Teachers strike in Medford


Medford: I want my teachers back
More photos like this at Medford Education Association’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/iTeachMedford

About 600 teachers struck Medford School District Feb. 6, and remained on strike as of Feb. 18, when this edition went to press. The two sides differ over wages, working conditions, pension benefits, and even the length of the contract, with the district seeking several changes and the union largely seeking to preserve the status quo. The district wants a three-year contract with cost-of-living raises of 1.9, 2, and 2 percent; the union proposes a two-year contract with raises of 2.2 and 2.5 percent. The district also wants to increase teachers’ share of health insurance premiums to 17 percent, up from the current 5 percent. The district also wants to reduce an early retirement incentive, while the union wants the district to reduce high school teacher workload to 180 students or less.

Medford School District is Southern Oregon’s largest, with over 13,000 students. Schools closed the first three days of the strike, then were reopened by the district using several hundred substitute teachers. But they’re open only half the school day, and less than half of students are attending.

Since the strike began, the two sides have met three times, without reaching agreement. A fourth bargaining session was scheduled Feb. 18.

It was the first-ever teachers’ strike in the district. A Feb. 15 rally drew an estimated 600 teachers and community supporters.


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