Education

Pasco teachers union pays $5,600 fine

Judge Alex Ekstrom listens recently to attorneys for the Pasco Association of Educators and the Pasco School District in Franklin County Superior Court. Both sides agreed Tuesday to drop their court cases now that they have reached a contract agreement.
Judge Alex Ekstrom listens recently to attorneys for the Pasco Association of Educators and the Pasco School District in Franklin County Superior Court. Both sides agreed Tuesday to drop their court cases now that they have reached a contract agreement. Tri-City Herald

The Pasco teachers union has paid $5,600 in court-ordered fines for continuing its strike against the Pasco School District. But a judge has yet to decided if the fines on individual union leaders must still be paid.

Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom agreed Tuesday to cancel another hearing on the dispute after attorneys for the Pasco School District and Pasco Association of Educators filed a joint order asking to cancel it and for Ekstrom to stay the fines.

He signed the order Tuesday.

Both sides say they plan to dismiss their litigation against each other because they reached an agreement Monday and schools opened to students on Tuesday.

Union members voted in mid-August to strike if no new contract with the district was ratified by Sept. 1. The strike kept Pasco’s 21 schools closed for nine days, as well as Delta High School, which is jointly operated by the Pasco, Richland and Kennewick districts.

Ekstrom granted a preliminary injunction to the district on Sept. 4, ordering teachers to report for work. The strike continued and while Ekstrom held off on fining the union for violating his order on Sept. 8, he imposed a $2,000 per day fine on the union last Friday, as well as $250 per day fines on three union leaders, including union president Greg Olson.

The district and union agreed to drop all legal action against each other related to the strike as part of the teacher’s contract that was approved by teachers union members on Monday morning.

The Pasco School Board must also sign off on the contract before it is official.

Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver

  Comments