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Salt Lake City teacher walkout could lead to strike

By Bryn Dayton |
June 6, 2019
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Salt Lake City, UT - Teachers in the Salt Lake Education Association walked out of a Salt Lake City Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday night, June 4. The meeting was held the night before the last day of school and was attended almost entirely by teachers, some of whom had brought their own children. They wore red shirts to show their solidarity to their union, their students and each other and they carried signs reading “6%” showing their demand to have their salaries raised by 6% in their upcoming contract with the district. The teachers all walked out during the comment period, where input on the upcoming contract is not allowed - until the negotiations are settled.

The Salt Lake Education Association is planning a strike if contract negotiations are not resolved to their favor.

This walkout and potential strike is happening within larger regional and country-wide politics. Other school districts in the Salt Lake Valley and nearby are raising teachers’ salaries in hopes to attract and keep more educators. The state of Utah as a whole has a shortage of K12 educators and spends the least per pupil of all the states in the country. As surrounding districts raise their salaries, and as housing continues to become more expensive, teachers are leaving the Salt Lake City School District for other districts or even other jobs, to the detriment of the students they leave behind.

This country still has strike fever, and the teachers in Salt Lake City are ready to stand together for themselves and their students, against a district and state that has been giving them scraps.