Tacoma (Wash.) Teachers Continue the Strike

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

As Tacoma families prepared for another day without school Monday, negotiations between the Tacoma teachers union and the school district continued late into the evening Sunday.

The head of the state Public Employment Relations Commission, Cathy Callahan, mediated bargaining sessions.

Earlier Sunday, Tacoma Public Schools officials said they would withdraw some contract language on teacher transfers and reassignments that the union found objectionable. They also offered a one-year grace period to keep the current seniority-based system intact.

Both sides have said administrators? desire to have more control over where teachers work is the biggest point of contention in contract talks.

The district also said Sunday that it has offered a three-year pay plan to teachers. But it rests in part on hope that state lawmakers will restore money they cut this year.

The district on Sunday posted its proposal on its website, www.tacoma.k12.wa.us. The proposal was given to the union Saturday.

Tacoma teachers voted to strike Sept. 12, then voted again last week to remain on strike despite a judge?s order to return to work.

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