The law—RCW 41.56.120 — reads: “Right to strike not granted. Nothing contained in this chapter [on union collective bargaining] shall permit or grant any public employee the right to strike or refuse to perform his or her official duties.”
A formal opinion by the Washington State Office of the Attorney General in 2006 affirmed that strikes by public employees are illegal and courts consistently agree.
“The state does not automatically act when a teachers union strikes, so it’s up to the school district to file an injunction with the the court to get teachers to return to work,” Mercier said. “The judge can order teachers to go back to work, and if they violate the injunction they can be fined.”
Because there are no penalties to impose on striking teachers — or any other state or public employee who strikes — it is by disobeying a court order that they can be threatened with contempt in the form of a fine or imprisonment.
Unless and until school boards take immediate action against illegal strikes nothing will ever happen.
What can you do? If a school district teachers union strikes demand immediate legal action.