- Associated Press - Saturday, February 22, 2014

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - Teachers in the Medford School District are set to return to their classrooms Monday after reaching a contract agreement to end their 16-day strike.

“The strike is officially over,” Superintendent Phil Long said late Friday in the lobby of the hotel where bargaining sessions were held.

No contract details will be released until teachers have a chance to be briefed on the agreement, likely Sunday night, the Mail Tribune newspaper reported (https://is.gd/DCuU0P ).

The strike over salary and other issues began Feb. 6, sidelining more than 500 teachers in southern Oregon’s largest school district.

After the walkout, the district closed for three days and hired more than 165 substitute teachers to replace striking teachers. Classes resumed Feb. 11 with half-day schedules and some schools sharing campuses. Many students stayed home.



Bridget McMillen, an elementary school teacher on the Medford Education Association’s bargaining team, said teachers would be working this weekend to teach on Monday.

“We are excited that we are going to get our kids back in our classrooms and be able to provide them the instruction we know that they need and deserve in this district,” McMillen said.

As the bargaining teams left the hotel after reaching an agreement, they expressed relief and exhaustion.

“It’s incredible, it’s incredible,” board member Larry Nicholson said to the superintendent on the way out.

Nicholson later told the Mail Tribune that he had been confident an agreement could be reached Friday. He said the deal is just the first step in recovering from the strike.

“We really have to reach out to the community and repair all the damage that’s been done,” Nicholson said. “We want to welcome the teachers back. There’s no animosity, we just want to move forward and focus on the kids.”

The district has more than 13,000 students, making it the eighth largest in Oregon.

___

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

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide