Medford teachers' vote on agreement will be announced late Friday

Teachers have until 5 p.m. Friday to vote on a tentative agreement with the Medford School District, union officials said.

The Medford Education Association will announce late Friday whether the three-year contract was ratified by its members, said Lisa North, an MEA spokeswoman and an elementary school instructional coach.

"Like any democratic election or situation, it's majority rules," she said.

If the deal is ratified, the Medford School Board will vote on it Monday at the regularly-scheduled meeting, board Chairman Jeff Thomas said.

District and union officials came to a tentative agreement Feb. 21, ending an 11-work-day strike of nearly 600 teachers.

On Feb. 23, the MEA bargaining team presented the agreement to its members, walking them through the contract article by article, North said. Each member also received a copy of the proposed contract.

On Monday, the association gave union representatives from each school ballots to hand out to teachers. Teachers must return these ballots to the MEA headquarters no later than 5 p.m. Friday.

The tentative agreement includes 190 contract days a year, an approximately 7.6 percent cost-of-living raise by year three, flexible prep time, extra support for special education teachers with large caseloads, and reduced early retirement benefits. Under the contract, teachers also would be required to pay 10 percent of their insurance premiums by the third year.

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