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Medford district adds 24 substitutes; hopes to stabilize enrollment as strike continues

About 21 Medford teachers crossed picket lines on the first day of the strike, Feb. 6, but none have crossed since, an Oregon Education Association official said.

About 3.47 percent of the Medford Education Association's 600 teachers disregarded the strike and returned to work Thursday, Feb. 6, said Rebecca Konefal, an OEA representative and spokeswoman for the Medford Education Association.

In addition to these teachers and its classified staff, the Medford School District hired about 165 substitutes to take the place of unionized teachers on the picket lines.

The district emailed its substitute staff Saturday afternoon asking them to consider the needs of students and the community and promising substitutes arriving today five days of guaranteed pay and substitutes arriving Tuesday three days of guaranteed pay.

The substitutes will be paid $170.76 per five-hour shift and will have the option of working two shifts for a daily total of $341.52.

The district also offered to reimburse travel expenses up to $400 and provide security.

"Teachers working during a strike will not jeopardize their certification," the letter read.

— Teresa Thomas