Puyallup teachers vote to strike

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Puyallup educators have overwhelmingly voted to go on strike beginning Wednesday, Sept. 5, if a tentative contract agreement is not reached.  1,200 members were present and voted 98 percent in favor of a strike.

The strike authorization comes after months of bargaining and where Puyallup educators have called for competitive pay raises. Puyallup educators remain resolute in finding an agreement.

A rally Monday saw a packed park of supporters that called on the board to compensate teachers in Puyallup at rates that are comparable to area schools.

“Our proposals keep our teachers competitively compensation instead of being at the bottom of pay in the region,” Puyallup Education Association President Karen McNamara said. “More importantly, what we are asking for is sustainable for the future of our district.”

“If we want to attract and keep caring, qualified educators for our students, we need to provide them with competitive, professional compensation.”

Puyallup, like other districts, is receiving a net increase of millions of dollars in coming years because of the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, which ordered the state to increase K-12 funding. At least $2 billion of the new funding is for educator salaries.

“Puyallup administrators have no excuse for not negotiating the significant pay raises we need,” McNamara said. Educators in some 30 school districts across Washington already have negotiated double-digit percentage pay raises this summer. Without higher pay, Puyallup will lose good teachers to nearby districts that have negotiated substantial pay raises for their teachers.

Classes in Puyallup are scheduled to start Sept. 5.

The Puyallup School District has some 22,000 students, and the Puyallup Education Association represents nearly 1300 certificated teachers and educators.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. your information is wrong, or at least lacking in detail and context. Do your research and report with some balance. Where is the comment from the admin of the district? the numbers? do you know that while there is money coming from the state, about 1/2 the amount is taken away by the same provision? Also the money doled out is not all for teacher salaries. Is the district really keeping the money away and squarreling it away somewhere? Come on. Do your diligence. This is a big story.

    • Respectfully disagree sir Mcleary funds were meant to rectify notable wage shortfall for WA teachers. The admin statement conveniently left out the % increase offered to Puyallup teachers. They were offered a 3.1% “raise” where as other districts gave double digit percentage raises. Puyallup teachers deserve better!

  2. The district sent out an email explaining the situation. It’s my understanding that they don’t actually get all the same funds that other districts did for salaries because their teachers were already being paid over the average and deficits that the state used in the calculation. I agree that there should be a write up of the info on both sides.

  3. Parents need to call school board members and demand a quality education for their children! Don’t our children deserve quality, competent teachers? Apparently Puyallup School District needs a reminder that people work harder when they are treated with respect, rather resentment!

  4. Puyallup received $25.5 million to push through to educators and gave roughly a third and pocketed the rest. The money is there and they choose to invest in other thing rather than their teachers. They are smart with their money to a fault. Other districts like Kent, who have money problems had no problem getting their teachers 10% + 5% next year. It’s truly a shame for districts like Sumner, Puyallup and Tacoma.

  5. Billions of dollars were pushed out to school districts for teacher salaries from a supreme court decision on basic education called The McCleary Decision. $25.5 million went to Puyallup that was supposed to be a direct passthrough for a long over due catchup of pay. Puyallup School District offered $8.7 million which led to a decision by our teacher association to stop work if we do not get a comparable professional compensation that other districts are giving such as Federal Way, Sumner, University Place, Steilacoom, Bethel, Franklin Pierce, South Kitsap, and Peninsula are receiving. We have been at a crisis with a shortage of teachers leaving the profession to other profession. Puyallup will not be able to attract and retain teachers with the current offer.

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