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Local Bargaining

Below are bargaining updates provided by local education associations.  Please email webadmin@oregoned.org to share yours.

MEDFORD:

2/20/2014

Please Show your Solidarity and Support the Medford Education Association's Strike!

Medford has been on STRIKE since February 6, 2014!  Medford teachers have already lost more than two weeks of pay and will quite possibly lose more until the district bargains a fair contract!  Funds of support would be greatly appreciated and show Medford teachers we don't just stand in solidarity with our words, but we also do with our checkbooks!

Send checks and cards of support to: Southern Oregon UniServ Office attention Medford Education Association, 2495 S. Pacific Hwy., Medford, OR 97501-8759.  You can also make credit card contributions through "Donate" page on www.iteachmedford.org.

Both sides have agreed to a news blackout and so we are unable to provide an update on bargaining.  Look for info and updates on the strike at www.iteachmedford.org and by liking their Facebook page.

Other Ways to Show Your Solidarity with Medford Teachers

1. Send a message of support from your school to your striking colleagues!

  • Make a sign when you are not on duty — and then take a picture or video together!
  • Upload your pictures or videos directly on the OEA Facebook page or iteachmedford Facebook page, or email to: webadmin@oregoned.org and we will make sure that MEA members get them.

2. Send a letter to the editor of your local paper —

  • Let your community know that you support your Medford colleagues; and
  • MEA Teachers are fighting for the schools that all Oregon students deserve!

3. Change your Facebook status to show everyone that you stand with Medford!  You can download icons from the OEA Facebook page!

Thanks for all that you do for students,

 

MEDFORD:

2/10/2014

This week please help us show support and solidarity with our Medford Teachers on Strike!

Teachers in Medford went on strike on Thursday Feb. 6, 2014.  MEA members and the District return to the bargaining table on Wednesday, Feb. 11. Until there is a settlement, the strike continues! MEA members are standing strong for the schools every Oregon student deserves.

Here are some quick and easy ideas that you and your local can do to show support this week:

1. Show your Solidarity- "Wear Red for Public Ed!"

  • Tuesday is ALWAYS "Wear Red for Public Ed!" Day
  • Wednesday – Medford Teachers are holding mid-day rally at Hawthorne Park — Show your solidarity by wearing red to support them!

2. Send a message of support from your school to your striking colleagues!

3. Send a letter to the editor of your local paper —

  • let your community know that you support your Medford colleagues; and
  • MEA Teachers are fighting for the schools that all Oregon students deserve!

4. Change your Facebook status to show everyone that you stand with Medford! Below are some quick icons — you can also download them from the OEA Facebook page!

Medford:

2/8/2014 – Press Release at 9:30 p.m.

As scheduled by the mediator, mediation began with the district’s team this morning at 9 am. The Association was asked to be present at 10 am to meet with the mediator to hear the district’s proposal-a proposal on which they had been working since 2:50 Thursday morning.

The Association presented a counter proposal at 1:15 pm. The district responded with a partial proposal at 3:24 pm. The Association presented a counter supposal at 5:17 pm.

The Association then waited until 8:32 p.m. only to be told that the district would have no further offers today.

The mediator informed us that she would be calling another mediation check-in on Tuesday, February 11 starting at 2:00 p.m. with an actual session on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.

The Association has maintained from the start and continues to maintain that teachers cannot accept a contract that results in lower take home pay from year to year and must have working conditions that allow them to meet the needs of their students.

The district proposals continue to fail to meet that standard. We have tried to address their concerns by significantly reducing their retirement liability, sharing insurance costs, adding a third year and reducing salary on our proposal.

It will be difficult to reach a settlement when the district continues to move its target and ignore ours. We need the public to remove this logjam and contact the board!

MEDFORD:

2/8/2014 – Press Release at 7:15 p.m.

District Continues to Present Obstacles to Settlement

Medford,OR — Both Medford teachers and District have exchanged bargaining proposals during today’s mediated negotiations. The District has rejected the Association’s offers leaving teachers disappointed and continuing the strike.

Just after 5pm, the Medford teachers sent a response to the District’s rejection of their latest counter offer. In an attempt to be transparent with the community regarding efforts to find a resolution to the strike, the Association would like to share a summary of that response.

A. The District is claiming it does not anticipate having the funding to meet the teacher’s proposed compensation package for the third year. Though the teachers disagree, they suggest settling a two year contract as a compromise. That way, funding numbers will be known when negotiating the contract for 2015-2016.

