School still out in Washougal

District enters second week of strike over teacher salaries

Washougal educators remain on strike going into what would have been the Washougal School District’s second week of the 2018-19 school year.

Teachers in that district have been picketing since Tuesday, Aug. 28, after negotiations between the district and the Washougal Association of Educators (WAE) teachers union broke down in late August.

Both sides continued to bargain throughout the day Tuesday, Sept. 4, following the Labor Day weekend. Sticking points, according to union leaders, include a new teacher salary schedule that includes money from the state meant to remedy a Washington Supreme Court decision calling for adequate teacher pay and school funding as well as issues involving supplemental stipends, class size, medical and maternity leave and combined classrooms.

The negotiating teams have met more than 20 times since bargaining began, and have come to agreement on several smaller issues, including a proposal that improves caseload remedies for special education teachers; funds to help recognize educators with longevity in the district; and dollars that give incentives to teachers who notify the district early on when they plan to retire.

“We remain committed to working with the (WAE) to reach an agreement so that we can all get back to serving the children in our community,” district leaders stated in an online update posted Monday, Sept. 3.