On September 8, 2015, with the understanding that a teachers strike was imminent, the Seattle Public School Board voted with 1 abstention from Director Betty Patu and 1 descending vote by Director Sue Peters, to provide Superintendent Nyland with the authority to take any steps necessary to end the strike including bringing a suit against the Seattle Education Association (SEA) or individuals, fine SEA and/or individual teachers or any other action the superintendent can come up with with their attorneys.

Here is the item referred to in the Board Resolution:

5. Authorization of Legal Action. Subject to the direction of and consultation with the Superintendent, the law firm of Perkins Coie LLP is engaged, authorized and directed to take any and all lawful steps necessary to terminate any strike or concerted refusal to perform services by the nonsupervisory certificated staff of the Seattle School District, and is further authorized and directed to bring suit to enjoin such activity against any and all individual employees participating in a strike or concerted refusal to perform services, against any union, association, corporation, or conspiracy of or including such persons, and against other persons or organizations acting in concert with such organizations and/or persons; to recover a monetary judgment against any and all persons, associations, unions or other organizations participating in such activities to the extent of any damage suffered by the District; to seek enforcement by contempt citations, fines, and/or all other appropriate remedies of any orders or other relief granted; and to seek any other remedies and/or take any other action—whether equitable, legal, or administrative–which may be available to the District and/or its Board in relation to the strike or in relation to violation of the laws regarding collective bargaining.

The statement made by Director Sue Peters after giving the one dissenting vote:

It is my fervent hope that a fair and reasonable agreement can still and soon be reached that is respectful of our educators and professionals and mindful of our district’s resources.

There are many important components to this resolution, but I do not believe that item 5 is necessary  — the authorization of legal action — so I cannot support this action.

— Sue Peters, Sept 8, 2015

Submitted by Dora Taylor

Post Script:

These are the board members and how they voted:

Marty McLaren voted yes (she is up for re-election)

Sherry Carr voted yes

Sharon Peaslee voted yes

Stephan Blanford voted yes

Harium Martin-Morris voted yes

Betty Patu abstained

Sue Peters voted no