Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Seattle teachers on strike

Teachers in Seattle went on strike last week and reached a tentative deal with the school district on September 12, 2022. (Photo: Seattle Teachers Association/Twitter)

Seattle Teachers Secure Tentative Deal to End Strike After 'Enormous Community Support'

"We should all be proud of what we accomplished and what we stood up for: student supports and respect for educators," said the Seattle Education Association.

Julia Conley

Seattle teachers on Monday night expressed gratitude for "solidarity on the picket lines" and "enormous community support" that they received over the past week while on strike, as the city's teachers union announced it had reached a tentative agreement with the school district.

The Seattle Education Association (SEA) said it had secured a new three-year contract including improved and maintained teacher-student ratios for special education classes, additional mental health staffing across all schools, and annual pay raises.

"We should all be proud of what we accomplished and what we stood up for: student supports and respect for educators," said the SEA. "We made real progress not only in our contract but also in rallying with our community these past several weeks."

The school district said it would announce on Tuesday when classes are now set to begin.

SEA members overwhelmingly voted last week to go on strike, demanding raises particularly for lower-paid educators and school office staff, new limits on workload and class sizes, and more support for students in multilingual and special education.

Shortly before the deal was reached, Seattle substitute teacher Jeanine Calceta recorded a video thanking community members for their support on picket lines during the strike.

"One of the most remarkable things that I've seen on the picket lines is how much attention we've gained nationwide and how much support we've gained from our family and community members," said Calceta.

Melissa DiLorenzo, the mother of a high school student in the city, told the Associated Press that both she and her son had joined teachers to walk the picket lines and expressed dismay with the earlier contract proposals put forward by Seattle Public Schools.

"Maybe it's because of Covid—parents have a newfound appreciation for what teachers go through," DiLorenzo told the AP. "I would like to see the district listen to educators about what they need in the classroom—I would like to see mental health supports in place, in the form of counselors, social workers, nurses."

The union also garnered support from federal lawmakers including Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).

"This contract negotiation is one more step (albeit an important one!) along our years- and even decades-long journey to achieve the schools we all deserve," said the SEA. "After two incredibly difficult years impacted by Covid and so much more, it is beautiful to know that the community love and support for educators and our public schools is as strong as ever."

"We can and must continue to connect and rally with our communities for the schools our students deserve," the union added, "whether locally or down in Olympia."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Incredible': Omar and Khanna Staffers Join Levin's Office in Unionizing

"It is long past time the United States Congress became a unionized workplace, and that includes my own staff," said Rep. Ilhan Omar. "I am proud of all the people on my team who have played a leading role in the staff unionization effort. Solidarity forever."

Jessica Corbett ·


Destructive Hurricanes Fuel Calls for Biden to Declare Climate Emergency

"Mother Nature is not waiting for the president or Congress to declare a climate emergency. She's showing us in real-time here in the United States—with wildfires, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, and drought."

Jessica Corbett ·


Spain Approves 'Solidarity' Tax to Make Nation's Top 0.1% Pay a Fairer Share

The country's finance minister said that looming changes are bound to make the tax code "more progressive, efficient, fair, and also enough to guarantee social justice and economic efficiency."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Time to Take to the Streets': Working Class Hold 'Enough Is Enough' Rallies Across UK

"Does a CEO need an extra zero at the end of their salary—or should nurses, posties, and teachers be able to heat their homes?" said one supporter ahead of the #EnoughIsEnough National Day of Action.

Julia Conley ·


Ukraine Responds to Putin Annexations With Fast-Track NATO Application

Lamenting the lack of any progress toward a diplomatic settlement, one anti-war campaigner asked: "Will the world stand idly by as we careen towards nuclear apocalypse?"

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo