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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I read with interest that the Medford School Board is willing to pay substitute teachers as much as $342 per day plus room and board and travel expenses. It seems to me that if the School Board can afford to pay that kind of money to substitutes they could afford to give the teachers a reasonable pay raise and avoid a possible strike that would be bad for everyone involved, especially the students. — Art McKinney, Medford

If the Medford teachers strike, fire them just like Reagan did the air traffic controllers. Do not rehire them. You will have no problem finding permanent replacements — they will flood in from all over the region.

Anyone making more than $40 an hour and whining about it needs to do a thorough self-examination. Teachers are making more in one day than most of the parents of their students make in a week. The public employees in Oregon are doing nothing more than bankrupting the state with their greed. Shame on them. I'm glad judgment day is not far off. — Bobby Atkinson, Medford

As the Medford School District's superintendent, school board and the certified staff maintain their adversarial bargaining stances, the students are caught in the middle. Rumors abound stating that, if there is a strike, the district will combine schools and have the students attend for half a day, thus saving on substitutes. If this were to happen the students will again suffer.

The resolution of this current conflict will happen as both parties finally come to agreement. With the current adversarial mode of bargaining this problem will only arise again when the next cycle begins.

The answer to this ongoing conflict is to adopt a collaborative bargaining model where both entities agree to work together to solve the district's problems. To make this happen the district must hire a new superintendent and we must elect new board members who will be committed to work with the certified and classified staff to help the district to move forward without the acrimonious conflicts of the past. — Gary Jones, Medford

A recent article about negotiations between the Medford School District and the MEA mentioned that a couple of substitute teachers received "threatening" phone calls from teachers.

Did you receive this information about the "threats" from the substitutes themselves or from the Medford School District? If you received the information from the substitute teachers, why didn't you cite their names? I would certainly hope that you would not take the Medford School District's testimony about the situation without doing some investigating of your own. Although you interviewed Hedrick teacher Chris Geankoplis it was not until the end of the article that you placed his comments. The article alludes to threats but where was their testimony? I certainly hope it was not a tactic by the Mail Tribune and the Medford School District to vilify the teachers. — Helen Jones, Medford