B. The District does not want to use CPI-U for calculating the cost of living increase to the salary schedule. The Association has showed comparison figures of neighboring districts and districts of equivalent size who have given around 2% as a COLA. The Association’s latest offer puts forward an increase not based on CPI-U but one in line with similar districts.

C. In insurance, the Association and District have agreed upon the same percentage for the first two years. The Association again suggests that a two year contract would take this issue off the table.

D. In terms of early retirement, the Association acknowledged that the compromise language offered to the District is a HUGE loss for the group of teachers that fall into the parameter of the benefit. The proposed language is an attempt to allow them more time than a month to adjust their retirement plans accordingly, while meeting the District’s need to save money over time.

E. Working Conditions: The working conditions put forward in the Association’s proposal are critical to the teachers’ ability to adequately serve their students, parents, and the community. Keeping the current standards of working and giving the teaching professionals a voice in their schools is a no-cost offer. The Association reminded the District that this has been acknowledged by many, including the local politicians when they wrote, “Upon reading both the district’s view of remaining issues and the one you [Association] have sent, it is clear that a combination of shifts on both sides is needed to get to a resolution. To throw out some ideas as an example, a combination of the district increasing the COLA and agreeing to the MEA’s wording on working conditions, along with the MEA working with the district on a shorter phase out of the retirement benefit…”

The Association has made it clear, they are standing up for their school working conditions because these are learning conditions for their students. They urge the District to invest their additional revenues in a fair compensation package—one that won’t leave teachers taking home less money each year of the contract. They again ask the District to reconsider their stated end time of 9pm and stay at the table with the intent to settle a contract and stop the strike. They have the power to settle and open schools next week with Medford students and their teachers back in the classrooms.

Portland:

2/5/14
Portland teachers vote to stand up for their students
Overwhelming majority supports authorizing strike

Portland, OR Tonight, nearly 3,000 Portland teachers voted, by an overwhelming majority, to call for a legal strike in order to support the schools Portland students deserve.

As a result of the vote, the Portland Association of Teachers will issue a strike notice to the Employment Relations Board (ERB) and the Portland Public Schools District calling for a strike beginning Thursday, February 20, 2014.

“No teacher ever wants to go on strike, we want to be in classrooms with our students,” explained PAT president Gwen Sullivan. “But Portland teachers are united and resolved to stand up for our students’ learning conditions. It’s time to move this to a conclusion so that we can have a contract that is fair for teachers and good for students.”

Portland teachers have been negotiating for 10 months for a contract that:
• results in meaningful class size relief,
• does not force teachers to teach to the test,
• supports the students and schools who need it most, and
• provides fair compensation after years of sacrifice.
Teachers and the district currently have a mediation session scheduled Sunday, February 9th.  The PAT bargaining team has asked the district to meet sooner, offering to be available Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The district has not agreed to any meeting times prior to the Sunday mediation session.
“This vote shows that teachers are serious about addressing the growing crisis in our schools,” said bargaining chair Bill Wilson, a teacher at Grant High School.  “We hope that Superintendent Smith and School Board leaders understand this and will come to the bargaining table as soon as possible prepared to make meaningful progress toward addressing the priorities of teachers, parents and students.”

Medford

2/6/14 – Medford Education Association is officially on strike. There is no settlement.
2/5/14  --  Update from Medford Education Association President, Cheryl Lashley:

Tonight we have faced utter disappointment. Knowing that a strike is a mere 10 hours away, the Medford Education Association put forward a one year proposal intended to settle the contract:

• The Association agreed to the District’s 190 day school year.
• The Association agreed to the District’s cost of living increase of 1.9%. T
• The Association accepted the District’s insurance offer.
• The Association asked for the early retirement benefit to extend to 2015 instead of 2014, in order to give dedicated retiring Medford teachers a respectable amount of time to save—and then we established a phase-out of the benefit.

The teachers have said it before, we don’t do this for the money. We do it for the kids, which is why our settlement offer contained our proposal language on working conditions. It’s truly is what our teachers need in order to serve our students—your children.

The Association proposal sacrificed teacher compensation in order to keep schools open tomorrow. We are shocked, dismayed and deeply saddened that the District did not accept this offer. We remain committed to the bargaining process. The District has less than 10 hours to settle this contract and keep our kids in school. We are asking for parents and community to flood the hotlines, call the Board numbers (which can be found on iTeachMedford.org) and let them know that the time to settle is NOW.

We want to greet our kids as soon as possible in our own classrooms, not on a picket line. Please call! We need OEA Members statewide to call our board and tell them to settle tonight!!! Please call this number (541) 842-1084, (541) 842-1085, and (541) 842-1086 tonight! Please share and spread the word, then call!!! Thank you!