Pasco School Board Delays Approval Of Teacher Contract

Sep 23, 2015

It’s been a week since teachers in Pasco walked off the picket line and back into the classroom. But Tuesday night the Pasco School Board backed off its plans to ratify a new contract with the local teachers union.

Mary Gates Hall, University of Washington
Flickr Photo/Nam-ho Park (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1iWcYg0

Ross Reynolds speaks with Amy Hagopian, an associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, about why she's joined an effort to unionize faculty at the University of Washington.

Red Square, University of Washington campus
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC BY NC ND)/http://bit.ly/1QnEFc7

David Hyde speaks with Norm Arkans, associate vice president of media relations and communications at the University of Washington, about why the UW administration has "grave reservations" about an attempt by some of the UW faculty to unionize.

Editor’s note: KUOW is a self-sustaining service of the University of Washington. Arkans is an ex-officio member of the Puget Sound Public Radio Board of Directors. 

Teachers and supporters march down First Avenue South on their way to the Seattle Public Schools headquarters south of downtown on Tuesday.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The strike appears to be over.

Seattle teachers union representatives and school district leaders announced Tuesday night the approval of a tentative agreement.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose battles with labor unions in his own state made him a hero to Republicans, is now proposing huge restrictions on unions nationally as he seeks to revitalize his presidential campaign.

On Monday, Walker released an eight-page plan to take on unions, titled "My Plan to Give Power to the People, Not the Union Bosses."

He's vowing to:

  • Eliminate the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB.
Teachers strike outside Orca K-12 in Columbia City on Wednesday. Seattle Public Schools remains closed Monday as negotiations continue.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The Seattle teachers' strike enters its fourth day Monday as teachers continue to negotiate their contract.

Seattle Public Schools issued a counter-proposal that spokeswoman Stacy Howard says would include pay for a longer school day. She did not specify how much pay.

teacher salary education
KUOW Graphic/Kara McDermott

Standing outside Roosevelt High School on Thursday, a Seattle teacher held up the gold standard.

It was the tentative contract for Everett schools, which promises veteran teachers with a master’s degree and the maximum education credits nearly $100,000 by 2017.

Listener Sarah Johnson posted this picture from Green Lake Elementary with the message, 'We love our teachers.'
Courtesy of Sarah Johnson

David Hyde speaks with Richelle Dickerson, co-president of West Woodland Parent-Teacher Association, about why she and other parents have been supporting the Seattle teachers strike.

Emily McCann took this Whittier Elementary on the first day of the strike.
Courtesy of Emily McCann

David Hyde talks to Phil Dine, labor expert and author of "State of the Unions," about how Seattle's teacher strike compares to labor trends nationally.

Seattle teachers and supporters walked the picket line in front of Orca K-8 school in Columbia City.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Seattle teachers' strike is entering day three, and so far the tone has been pretty laid back, with teachers even singing. But when are things going to heat up?

They already are in Pasco, where the teachers' strike is leading to a contempt-of-court hearing Friday.

Group Challenges Public Employee Unions With Lawsuit

Aug 14, 2015

An Olympia-based libertarian group called the Freedom Foundation is laying down stakes in Oregon by filing a lawsuit against the state’s largest public employee union.

Flickr Photo/Bari Bookout

Now that there’s an agreement in the West Coast ports dispute, ship containers are being processed at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

But the congestion on port lands won’t clear until truckers get in to move the containers. And that is the question now: How soon can the region’s truckers move them, and what will stand in their way.

The global shipping industry is a ferociously competitive business, and the trans-Pacific route — from Asia to the West Coast seaports of the U.S. — is considered one of the most lucrative routes. Normally, cargo ships carrying everything from fruits and vegetables to cars and electronics can count on getting into a berth at one of the 29 West Coast seaports in a reasonable time.

The Los Angeles City Council is currently considering whether to raise the minimum wage to $15.25 an hour by 2019. It would follow Seattle and San Francisco, two cities that approved $15 minimum wages in the past year.

Port of Seattle, port, stadium, Century Link
Flickr Photo/ArtBrom (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with KUOW reporter Carolyn Adolph to get the latest upates on the labor dispute that shut down Seattle ports over the weekend.

Also, Ross Reynolds interviews John Ahlquist, co-author of the book, "In the Interest of Others: Organizations and Social Activism,” which looks at the history of the longshoremen and the union's involvement in politics. Ahlquist is a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.