A state of emergency has been declared by the Medford School Board. The move yesterday is part of preparations for a fast-approaching teachers' strike after negotiations using state mediators failed to produce an agreement with the union this week.
The Mail Tribune reports the board passed emergency resolutions that would give Superintendent Phil Long extra authority, prohibit picketing on school property, restrict signs and banners on district facilities and authorize spending to continue school operations in the event of a strike.
The teachers union has announced its intent to strike on February 6th unless an agreement can be reached on a contract.
The two sides have agreed to meet with state mediators again Wednesday, Feb. 5, in a final effort to wrap up the labor contract and avoid a strike.
Superintendent Long says if the strike starts February 6th, schools will close for two days, and then will re-open with substitute teachers teaching half days. Schools will be consolidated at selected sites.