by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:
Teachers in the Snoqualmie Valley School District voted Tuesday to strike and said they'll walk off the job if no agreement is reached by Sunday at 3 p.m. -- a move that would postpone school for nearly 7,000 students.
The decision was announced about 6:30 p.m.
In Washington State, public employees do not have a legally protected right to strike, but there's also no legal penalty. A school district could take teachers to court in the event of a strike.
Parents of students in the Snoqualmie Valley have had been urged for days to come up with a backup plan in case teachers delayed school. Students are expected to return to classes Wednesday.
Snoqualmie Valley district spokeswoman Carolyn Malcom told KIRO 7 the district negotiators were doing everything they can to come up with solutions.
“I’m confident this will be settled,” she said. “We are operating with tight budget constraints.”
Malcom says the fast-growing district offered teachers a 1-percent raise in each of the next two years, and a 2-percent raise in the third year. The district also offered teachers more money for teaching over-sized classes.
Teachers’ Union President Lisa Radmer says the offer was not acceptable.
“They want quality in their classroom,” Radmer said. “They don't want extra money in their pocket, they want to be able to give the students the attention they need."
Gary Horcher is gathering the latest details and will have a full report on Eleven at 11.
This story will be updated when additional details are available.