Northwest News

North Thurston, Tumwater teachers to strike to protest legislative inaction

Teachers in North Thurston Public Schools plan to walk off the job Wednesday afternoon as part of a statewide effort to increase money for public education.

It was already a half day for district students — teachers were scheduled to participate in professional development or training activities during the afternoon, according to district spokeswoman Courtney Schrieve.

On Monday night, North Thurston teachers voted to skip that afternoon training and participate in a rally along Capitol Way and at the pedestrian bridge on Capitol Campus, according to the North Thurston Education Association’s web site.

Teachers will be expected to make up or take leave for the afternoon, Schrieve said.

North Thurston Supt. Raj Manhas released the following statement about the action: “We as a district certainly support full funding of basic education as demonstrated earlier this month by a collaborative activity on the Capitol campus afterschool. Students are at the center of all we do in North Thurston Public Schools. While we are grateful that the majority of teachers voted to minimize the direct impact to students and families and respect that they want their voices to be heard by the Legislature, they are still walking out on a work day and previously scheduled professional development.”

Meanwhile, the Tumwater Education Association plans to hold a one-day walkout Friday, and will rally on the steps of the Legislative Building at 10 a.m.

“Tumwater Education Association welcomes supporters of education to our rally, (including) parents and other union organizations,” union President Tim Voie said.

Olympia teachers are scheduled to vote Wednesday about a proposed one-day walkout as well.