KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) – The Kennewick School District in eastern Washington cancelled the first day of school on Tuesday after teachers went on strike.

The Tri-City Herald reports the district failed to reach a tentative union contract agreement by the Monday deadline with the Kennewick Education Association, which represents more than 1,200 teachers and certificated employees.

The union began its strike Tuesday after it had already voted last week to authorize a potential walkout.

The school closure will affect 19,000 students and about 13,000 families.

The district said it has offered a 7.25% salary increase.

The union said it wants the teacher pay to be comparable to neighboring school systems and that it will negotiate at the bargaining table instead of in public.

Information from: Tri-City Herald,