The Washougal Association of Educators sent out a release Tuesday night expressing a “vote of no confidence” for Superintendent Mike Stromme, who is stepping down as superintendent this month to return to Vancouver Public Schools, where he will become the associate superintendent for administrative services.
According to the release, 94 percent of members passed the vote of no confidence on Monday.
The 181 members at Monday’s meeting voted unanimously to let the bargaining committee call for a strike vote later this summer, if they feel like the negotiations get to that point, according to Frank Zahn, president of the association. He said a strike vote would require 66 percent in favor for the teachers to go on strike.
The union and district are currently negotiating a new contract for the teachers, and it looks like it will be a second straight summer on contentious negotiations between the two sides.
In 2017, union members voted against ratifying a new contract right before the start of the school year. They came to an agreement a few weeks later.
“We need a different, more solid leadership,” the release read. “The morale of our district is too low and we feel it is time for a change, even as we look forward to the new superintendent in July.” Mary Templeton, currently the human resources director for certified personnel for Spokane Public Schools, will take over as superintendent on July 1.
Zahn said the association didn’t send the letter to Vancouver and isn’t trying to be vindictive.
“The vote is symbolic,” he said, adding that it was more aimed at the district and incoming superintendent that the union isn’t happy with how things are going.