Judge rules Kelso teacher strike illegal, orders educators back to work on Tuesday

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KELSO, Wash. (AP) — A judge in Cowlitz County Superior Court on Friday declared the Kelso teacher strike illegal and ordered educators to return to classrooms next Tuesday.

Judge David Koss granted the Kelso School District’s request for an injunction to stop the strike.

The 300-member teachers union went on strike Wednesday over pay and other issues. Classes for about 4,700 students were canceled for a third day Friday.

Kelso Education Association spokeswoman Sandy DeBruler told The Associated Press Friday that she was disappointed but not surprised. She says the union will need to meet to decide its next move.

On Thursday, the Kelso school board wrote to parents  that the district made an offer that would make Kelso teachers the highest-paid in Cowlitz County. DeBruler says her understanding is that the district is repackaging what they’ve offered.