Originally posted 12-3-19

Willapa Valley teachers are said to begin a strike today.

In an announcement from Dale Folkerts, Spokesman for Willapa Valley Education Association, he says that teachers plan to begin a strike today following months of negotiations with the school district.

Folkerts says that the main concerns of the WVEA include “student safety, support for students, and competitive pay.”

  • Safe classrooms for students and teachers: A comprehensive student behavior program will improve classroom safety and foster a climate of success for our Willapa students.
  • Special Education Support: Our students with the highest needs deserve better support from our public schools. The district has been unwilling to provide the necessary support for our special education students.
  • Attract and retain the best teachers: Willapa Valley students deserve the best. Our students will have to compete with other students across the state for jobs, higher education and scholarships. Increased wages and great working conditions help attract, recruit and retain the best educators for Willapa Valley students.

Negotiations between the teachers and the district began in June and school started on time this fall, but Folkerts says that teachers voted last week to strike if negotiations did not make what they say qualifies as “meaningful progress” during mediation by Monday at 4pm.

In the announcement, it claims that teachers at Willapa Valley are among the lowest paid in the region and in the state.

Folkerts adds that the strike should not prevent after-school sports from continuing, and teachers will pull down their picket line so that students can continue to get food service at the school during the lunch hour.

Negotiations with the state mediator are said to be scheduled to resume today.