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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Public Schools reach tentative contract with SEA

Teachers and other Spokane Public Schools workers are poised to vote on a three-year labor contract that includes a pay raise, benefits and workplace issues.

School officials have declined to disclose details of the proposed contract. The Spokane Education Association’s bargaining team has been negotiating with school administrators for six months on new union contracts for the 3,500 employees, which includes 1,900 teachers. The vote will be Aug. 23.

Union President Jenny Rose said the contract includes more money for employees, and she said she is pleased with the agreement.

“Our bargainers wouldn’t bring anything to the table that they didn’t think their members would approve,” Rose said.

The agreement covers six unions of district staff, including classroom aides, clerical staff, custodians and nutrition workers.

If union members accept the contract, the deal will be brought to the school board for approval.

The deal comes on the heels of a tense round of bargaining in 2015, which nearly led to a strike at the beginning of the school year. The union voted early in September to accept a one-year agreement that expires Aug. 31.

The union and the district last year agreed to begin negotiations earlier in 2016 to avoid a similar stalemate so close to the start of school.

“We think it’s a win,” school district spokesman Kevin Morrison said. “Their leadership feels very positive about it, as does our administration.”