Kelso teachers to defy injunction ordering them back to work - KPTV - FOX 12

Kelso teachers to defy injunction ordering them back to work

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KELSO, WA (KPTV) -

Teachers on strike in Kelso say they intend to defy a judge's order that they return to work.

A Cowlitz County Superior Court judge ruled on Friday that the strike is illegal and the teachers must return to work on Tuesday.

But the teachers' association said teachers voted Sunday to defy the injunction and not return to work.

The teachers have been on strike since Sept. 16 over stalled contract negotiations with the school district. Teachers have been working without a contract since June, with the main points of contention being the rate of pay and an increased workload.

The teachers' union said the teachers don't want to defy the court order, but it's their only choice to demand a better contract.

"While there is nothing we'd like more than to end this strike and be back where we are most comfortable, after a lot of individual reflection and group discussion, we've decided to stand up for our students, our community and for ourselves," Kelso Education Association spokesperson Sandy DeBruler said in a prepared statement. "We will go back to school when the District is ready to give us a fair and reasonable contract."

The union and the school district will resume talks with a mediator Monday.

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