This evening, Evergreen Education Association (EEA) members voted to strike and informed Evergreen Public Schools officials that teachers would not report for the start of school on August 28 if a contract agreement has not been reached.
Evergreen Public Schools has offered its teacher group an additional salary enhancement to its current agreement. For the 2018-19 school year, teachers would see an average 8.33% increase in compensation. The starting salary for a new teacher would be $50,687, while the most experienced teacher would receive $96,045 which includes an additional 2.0% longevity increase. The average salary for Evergreen teachers would now be about $79,000, plus full benefits.
"It is disappointing that Evergreen Education Association took this action since there is a valid contract in place. That contract, without modification, already provides them with an average increase of 6.5%, and in an effort to avert a strike, we have since offered additional compensation of an average of 8.8% which continues to make them the highest paid teachers in the region and higher than any state average in the country. We are passing through all the state and court-mandated funding allocated for teacher salaries, plus adding a higher percentage out of our remaining local levy funds than other agreements reached across the state," said district officials.
District negotiators will continue to meet with EEA representatives, along with the Washington state Public Employee Relation Commission (PERC) appointed mediator, between tomorrow and August 27, in the hope an agreement can be reached and school will begin on time for the district's more than 26,000 students.