Strike Deadline Approaches: Medford Teachers Talk
Medford teachers and the school district returned to contract talks Tuesday, but not before taking more public shots at each other.
Mediation sessions resumed a few hours after the union chief and the school superintendent published dueling guest columns in the Mail Tribune of Medford.
Teachers have been working without a contract the entire academic year.
Union members voted to strike on Thursday, February 6th, if a contract agreement is not reached.
Union president Cheryl Lashley of the Medford Education Association accused the district of taking a "my way or not at all" approach to negotiations.
School Superintendent Phil Long wrote in his column "the union has taken the hard stand here, not us."
Money, benefits and working conditions are all issues in the contract dispute.
If the teachers walk, some but not all schools will open, some on double shifts with substitute teachers. The district is advertising heavily for substitutes.
The district plans to close all schools during the first three working days of the strike, with classes resuming on February 11th.