September 21, 2011 in Region

Gregoire orders new talks in Tacoma teachers strike

Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has told both sides in the Tacoma teachers strike she wants them back at the bargaining table at 10 a.m. today, and if they don’t have an agreement by 3 p.m. she wants to see them in her office.

Spokesman Cory Curtis says Gregoire wants “kids back in classrooms.”

The governor has no direct control of schools in Washington, which has a separate Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Today is the seventh day classes have been canceled in the state’s third-largest district, after Seattle and Spokane. Tacoma has about 1,900 teachers and 28,000 students.

The union for striking Tacoma teachers says school district negotiators walked away from the table Tuesday night.

Strikers are ignoring a court order to return to work.

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