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It’s math: Teachers, districts strike over cash

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VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — There’s no immediate end in sight to the teacher strike in several Clark County districts. 

Vancouver, Evergreen, Ridgefield and Hockinson teachers are on the picket lines instead of the classroom — and the issue, mostly, is money.

In Vancouver, the district and the teacher’s union negotiators have been bargaining all day, but there were no talks Wednesday in Evergreen. A spokesperson for Evergreen Public Schools said negotiations will resume Thursday with a mediator and will continue through the weekend if necessary. 

The sticking point is money. Teachers want larger raises than the districts are offering.

Relatively new teachers, like 1st-grade teacher Nicole Dahlke, work other jobs during the school year to make ends meet, to help pay for basics such as child care and student loans.

“I’m living at home. I have to pay off student loans,” she said. “I would like to live on my own.”

And she’s been teaching for 4 years.

A starting teacher in Vancouver earns about $44,000, with the top teacher earning $83,000. In Evergreen, new teachers start around $49,000 while the top teacher in that district gets about $92,000.

The Washington Education Association is urging teachers to push for a 15% hike. Districts, though, are offering roughly half of that.

Here’s a breakdown of money issues from some of the striking districts: (Source: District websites, teacher union websites. Links below the chart)

DistrictSalary RangeRaise WantedRaise Offered
Vancouver$44K to $83K 15.3%about 7.5%
Evergreen$47K to $87K 15%  about 7.7%
Ridgefield$73K average 15.04%  NA
Longview$43K to $81K11%6.9%
Washougal  $48K to $90K   25.6%  16%
Camas$46K to $87K  NANA
HockinsonNA25.2%8%
School district websites used for information:

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