Northshore district teachers union votes to prepare for strike

KENMORE — The union representing teachers in the Northshore School District passed a motion Wednesday to prepare for a strike.

The Northshore Education Association, which also represents school nurses and aides, passed the motion with “overwhelming support,” according to the Washington Education Association, the statewide teachers union.

The motion puts the district on notice. The deadline for action is Aug. 31.

“We do not want a strike,” Northshore union President Tim Brittell said in a statement. “We need contracts that improve our work, schools and the quality of education for our students.”

The largest item on the list of bargaining goals was compensation. Teachers say they need pay that “reflects our education, responsibilities and the complexity of our work so that we can choose to live in our community, pay off our student loans, fairly contribute to our families’ budget and attract and retain the best educators for our students.”

School safety also was named as a top concern. Other bargaining items included staffing levels, substitute qualifications and district support.

Another motion, which also passed by a wide margin, was a vote of no-confidence in Jeff Sherwood, the district’s director of human resources. The union says Sherwood has attempted to create divisions among staff during the bargaining process. The district says that isn’t true.

The teachers and support staff merged unions earlier this year. Part of the disagreement is how that change can impact negotiations.

Wednesday’s motions were passed at a union gathering at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore.

The school district is working with the union on how to move forward, spokeswoman Leanna Albrecht said Thursday.

John Howard:; 425-242-4361.

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