likely caused by not paying attention to your own teachers years ago.

      September 23, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • usmcsgt


      Maybe you should have paid more attention to your teachers in school, because you can neither spell or make sense at all.

      Teachers are the backbone of our future without good teachers this country is doomed to fail! Teaching hours go way beyond the time they spend in the classrooms. If you knew how many hours teachers work outside the classroom and pump their own money it our classes, you would realize what a foolish claim you are making.

      Deal in facts!!

      September 23, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Teach

      We don't do ANYTHING and we are paid WAY too much. YOU'RE right.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • CATeacher

      I think you need a teacher. We get paid, "why too much. Your obsolete"? Work on your grammar and spelling buddy.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Bighedfred

      I am not sure what States many of you are from but here the teacher's start at way more than 30k a year! Not including "golden" retirement and healthcare. Looks like the school district of Tacoma folded to Union demands again!

      September 23, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • moccasins

      Hey there, softnutz, babynutz! Sounds like you missed a lot of school. You're right, we "dont do NOTHING" if you're a product of the public school system.

      September 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. haywire

    Maggie, I have come to the conclusion that you are just a nasty person. I am a teacher and I don't ask for pity, sympathy, or quite honestly support. How about just not being attacked.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Maggie

      You are the ones who didn't show up for the first month of school. I wonder what it was like for the kids who were excited about their school year? Then your own union president justifies it by saying they don't learn much anyway those first few weeks, nice. I can't imagine any Tacoma parent sending their kids to be taught by these people, you can't really call them 'teachers', now can you? There is no way that any of these teachers care one bit about the kids if they don't show up. Its all about them. Oh, no wait, "It's About the Kids", right?

      September 23, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • chenz66

      Maggie – You forgot to mention one item, what about the parents who have to now scramble for child care if they have to work? But hey "it's for the kids"

      September 23, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • robyn

      you ARE expecting sympathy....your not special because you are a teacher..you teachers SUCK!!!

      September 23, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • robyn

      C U Next Tuesday..how is THAT for an attack??!!!

      September 23, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Eight days maggie, not a month.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. jb2817

    Teachers are for the most part noble. Their union leadership however are nothing but thugs, they don't give a damn about the kids and sure as hell don't care about the taxpayers as a whole. If you want to see what teachers unions can do to a state come to Rhode Island we have our own Al Capone his name is Bob Walsh

    September 23, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. John

    It probably varies from state to state, but most schools have ample 'prep' periods built into the day so teachers can grade tests and read papers. There are a lot people who do not understand that at teacher doesn't show up in the morning and teach class after class straight through the day. I am an administrator at a major teacher's university in NY, and I've spent lots of time in schools, so I can assure you, at least in NY, that teachers rarely have to take work home with them after their first year or two on the job when they are still developing lesson plans and curriculum. Furthermore, the school year is 180 days, but in my state, the average teacher salary is over $57,000. How on earth could anyone complain about that?

    September 23, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • chenz66

      The one thing that I remember clearly is that most of my teachers throughout school graded test papers in class while they gave out some assignment to be done at your own pace.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • NerfHerder

      Interesting. My "ample" planning time, 45 minutes, four days a week, is great. Let's see...oh yeah, one planning period I sit with my cohort teachers and the principal, and we go over test results, our curriculum for the week, as well as the upcoming weeks, our objectives, etc.... Then another planning period is used sitting in the library for technology/websites. Next planning period is used for meetings with parents, phone calls to parents, answering emails from parents, etc.. And the fourth planning period, well I tutor students that need extra help......Yes, this is every week. There is no such thing as a planning period anymore. Is this fair?
      When do I plan, during class? Nope I teach from bell to bell. Grade papers in class, are you kidding me? I can assure you that you are wrong. I can almost assure you that you have nothing to do with k-12 education. Administration is probably right where you belong. You know what they say, they usually promote the incompetent because they want the competent employees right where they are.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • moccasins

      I find it completely sick and disturbing that there are people out there that feel as though it's their duty to degrade and demoralize teachers. What kind of message is that for your children? It is easy to attack a modestly paid prfessionals, because the community wont accept fingers pointed in their direction, accusing them of being bad parents! I don't want to even speak as a teacher, but as a human being. Browse around this site and see what you find. The homeless, the mentally ill, the abused, the neglected and the so called bad apples, have one thing in common. They are dumped off at public schools and the teachers that you claim have it soooo easy deal with them case by case. We are parents, counselors, advisers, caretakers, teachers, coaches and tutors all rolled into one. No wonder there is so much protest concerning teacher pay, the communtiy would lose on such a great bargain! 45 minutes for planning? Most teachers don't get a planning period, they have to trade it in to teach for the extra scraps. On average, I grade just short of 1000 papers a week. That's about 3 poorly written novels a week. Can you read, comment, grade and input that in 45 minutes? John, you don't sound like an admin at all. Probably varies from state to state? It does moron, education is run at the state level, always has. Rarely take work home? Teachers are in before the bell working, during and after... even weekends and nights. Ask the wives and husbands of anyone in the education system.

