Tacoma schools to start on time after teacher strike vote falls short

Sep 1, 2011

Tacoma students will head back to school today, despite their teachers having no contract.

Teachers voted on whether to strike last night, but fell about 30 votes short of the majority needed to boycott the district, according to a letter sent to teachers by Andy Coons, president of the Tacoma Education Association.

While 77.2 percent of teachers elected to strike, union bylaws require 80 percent to approve a walk out. 

Union officials say it doesn’t mean the threat of a strike is off the table. 

Teachers voted to meet again on September 12 to revisit the idea. If negotiators have come up with a contract by then, teachers will vote on that instead. Their current contract expired on August 31. 

Issues holding up a new one include disputes over teacher pay, class size and how layoffs are decided, as KPLU has reported.