“I’m glad it’s over”; These words said by Mr. Landreville are exactly what everybody attending or with a child attending a Seattle Public School has been saying ever since the district and the teachers decided to end the teacher strike on September 20th. For the past 3 weeks about the teachers union strike against the district. Although, many educators are disappointed with the agreement because they were not able to obtain everything they wanted. The teachers that voted against the agreement, were mainly unhappy with the extended school day that will go into effect in 2017. The district will be extending the day by 30 minutes without compensation, but that was bargained down to 20 with compensation. When asked if the strike was the best way to vocalize their problems, Landreville responded, “In this situation, it was the only option”.
When Cynthia Jatul, one of Roosevelt’s biology teachers, was asked the same question, she agreed: “Unfortunately, yes [the strike was the best option]. I say this even though we would rather not strike because we would rather be teaching.” Another teacher said they voted “a reluctant yes” even though they felt that there were very important issues left out like the ratio of staff to special education students, a problem many teachers felt was poorly resolved. When asked about the negotiations between the district and the negotiators for the teachers, both Jatul and Landreville said that the district was “uncooperative” and would not take any complaint seriously until three weeks before school was supposed to start. After that climatic Sunday, teachers and students were sure to return to school with no threat of another strike. Although, the teachers are not completely thrilled with the agreement now in place, they are “happy to be back in school and helping kids learn.”
Featured Photo: Cynthia Jatul, one of Roosevelt’s most vocal opponents of the agreement. Photo by Maddie Dowling