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Strike Talks Continue

Joi Riley/JPR
Striking teachers picket at Central Medford High School, February 10, 2014

Talks between striking Medford teachers and the Medford School District continued yesterday and both sides say they are intent on settling a contract as quickly as possible. The parties have agreed not to disclose details of their proposals.

The Mail Tribune reports that talks were continuing late into the night.

The main sticking points for the negotiators are contract length, health insurance payments, cost of living raises, and issues of early retirement.

Meanwhile, the district is making arrangements for the process of resuming class when the strike is over.  Classes may be canceled for a day or more to give teachers time to move back into their classrooms and to move schools back to their home campuses. But the timeline for that can't be determined until the strike is over and the terms of the agreement are made known. 

Teachers have been on strike Feb. 6. Schools are on half-day schedules and some schools are sharing campuses with other schools.

Yesterday, about 300 community members attended a rally at Central Medford High School in support of the striking teachers.

The newspaper reports that students at North and South Medford high schools plan to walk out of class at 8:35 a.m. this morning if a contract settlement is not reached between the Medford School District and its striking teachers' union.

Basketball teams from the two schools came together Wednesday to express their frustration with the ongoing strike and set in motion a plan to walk out of their classes and sit in the hallways. One organizer said that sitting in the hall is just as beneficial as sitting in the current classes.

Students are expected to remain in the hallway, or at least remain on school grounds during the walkout.