Seattle Teachers
Guest Post.
If you are wondering how and why the Seattle Teachers’ Strike served the purpose of improving quality education in public schools all around, our brief article will guide you through the important reasons that made it all the more necessary –
  • The strike empowered the teachers as immense support overflowed from the parents as well, like never before! At least 2800 parents got together to arrange a ‘Soup for Teachers’ in which packets of soup were brought along with other food items to feed the hungry teachers after the strike. A site map was also structured to support the low income areas of town.
  • The Seattle Education Association bargaining team had 40 members as opposed to the standard small team of educators formed in local bargaining teams in general. These educators represent the Seattle NEA affiliate.

  • It was an overwhelming response to witness over 95% of Seattle teachers participating to wait in picket lines for their right to unanimously vote to conduct the strike. It paves the way for teachers fighting for quality education in public schools in future.

  • The Seattle teachers strike removed the use of standardized test scores for evaluating teachers where most of the country utilises these test scores accounting for about 50 %.

  • As the new contract unfolded to settle the scores for quality education, it was not just left to that. The fighting spirit carried on to a one-day public sector union strikes already being talked about to promote the rights of workers at the state capital in Olympia.

  • With the help of this strike, the Seattle Teachers accomplished the right to compile 30 site-based equity teams in order to target class and racial disparages. This is what the Seattle Public Schools are infamous for.

  • This is not the first time a teachers’ strike is being held to fight for quality education. The scenario was similar for Pasco teachers in Southeast Washington who went out of their way to  ignore a court order to return to the classroom. They went ahead with their strike which was much more intense than the Seattle strike. This kind of a strike was also carried forward by Whidbey and Kelso who began the year by avoiding a strike right before the school day.

  • The main purpose of the fight shifted before the SEA strike since charter schools were ruled out as unconstitutional. This means that public schools can no longer be funded by private institutions anymore.
  • The Coalition for Schools Seattle Students Deserve supported the teachers through a concert in which 700 people were successfully present raising above $8000 with regard to the SEA hardship fund.

  • Seattle teacher activists also secured a good 30 minutes of recess time for elementary school students.

  • A major part of this strike was moved forward by the Social Equity Educators (SEE) since they bend on the union’s board of executives and have a major role in pushing teachers in Seattle in demanding their rights as and when needed.