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Bargaining continues on Medford teachers' contract

Bargaining teams from the Medford School District and Medford Education Association are back at the table today, working hard to come to an agreement on several unresolved articles in the labor contract.

This will be the third negotiation session between the two parties, which are both represented by about nine people. Last Friday's 10-hour session ended shortly after the district offered a new proposal that included the six tentative agreements made in the Jan. 7 negotiations and better defined teacher preparation time, grading time and Professional Learning Communities, "the time dedicated for collaboration among teachers."

In its new offer, the district also reduced the number of days in the school year from 192 to 190 and the number of days when pupils are in attendance from 180 to 177 as the association had proposed in its final offer.

Last night, an estimated 500 teachers, parents and community members marched from the corner of Barnett Road and Riverside Ave to the Medford School Board meeting at Medford Central High School.

The public comment portion of the meeting was relocated to the gymnasium to accommodate the large audience, which filled the bleachers along one wall. For more than an hour, the board and Superintendent Phil Long heard comments from numerous parents, teachers and students, who called for respect, fairness and an immediate resolution, among other things.

— Teresa Thomas