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Continuing Controversy After Eagle Point Strike

By Sharon Ko

EAGLE POINT, Ore. — An agreement has been reached between the educators union and the Eagle Point School District, but the fight is not over. The union is highlighting the district’s actions during the strike, while a school board member is accused of joining the picket lines.

Bateman says the board chairman stated in the board agenda that he had a “desire to advance union causes.” But Bateman says he never joined the picketers.

“I was speaking with them, but conversation was not about strikes,” says Bateman.

He says there is no policy that says you cannot talk with strike members and he feels he is being singled out.

“Employees had an open forum, and there was two other board members that attended that. And so their names were not on this censorship,” he says.

But it’s not just Bateman that has a problem weeks after the strike.
The Eagle Point Education Association issued a statement saying, “Employees are being called in for disipline for first amendment protected off duty activity, a board member is being censured for building community relationships, respected teachers are getting transferred or terminated, the board is voting on another resolution that will limit the freedom of speech of employees and countless other actions.”

The school district says it cannot speak about Bateman or on any decision left to the board. The district denies reprimanding employees and says adjustments are made to staff because of class sizes.

“If there are classloads that need adjustment those types of things we do transfers, it has nothing to do with anything other than our normal business which is to serve our students,” says Eagle Point School District human resources director Michael Remick.

Wednesday night, the board will make a decision to ratify the contract between the union and school district. They will also vote on Bateman and if he should resign.