- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - Medford schools are preparing to reopen Tuesday during a strike by teachers, with at least 200 substitutes on hand.

Members of the Medford Education Association went on strike Thursday, and the district closed schools. Bargaining is expected to resume Wednesday. The two sides have said they disagree on pay, health insurance, workloads and early retirement incentives.

On Sunday, district administrators met with substitutes who came from many parts of Oregon: the Portland area, Josephine County, the coast, and central and eastern Oregon, the Medford Mail Tribune (https://bit.ly/1iH4pAz ) reported.

Police said about 150 pickets greeted the substitutes as buses hauled them from their motels to Central Medford High School for a review of their credentials and for drug screening.

The union represents about 600 teachers in a district of 13,000 students, Oregon’s eighth largest.

Superintendent Phil Long said a “good portion” of the substitutes have arrived, but more are expected.

“We have more than we need to run all of our classes,” Long said.

He said he didn’t know how many current teachers might report for work despite the strike.

The district’s strike plan calls for school days to be shortened to four hours, students from smaller schools to be moved to larger buildings, and extracurricular activities except for high school sports to be canceled.

State collective-bargaining laws call for a half-percent pay loss per day, which Long said translates into a 1 percent reduction for the contract year for teachers who were on strike Friday and Monday.


Information from: Mail Tribune, https://www.mailtribune.com/

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