Bargaining teams from the Medford School District and the Medford Education Association met for 10 hours Thursday but were unable to agree on a new contract for local teachers, according to releases from both sides.
Superintendent Phil Long said the Medford School Board will meet this morning to review the district's latest contract offer and discuss its next steps. The meeting will begin at the Medford School District Education Center, 815 S. Oakdale Ave., with an executive session at 11 a.m., followed by an open session at approximately 11:30 a.m.
Long said both sides made new proposals regarding the length of the school year, instructional time and employee benefits. The district has offered a 12 percent wage hike, but union representatives say that would be mostly eaten up by proposed increased costs for employees for pensions and insurance. The union also says a proposed increase in the number of school days effectively reduces the pay increase.
The district and teachers' union have been bargaining since February.
The union said it is still willing to meet, but no additional bargaining dates have been set at this time.
Updated 9:30 a.m. In a Thursday evening press release from the union, MEA President Cheryl Lashley said union negotiators “questioned the District’s sincerity in seeking a settlement.”
“ ... Before we even began, they indicated that they planned on wrapping up the mediation at 4 p.m.,” Lashley said in the release. “While they remained until 6:30 p.m., they refused to engage in any meaningful discussion toward resolution. This is bad for our students, our schools and our community.”
— Bob Hunter