After bargaining throughout the Labor Day weekend and into the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Sept. 7. the Kent Education Association (KEA, teachers’ union) and Kent School District reached a tentative agreement on a new contract at 2:43 a.m., according to a KEA news release.
No picket lines will be in front of schools Wednesday, according to the KEA.
Members will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept 7, at Kent Meridian High School to vote on ratification of the new agreement when details of the contract will be released. If the agreement is approved, classes begin Thursday, Sept. 8.
Union members have been on strike since Aug. 25, the scheduled first day of classes. Wednesday is the ninth day of no school.
The union’s primary concerns have been:
• Manageable class sizes
• Enough staffing to provide student supports
• Wages to ensure that the district can attract and retain enough educators
Kent Education Association is made up of 1,700 classroom teachers in the Kent School District. Unions representing other staff have also been facing difficult negotiations with the district this year. KEA is affiliated with the statewide Washington Education Association and National Education Association, both of which represent K-12 teachers, support staff and higher-education employees.