Seattle school strike talks reach 'tentative agreement'

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 15, 2015 11:27 AM

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Both sides of talks to end a Seattle teachers' strike that has idled the city's 53,000 public school students for nearly a week said on Tuesday that they have reached a "tentative agreement."

The Seattle Education Association union said the strike would continue until its board and representative assembly review the agreement later on Tuesday and decide whether to recommend it to members.

Seattle Public Schools also said a tentative agreement had been reached.

"Goal is to start school Thursday," the district said on its Twitter account.

The strike, which has left many working parents scrambling to improvise childcare arrangements, marked the first labor-related disruption of classes in three decades for the largest public education system in the Pacific Northwest.

Some 5,000 teachers and support staff walked off the job last Wednesday on what should have been the start of the new school year after talks collapsed the night before in a disagreement over wages, hours and performance evaluations.

    One of the teachers' chief grievances is that they have received no cost-of-living raise in six years despite surging living expenses in Seattle, particularly for housing, fueled largely by growth in the city's technology sector.

(Reporting by Mike Rosenberg; Addditional reporting and writing by Daniel Wallis in Denver; Editing by Susan Heavey and Lisa Lambert)