Strike may be brewing by Local 302 members affecting Seattle Public Schools
A strike is looking increasingly likely by IUOE 302 workers since they say Seattle Public Schools is not offering an acceptable contract, set to expire Aug. 31.
The approximately 400 union members are culinary, custodial, security and gardening workers. That means no school lunches, no trash service, no guards on duty among other impacts. These factors could delay the start of school for an indefinite period. The district serves more than 27,000 meals daily.
In an email to members the union said:
"The District finally shared an economic proposal with the Union at our most recent bargaining session on Wednesday, August 23, just 9 days from our contract expiration. It was disrespectful and offensive to our members!
After all the thoughtful work done to inform the District of the severe economic impact and strain on our members' livelihood, and how far you've fallen behind, our approach was met with no compassion.
The District is telling us to shut up and go back to work!"
The union is urging members to call or email the Superintendent Dr. Brent Jones and School Board, to come to a Strike Picket making meeting on Tuesday Aug. 29, attend the school board meeting on the same day, and attend a Strike Training Meeting Aug. 31.
The district issued a statement as follows:
"Seattle Public Schools (SPS) values the hard work of our staff.
We continue to make progress in the negotiation with our labor partners in Local 302 International Union of Operating Engineers. Bargaining teams have been working hard this summer to achieve the new 302 collective bargaining agreement for our valued custodians, culinary services, grounds, security and alarm monitor teams.
SPS anticipates beginning an excellent school year on time on Sept. 6, 2023."
The District may however be anticipating something.
For the first time they sent an email to all Central Staff saying, "we kindly request that all central office staff keep their calendars clear and be ready to lend a helping hand at school sites during the first three days of school."