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Seattle teachers prepare for strike, say they won’t settle on unresolved issues

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SEATTLE -- With some progress between the teacher’s union and the district over the weekend, some parents are hopeful.

But as of Monday evening, teachers were still gearing up to strike with two days left before the first day of school.

“It’s not to the point where we are yelling and screaming and then refusing to talk we are not at that point,” bargaining chair Phyllis Campano said.

The Seattle Education Association says the district agreed to a 30 minute recess for all elementary schools and more pay for substitute teachers over the weekend.

The teacher’s union says educators are willing to negotiate but not settle on the other issues still unresolved.

“The big ones are the equity issue, the testing issue and compensation,” Phyllis Campano said.

Teachers want an 18% salary increase over 3 years while the district is proposing an 8.2% pay hike with a longer work day.

“That sort of career deserves well pay with that being said lets work it out not put our feet down and punish the children,” parent Zach Davidson said.

As for testing, teachers want a lot less -- not more.

“There is a lot of parent support on that and a lot of push back depending on who you talk to,” parent Scott Schenk said.

Until all the issues are hashed out, the bargaining will continue.

“We are here to work things out till the end,” Campano said.

And until the end is here parents are looking for backup childcare and keeping their schedules open.

“We support the teachers so we are behind them,” parent Karalyn Carlton said.

Supporting the teachers feels like the most important thing I mean they are the frontlines with our kids,” Schenk said.

Monday evening teachers gathered to choose picket captains and to iron out logistics in case they go forward with the strike.