|Teachers picketed at Lincoln High School in Tacoma yesterday over issues that include pay and class size. (Joe Barrentine/News Tribune via Ap)|
Court asked to end Tacoma teachers’ strike
TACOMA - The third-largest school district in Washington state sought a court order yesterday to force hundreds of striking teachers back to work, just hours after they walked off the job.
The teachers began picketing in front of Tacoma’s major high schools. They voted overwhelmingly Monday night to strike over issues that include pay, class size, and the way the district’s teachers are transferred and reassigned. The strike kept 28,000 students from attending classes.
The district asked a Pierce County Superior Court judge to order the teachers back to work. Attorney Shannon McMinimee said the district wants the court to declare the strike illegal.
A spokesman for the Washington Education Association did not immediately return a call seeking comment about the injunction request.
Union officials said striking teachers began arriving at Lincoln High School at 6 a.m. yesterday, and the plan was to have teachers at five major high schools demonstrating all day.
“It’s my 39th year of teaching. I’ve never struck before,’’ fourth-grade teacher Robert Brown, 60, said shortly after helping assemble signs at Wilson High School. “I’d rather be in school; I’d rather not have adversarial relationship. The principal at my school is just wonderful. My relationship with him is great. It’s very negative from the central office.’’