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Mediation continues for Eagle Point teachers

The Eagle Point School District and its teachers union will take up another round of mediation at 9 a.m. Jan. 15 as they try to come to terms on a two-year employment contract.

The two parties continue to have differences over pay and working conditions.

Eagle Point administrators recently received a 3-percent pay raise. Meanwhile, the district has offered teachers a smaller pay increase of 2 percent with the caveat that raises in 2009-2010 will be dictated by how much the district receives in state funding.

School funding for the next two years is unclear because of the uncertain economy.

Teachers union president Janean Nodine said under some scenarios, teachers' pay and insurance benefits could drop below current levels.

Teachers also have raised concerns about a proposal to make preparation time before and after classes, so that teachers would spend more time directly with students.

But the effect would be teachers would have to find other time to prepare for classes, said Debbie Brudevold, teachers union bargaining chairwoman.

Teachers have time set aside during the day for preparation.

The district also has proposed restrictions to the sick leave bank program with more stipulations on how it is used.

Michael Remick, District No. 9 human resources director, could not be reached Friday for comment on the district's offer.

The Eagle Point district and its teachers have been in negotiations since March without an agreement. The teachers have been working without a contract since July 1.

Medford teachers and their district also will go to mediation, but a time and date have not yet been set.

Eagle Point teachers worked for six months in 2005 without a contract. The teachers threatened a strike in 2003 before reaching an agreement.