No school in Ridgefield as teachers remain on strike
RIDGEFIELD, Wash. (KPTV) - Classes were canceled again Monday for students in the Ridgefield School District as teachers remain on strike.
While teachers are once again walking the picket line Monday, mediators are back at the negotiating table. The teachers are primarily asking for better special education and intervention programs, but they are also asking for a salary increase.
The Ridgefield School District and Ridgefield Education Association have been negotiating for several months to reach an agreement on a new three-year collective bargaining agreement.
Despite both sides saying they made some progress last week, they did not come to terms and the teachers began their strike on Friday.
“We are making a little bit of progress but we are not where we think we need to be for kids in our community yet,” said Joe Thayer, 6th grade teacher at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School. “We are really hopeful it will wrap up today or tomorrow. Our members are willing be out here as long as it takes, but we’d really like to get back to school. It’s a lot more fun to be teaching than to be walking the line.”
The days of instruction lost during the strike will be made up later in the school year. During the strike, school buildings will be closed and meal service is suspended.
The teachers’ association says they will give away sack lunches Monday and Tuesday to kids who rely on the school for that meal. That will be happening from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, just down the street from the middle and intermediate schools.
Middle and high school athletics will continue as scheduled, as coaches operate under a separate contract.
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