This past week has been a whirlwind of activity. What was supposed to be the first week of school turned into organizing strike support for educators through the Facebook page Soup for Teachers. We worked hard, learned a lot, and now I’m exhausted!
Some amazing things happened during this process. The amount of parent support was unprecedented. We were quick, we were loud, and we were out there strong. Also, parents managed to work across the district to help support every single school. We were all fighting together for goals that went far beyond teacher pay. The educators’ union won some important concessions from the school district they’d never have gotten without a week-long strike.
It’s just a beginning, though. I’m catching my breath, because we’re in this struggle for the long haul. The bargaining team for the union reached a tentative agreement with the school district, and a representative assembly approved it and suspended the strike. But we won’t know until Sunday evening whether or not educators will sign the contract. As I understand it, they have some options:
- stop the strike and sign the contract
- resume the strike on Monday
- keep working under the old contract while continuing to negotiate
- keep working under the old contract and set a strike date
Whatever they do I’ll support them. And whatever they do, we have a long way to go. Bottom line: the state legislature needs to pony up and obey the state Supreme Court order to fully fund schools. We’ll be underwater until then. Our educators can’t afford housing in Seattle. There aren’t any caps on the number of students per nurse. And more stuff.
For now, though, I’m just glad my kids are back in school!!!