Whidbey Island teachers go on strike, but Spokane teachers, district reach tentative contract accord

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(Photo: CNN)

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Spokane School District and the union that represents teacher and other school employees reached a tentative agreement Thursday that averts a strike Friday.

Both sides said in a statement Thursday afternoon that members of the Spokane Education Association are meeting Tuesday to review contract details and decide whether or not to approve it.

They have been bargaining almost around the clock to reach an agreement before Friday. The union had set a 7 a.m. Friday deadline for a proposed contract or a strike.

Both sides said the one-year contract makes progress on several issues, including professional development, workload and compensation.

Classes and other school activities will continue on Friday as scheduled.

However, teachers in the tiny South Whidbey Island School District are now on strike.

The Washington Education Association says teachers in the four-school district walked out on Thursday. School is set to begin on Tuesday for the district’s nearly 1,500 students. But teachers were supposed to be in school on Thursday preparing for the year.

Teachers planned to picket at the middle and high schools on Thursday, but contract negotiations are continuing.

They join educators from Pasco, who went on strike Tuesday morning.

Seattle teachers plan to vote Thursday evening on whether they are going to strike.


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