September 22, 2011 in News, Region

Tacoma teachers vote to end strike

Manuel Valdes Associated Press
Lui Wong photo

First Creek Middle School teachers Rachael Waissman, left, Brenda Buck, center, and Zina Reyna, cheer the end of the Tacoma teachers’ strike in the gymnasium of Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Wash., on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. Teachers in Washington state’s third-largest school district approved a new contract Thursday, ending a 10-day strike that had kept Tacoma’s 28,000 students at home for more than week.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Striking teachers in Washington state’s third-largest school district have voted to accept a contract, ending a walkout that has kept students out of class for eight days.

The union announced that Thursday afternoon’s vote at a Tacoma high school gym was 98 percent in favor.

Teachers were told the three-year contract would keep salaries and class sizes the same. On the most contentious issue of teacher transfers, the contract calls for a committee of union and school district representatives to recommend a fair policy.

The union is concerned teachers could be transferred at the whim of principals. The district wants to consider factors in addition to seniority.

The agreement was reached Wednesday night after Gov. Chris Gregoire called both sides to Olympia.

The Tacoma district has 1,900 teachers and 28,000 students.

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