La Center teachers could strike on first day of school

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Their contract is now up for renegotiation.

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LA CENTER, Wash. (AP) — Teachers in La Center have voted 75-1 to strike if a new contract deal isn’t reached by the first day of school next week.

The Columbian reported Friday that the La Center School District and its teachers’ union are working with a mediator for in hopes of avoiding a strike on Wednesday, the first day of school.

Teachers in many Washington school districts went on strike in 2018 after schools got an influx of money because of a state Supreme Court ruling that the state’s education system was underfunded.

La Center teachers instead signed a one-year contract that gave them a 6.8 percent increase in total salary compensation, with a 7.8 percent increase for those with 25 years of experience or more.

That contract is now up for renegotiation.

The La Center School District released the following statement regarding the contract negotations:

The La Center School District has great teachers and we are committed to paying them every dollar the district can sustainably afford, while still being responsible stewards of taxpayer resources. We are in negotiations today, with the support of an independent state mediator, and will continue to negotiate every day thereafter, with the goal of reaching resolution as soon as possible. The most recent offer the district has presented to teachers is a 9% pay increase, above and beyond the 7.6 % pay increase they received last year, which puts our top earning teachers at $92,515. This salary increase includes every dollar allocated to teacher salaries as a result of the state of Washington’s McCleary Decision.

KOIN 6 News contributed to this story from The Associated Press.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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