Classes had been set to resume Thursday, but schools will remain closed at least through the end of the week, according to the notice. About 1,050 teachers and 18,000 students are affected.Here's hoping for a swift and reasonable resolution. No one likes a strike--teachers least of all.
In a notice posted on the school district's Web site, School Superintendent Tom Siegel said the Bethel Education Association gave strike notice last night.
"The Bethel Education Association informed the district late Tuesday Aug. 28 that their members were on strike," the posting said.
"We are hopeful that negotiations will continue over the weekend with the goal of opening school as soon as possible," Siegel wrote, adding that the school district had presented the last offer and was waiting for a response.
Both sides are at odds over compensation, workload and health care benefits. The district said their latest offer increased total compensation [by] 6.5 [and] 6.9 percent under terms of a two-year contract.
Update 9/1: After a hard day's negotiation, still no resolution.
Tuesday is the earliest classes could begin, but that now looks unlikely.That's Bethel EA president Tom Cruver. From his speech to the union, given this past May:
Cruver says even if a proposed deal was reached soon, some vacationing teachers would not be able to see it until their return home on Monday.
"We have a 24-hour time for people to look at those contracts," Cruver said. "You know how thick they are and how much there is, so we are hopeful things can start as soon as possible as soon as we reach a tentative agreement, if that is even possible at this point."
The district says it will notify parents by phone Sunday evening at the latest.
We care about these issues because they are our issues. Your yes vote today tells the district that you support our bargaining team. We want the district to quit stalling and we want a fair and equitable contract before school begins next fall. Our numbers empower our bargaining team to obtain a breakthrough contract.They voted yes. Just how close they are to the breakthrough remains to be seen.