Mediation Continues for Sequim Teachers
Saturday, September, 16, 2017
Talks continue in the dispute between the city of Sequin and the city’s teachers’ union. Teachers and others showed their support following the latest talks by wearing red and standing outside the Sequin School Board room during the latest meeting. The union is seeking fair pay for its teachers.
The union, Sequim Education Association, asked supporters to wear red and attend meetings to show their support. The state teachers’ union has also sent in representatives to provide support for Sequim teachers. The president of the state teachers’ unions called Sequim teachers “amazing staff, amazing teachers… but significantly underpaid. ”
According to a Spanish teacher at Sequim High School, “We got our priorities out of order. ” He suggested the district had put the priority on administrative matters instead of teachers. Another teachers stated “I have value as a teacher in this community. ” She pointed out that even though she is close to retiring, she made more in another district she used to teach in and will never make that much in Sequim.
Board President Heather Short spoke about the situation and said the board appreciates the teachers and understands their concerns. The board wants to evaluate its goals, and make sure the community is also protected.
At least one teacher reported taking a pay cut to work in Sequim. The pay for teachers in the Sequim for the 2017-18 school year is $36,521 for teachers in their first year and $68,836 by year 16. Teachers receive additional compensation for additional time, responsibilities or incentives for teachers known as Time, Responsibility and Incentive (TRI) days. Teachers receive 15.7 TRI days, so first-year teachers get $3,185 in additional pay and teachers in the system for 16 or more years gets $6,007 in additional pay.