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Teachers in Stanwood-Camano, Highline districts vote to authorize strikes for pay increases

STANWOOD, Wash. — Stanwood-Camano teachers voted Thursday to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike if a tentative contract agreement is not reached when their current pact expires Aug. 31.

The first day of the strike would be Sept. 4, the first day of classes.

The teachers’ union, the Stanwood-Camano Education Association, said that like other districts, the Stanwood-Camano School District is receiving a net increase of millions of dollars in coming years because of the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, which ordered the state to increase K-12 funding.

“For Stanwood-Camano this amounts to more than $9 million, most of which is for an educator salary correction,” the teachers’ union said in a news release.

Stanwood-Camano district administrators have no excuse for not negotiating the significant pay raises that teachers need, Stanwood-Camano Education Association President  Nyda Goldstein said.

Educators in some 30 school districts across Washington already have negotiated double-digit percentage pay raises this summer, the news release said.

Also on Thursday, teachers in the Highline School District voted to authorize their union to call a strike if no tentative contract agreement is reached by Sept. 4.

Classes in Highline are scheduled to start Sept. 5.

“Our teachers simply want a fair and equitable settlement,” Highline Education Association President Sue McCabe said, adding that Highline administrators “have no excuse” for not negotiating “significant pay raises we need.”

The Highline School District has about 19,000 students, and the Highline Education Association represents more than 1,350 certified teachers.