Medford district has no strike plan yet; still hoping for resolution with union

Medford schools Superintendent Phil Long said this morning the district has not formed an action plan in the event teachers follow through with a threatened strike Feb. 6.

The district remains committed to getting a resolution to contract negotiations, which resume with state mediators this afternoon, he said. The Medford Education Association gave the Medford School District 10 days' notice of its intent to strike, as required by law, on Monday.

"If we get to the point that it is clear that we are headed that way, then we will communicate what our plan is," Long said.

The district has called substitutes to determine whether they're available in case of a strike, he said.

The Medford School Board met Monday night in executive session to discuss labor negotiations, while about 300 teachers picketed outside.

Mediators with the Oregon Employment Relations Board will meet first with the union's bargaining team, then the district's (sequence corrected). Their role is to encourage movement toward compromise from both teams, said an Oregon Education Association official.

Issues in the labor contract that are still up for debate include prep time, compensation, early retirement benefits, insurance caps and the length of the contract.

After meeting with both teams, the mediators will determine whether to continue negotiating with both sides separately or bring everyone back to the table.

— Teresa Thomas


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