Port Angeles teachers start school year with students, but strike planned for Tuesday

Though they voted to strike, teachers in the Port Angeles School District are starting the school year with their students on Thursday.

After the union and the district failed to reach a tentative agreement on Wednesday, educators in the Port Angeles Education Association plan to strike on Tuesday, Sept. 6, but are attending class in the hopes that an agreement with the district can be reached before then.

Teachers said they want smaller class sizes at all levels so they can give students the individual attention they need.

Teachers will be working without a contract, which expired on Wednesday, for the first two days of school.

“I never imagined back in February when we were prepared to bargain with the district that we would end up in such a challenging position,” said Port Angeles EA President John Henry. “However, our union is unwilling to accept a contract that does not meet the needs of our students and staff.”

The Port Angeles Education Association is made up of 250 educators in Port Angeles public schools.