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Snoqualmie Valley teacher contract talks resume; Monday strike possible

SNOQUALMIE- — Kids in Snoqualmie Valley have spent three days getting back into the swing of school, but if no contract deal is reached by 3 p.m. Sunday, teachers will go on strike and no one will go to school Monday morning.

strikeSnoqualmie Valley School District spokeswoman Carolyn Malcolm said Friday they have offered the union a 6% raise over three years.  Elementary class size targets are now 25 students for kindergarten, 27 for first through third grade and 29 for fourth and fifth grades.  The union says “targets” aren’t good enough.

“The offer the district put on their website this morning is still language that allows them to put as many kids in a classroom as they want to,” said Lisa Radmer, spokeswoman for the Snoqualmie Valley Education Association, the teachers’ union.

The district says if classes are bigger than that, those teachers will get an additional $1,800 a year — or three planning days.

“Teachers have told me numerous times they don’t want the extra cash for an overload of students.  They want to give quality instruction,” Radmer said.

With growing enrollment and limited resources, the district said there’s only so much that can be done.

“There are some districts that will have a cap on a class size, and if there is an additional student they will move them to another school that’s nearby.  We don’t think that’s a solution for our families or in the best interest of our students,” Malcolm said.

Around 4 p.m. Friday a group of teachers at North Bend Elementary School walked out carrying personal belongings in boxes.  If teachers do strike, they won’t have access to their buildings.

There was a bargaining session planned for 4:30 p.m. Friday.

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