      Teachers don't complain about the pay. It's the conditions and the attacks that we reject. Tell police officers they get paid too much to defend the public, tell our troops in Iraq that they're over there getting a tan, tell the fire fighters they get paid too much to get a cat out of a tree. I wouldn't dare attempt to tell someone how insignificant their profession is, becaue the truth is, you really don't know all of the aspects of that job. Most of you are outsiders and you point your finger at the easiest target, becaue you don't possess the courage to even contemplate fighting the system that hurts you too. Instead you find the wimpy kid in the glasses to pick on. Congrats, big man!

      September 23, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      John, perhaps that is true for the classroom teachers, but as an elementary school music teacher I DO teach straight through. I have a half an hour in the morning, half an hour for lunch, and half an hour at the end of the day. I have to plan for six different grades and two choruses. I see every child in the school, which is more than 400 of them I also have a stack of 504 accommodations an inch thick, and those need to be planned for as well. It's a lot of stuff to fit into an hour a day, an hour and a half if I work through lunch. Since I am seeing a new group of children every 45 minutes, there's never down time in my classroom, either (sitting still while the students read or do papers, for example).

      And those night time concerts the choruses have? The ones that fall outside of the school day? I don't get paid extra for those.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bermille

    Republicans 2012 notions of jobs- job cuts.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. CarchariasUh

    Well, I guess they need another paycheck huh? If anything, when teachers go on strike, its morally appalling... If they care so much about doing their job and being compensated fairly, then why would they take an 8 day strike to deprive 8 days of school for kids? In California, a lot of teachers are more like: "Well, we can just tell good stories and feel betterer because....because we can educate in different ways other than teaching...." I sure hope that doesn't happen all over the U.S. .

    September 23, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • moccasins

      So what's your point pinhead?! Many professions go on strike when higher-ups don't hear the concerns of the workers. In this society, there is more concern for an NFL lockout than public schools. What team do you root for?

      September 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Martin

    Tacoma teachers showing their students once and for all that quitting is okay. wickedimproper . com

    September 23, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. s kel

    Softnut f you, what do you dp, or did you do for a living? tell us please.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. willnotreplytospam

    I don't understand how they were allowed to strike, I taught for 5 years and we were not allowed to strike, if you did you were fired! Teachers unions are jokes they don't bring anything to the table unless the school board wants it on the table.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      of course you don't understand, because don't want to understand.

      federal senators get paid the same rate by their state instead of by theier performance , don't they ?

      Federal Senators primary responsibility is a budget with the house for the executive branch to review, another failure they refuse to be held responsible for, right teacher ?

      September 23, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • willnotreplytospam

      @ humberto, what does that have to do with my comment, I am talking about going on strike and you are talking about Senators...

      There must have been a something lost in translation!

      September 23, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      You have no idea what senators have to do with school ?

      September 23, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Weak union?

      September 23, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. Gort01

    Hey s kel: what difference does it make what Softnut does for a living....teachers are lazy, complainers that have more paid time off than any other profession, do not (in most states) contribute one cent to their retirement ir their health/dental benefits...so I say, quit whining and get to work,...DONT LIKE TEACHING., DONT DO IT

    September 23, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • todd

      Why don't you mind your on business! Quit complaining about the teachers and whining about the schedules, pay, and benefits. If you have it so bad then quit your job and go teach.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      @Gor101, go back to your abandoned boxcar.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • robyn

      hey Humberto..why dont you go back to your own country??

      September 23, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. Scottish Mama

    @Joe there are no statistics and I have written this once and Cnn did not print it.Public school and private are in no way comparable to how many go to college. Although public school have more programs.
    As Private schools pick and choose who may come into their schools mostly people with money and already academics placements.
    Public schools must let everyone who crosses the threshhold in.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      Not only that but the students minds are more prone to attack by greedy politicians and their lawyers.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      – the students untrained minds –

      September 23, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      Despite what private schools allow in, the parents are still liable for taxes towards a public education they blantantly attempt to embezzel thru frauds of government vouchers
      by corrupt government officiala still obstructed from justice .

      September 23, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. Scottish Mama

    All of you want to make decisions for the workers of unions.
    Those of you against, are Koch bros friends whom they plant on these websites to get people upset with unions. They want to destroy any type of middle class union, where information of the people rights are taken, so the middle class slavery rule sets in. They have almost done it people, there are only 7% private sector jobs left. Yeah they must be the ones bankrupting us.
    The banking and big wigs fuked up our system and bankrupt us, and you want to take it from the working class people. Bravo, you have let the wealthy divide us. Either you are for the people or you have your head up a wealthy persons $ss.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. ed

    Get rid of the unions and quality of education will go up. Proof? Private schools. No unions and they are 10x better than public schools. Of course, then the public school teachers would actually have to WORK to keep their job so....

    September 23, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      No you are wrong. Teachers at public school are state certified and better educated.
      Private schools do not need state certificaton and can teach in the subject they are taught.
      Private just shows how the wealthy do not have to go to school with regular students.
      Ed you speak with no statistics. I looked them up, priviledge gets them ahead, and being hand picked. Your just spewing remarks.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. OnTheRoad

    Might as well fire the school adminstrators, the union is making all of the decisions anyway!

    September 23, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Might as fire the republicans who are making legislation to get rid of rights of people, Social security, medicare and all the programs we pay into because the banking big boys fuked it up for us.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      The Unions don't hand out illegal school vouchers as the seperate but equall corrupt politicians do.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Scottish Mama

    The private schools get the benefits but so not have to deal with the real population.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
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