Seattle teachers, district reach agreement on 30-minute recess for elementary school students

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(FILE PHOTO)

SEATTLE – Teachers continue negotiations with Seattle Public Schools in hopes of coming to terms with an agreement before a strike set to begin Wednesday.

“This is it. If we don’t get it done, the school board doesn’t bring the stuff to the table that we need to get it done then we’re ready to go on strike,” Seattle Education Association Vice President Phyllis Campano said Sunday.

Teachers started the day feeling good, on the heels of a big win. Recess for elementary students is now 30 minutes.

“Yesterday was huge for us. We’re really glad the school board understands that recess is important for kids and it’s important for kids to learn,” Campano reflected.

Nearly 12 more hours of negotiations led to a couple more teacher victories.

“’Almost there I would say probably with the nurses proposal and we agreed on some stuff with the substitutes which will actually help us with our substitute shortage,” Campano added.

Union rules don’t allow for its members to talk specifics until they sign on the dotted line, but were told today there was also a tentative agreement with how kids are evaluated.

But topics of testing, longer hours and overall compensation have gone virtually nowhere.

“We had a petition from every single school signed from nearly every single member and we gave it to the school board in June, saying in August 24 is the day we want to be done and school board seriously,” Campano explained Sunday night.

Now everyone’s taking teachers seriously, including the Mayor who is working with parks and rec to extend before and after school programs into all-day camps this week.

MORE:

Mayor’s plan in case of Seattle teachers’ strike

Seattle Public Schools’ update on contract negotiations