Tacoma, Wash., teachers voting on ending strike

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- Hundreds of teachers gathered in a Tacoma high school gym Thursday to vote on a contract agreement to end their strike and send students back to class Friday after missing eight days.

Teachers were told the three-year contract would keep salaries and class sizes the same. On the most contentious issue of teacher transfers, the contract calls for a committee of union and school district representatives to recommend a fair policy.

The union is concerned teachers could be transferred at the whim of principals. The district wants to consider factors in addition to seniority.

The contract agreement was reached Wednesday night after Gov. Chris Gregoire called both sides to Olympia.

The Tacoma district is the third largest in the state, after Seattle and Spokane, with 1,900 teachers and 28,000 students.