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Medford Teacher Talks Resume Two Days From Strike Deadline

School Classroom, empty
© O'Dea at Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
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Two days before a planned strike date, the Medford School District and its teachers return to talks aimed at finding a contract both sides can live with.

Talks, plural.  The plan for the Tuesday sessions calls for negotiating teams from the district and the teachers' union to meet in separate rooms, with a mediator shuttling between them.

The teachers began the school year without a contract, after the old one expired last June.  Both sides indicate they are still far apart on pay and working conditions. 

A continued impasse could result in Medford teachers walking off the job on Thursday.  The district is working to hire substitute teachers, but admits school hours will be curtailed and classes and even schools combined if the teachers walk.

Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.