No teachers strike in Tacoma _ yet

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- Tacoma teachers will be in their classrooms for Thursday's scheduled opening of the school year. A union vote on a possible strike failed to gather sufficient votes Wednesday evening.

Union bylaws require 80 percent approval by the total membership to authorize a strike. Although 90 percent of the teachers at the union meeting at Mount Tahoma High School voted in favor of striking, the total yes vote only amounted to 77 percent of the union membership.

The teachers plan to meet again Sept. 12 to either vote on a contract proposal -- if there is one -- or vote again on a possible strike.

Issues in dispute between the union and the Tacoma School District include teacher pay, class size and seniority. Both sides negotiated Wednesday.

The three-year contract between about 2,100 Tacoma teachers and the school district expires at midnight Wednesday.