Strike Talks Break Down

Feb 14, 2014

Talks have broken down between striking Medford teachers and the district.

Credit Joi Riley/JPR

The Mail Tribune reports the talks started off well, but ended with no contract agreement and no scheduled time for new negotiations.

Talks ended just after 5 PM last night., with Superintendent Phil Long accusing the Medford Education Association of making an insubstantial attempt at compromise and union President Cheryl Lashley accusing the district of being fixated on settling a three-year contract agreement, rather than the two year plan preferred by the union.

District officials say the union proposal is too expensive for the district to implement.

Both Lashley and Long say the two sides may meet with a state mediator on Tuesday, but there are no concrete plans for that meeting.

Long said the district is working to hire additional substitute teachers, and plans to keep schools open during the strike.

Yesterday, the third day of classes since the teachers' strike began Feb. 6, 48 percent of students checked in at schools across the district, marking the third consecutive day of declining attendance.