KENNEWICK — Kennewick teachers voted Monday to go on strike on Aug. 27, the scheduled first day of school, if no tentative agreement is reached by Aug. 26.

The Kennewick Education Association announced the vote results Monday evening.

“We are frustrated that the Kennewick School Board and district are not prioritizing students and their families,” said Rob Woodford, KEA president. “Our members have said they are seeking competitive salaries with those in the other cities in the Tri-Cities — Richland and Pasco.”

Contract negotiations between the district and the 1,200 certificated staff members began in May.

Last summer, Kennewick teachers accepted a salary schedule that gave teachers raises of 8 percent or more, with some in the double-digit range.

That agreement covered the final year of an existing three-year contract.

Richland educators approved a three-year contract that included raises totaling about 22 percent last summer.

Pasco teachers approved a two-year contract that awarded double-digit raises and pushed the beginning pay for a new teacher above $50,000.

Kennewick school district officials were unavailable Monday evening to comment on the strike vote.

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