The vote is to take place over this week and needs a three-fourths vote of SEA membership.
There is confusion, though, over the purpose of the strike. Some say it is in support of fully funding schools, others say it is about immigrants' rights and still others say it is a focus on social justice.
I saw on my Twitter feed today that Councilmembers Sawant and O'Brien say they are in support of the one-day strike. Here's their op-ed from the South Seattle Emerald.
As you can read below, there are differing opinions. From comments here, I don't see much support from parents. Here's what two different teachers have to say:
Jesse Hagopian - Garfield
I love my union. And I love public education. And that is why I am willing to make the necessary sacrifices and vote YES to strike on May Day--International Workers' Day. We have tried emailing, calling and asking nicely for the legislature to follow the law and fund education. That hasn't worked.
The one day strike we did two years ago was highly effective in that it built mass solidarity between teachers and parents and laid the groundwork for our successful strike last year that, among other things, won race and equity teams in some 30 schools. Without that one day strike we wouldn't have had the confidence or experience to fight for more. And this one day strike has the potential to have a much bigger impact than the last one because the King County Labor Council has passed a resolution calling on locals to protest and even strike on May Day.
Many unions are looking to SEA to see if we strike. If we do, others could follow and it could become a mass outpouring of labor solidarity that truly has the power to shake up the 1% an the politicians and make them heed our demands for education and union rights.
In addition to all of that, the May first coalition has called on workers to strike for immigrant rights on May Day and there will be a massive outpouring of humanity at a rally that day to stand against trumps policies. All the anti immigrant rhetoric and deportations are demoralizing our students, splitting them apart from their families, and leading to hate crimes. We as educators should join the struggle for immigrant rights and see that as a vital component to a better education system. I'm not content to teach students about the mass strikes, and boycotts of the past that won social programs--I know we actually need to bring back that history and make it real for our students by demonstrating what it looks like in practice.
For all these reasons and more, now is the time to show the power of collective activism. Vote to strike. If you are a parent, support the teachers who do. Together we can build a mass mobilization that is more powerful than the money that rich have to buy politicians who continue to refuse to do their constitutional duty.
Lyon Terry (former Washington State Teacher of the Year)
I love my union. It protects teachers and kids and advocates for the rights of teachers and kids. I thought we did the right thing to strike in 2015.
But, I will vote NO for a one day walkout on May 1st.
1. The last one day walkout in 2015 was fun and seemed powerful, but it made little difference.
2. We are not clear on a targeted message.
3. It is disruptive to student learning and family schedules.
4. Our efforts would be much better utilized if every one of us were to take that time to:
a. Learn something positive about the Governor's Education Proposal. http://www.governor.wa.gov/…/f…/documents/Education12_15.pdf
b. Learn something positive about the House budget that comes out on Monday.
c. Learn something about the Senate Republican Budget (there is lots to dislike). http://src.wastateleg.org/…/Education-Equality-Act-Summary.…
d. Communicate your likes and dislikes to your legislator and/or the people on the education or ways and means committees.
Call the legislature: 800.562.6000.
All info can be found here as well: http://leg.wa.gov/LIC/Pages/hotline.aspx
Our collective efforts definitely matter. But, this proposed walkout is not the correct strategy.