Medford teachers' strike ends as deal is reached
Representatives of the Medford teachers union confirmed late Friday night that they had reached a tentative agreement with the Medford School District, ending a 16-day strike.
The Medford Education Association announcement came at about 10:25 p.m. Reports of a possible settlement had been swirling about for much of the day Friday and were given a boost at about 7 p.m., when Superintendent Phil Long said that the district had given the Medford Education Association a final draft of a tentative agreement.
"The documents, we think, have been reconciled and we are going to be waiting for them to determine if there are any last glitches," Long said.
Then the waiting began, as MEA representatives pored over the draft agreement to ensure there were no surprises.
The agreement still has to be approved by both the MEA membership and the Medford School Board, but officials said school would reopen Monday with regular teachers returning to class.
In a joint press release from the district and the MEA, the two sides said no details of the agreement would be released until after it was presented to the MEA members and school board.
"No date and time has been set yet for the parties to share settlement details with their membership," the release said.
Teachers went on strike Feb. 6 after nearly a year of unsuccessful bargaining with the district. Classes resumed with substitute teachers and half-day schedules on Feb. 11, but attendance hovered near 50 percent.
Issues throughout negotiations included working conditions, early-retirement benefits, insurance payments and salaries.
For complete strike coverage, see www.mailtribune.com/medfordstrike.