Seattle Student Union, SPS Superintendent’s Student Advisory Board, SPS Student School Board Members Luna Crone Barón, Nassira Hassan, and Jai Li (Jenna) Yuan.
Over the summer and intensely over the past two weeks, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) has been engaged in contract negotiations with the Seattle Education Association (SEA). Throughout this time, SPS made little progress towards the reasonable demands that have been made by SEA. On Friday, September 2nd, and on Saturday, September 3rd, SPS failed to show up at the bargaining table. This was a clear move in bad faith, often used by large corporations such as Starbucks and Amazon to delay union organizing and contract negotiation efforts.
SPS’ actions will not only have a devastating impact on the orderly operation of the school district, but they also cast doubt and uncertainty on the future of many families who rely on public schools to keep their children safe throughout the day. While SPS has relayed a contingency plan to parents in the event of a strike, it is not enough. Childrens’ education is of the utmost importance, and SPS must do what is right for students and families alike. SEA’s demands are the foundation of what is needed to ensure a strong district for years to come, and they ensure that every student and staff member has the support they need to succeed. Today, one of the Seattle Student Union Executive Board members said “A delayed school start time would be the result of SPS continually shutting down any attempt to bargain with the Seattle Education Association.”
As student leaders in the Seattle Public Schools district, we unequivocally support SEA’s demands and decision to strike. We urge SPS to come back to the bargaining table and engage in good faith negotiations. Resuming contract negotiations will not only benefit the students and families of this district, but it will also show that the District is united in the belief that all students are deserving of an effective, high quality public education.
About Seattle Student Union
We are a group of students from around Seattle, WA (Duwamish Territory) that fight for students. We organize around Seattle Public School issues. For more information please refer to our website here.