The Seattle School Board will soon vote on whether to give Seattle Public Schools superintendent Larry Nyland the authority to try to end a possible Seattle teachers strike. The proposed resolution includes the option for Nyland pursue legal action.
City Council members Kshama Sawant, Nick Licata, and John Okamoto are urging the School Board not to attempt to use a court order to block the teachers. They write:
We believe the SEA’s demands in these contract negotiations are reasonable, in the best interests of Seattle students and should be considered in good faith. However, regardless of one’s opinions on the union’s demands, the educators’ democratic right to speak out, organize unions, and go on strike must be defended.
We urge you to not follow the heavy-handed negotiating tactics previously employed by the district Superintendents in Pasco and Spokane. By using the courts to try to force teachers to abandon their strike, they are doing irreparable harm to education in their districts.
Read the rest of the council members' letter to the School Board here. It just so happens that a Seattle teachers strike isn't technically illegal, and unlike other public employees, teachers don't have an alternate process to resolve collective bargaining disputes.