District Hopeful After Bargaining Talks

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MEDFORD, Ore. – What was meant to be a quick check-in with the mediator turned into an eight hour bargaining session Tuesday. The two sides went home to rest up, the district saying they’ll be going in hopeful when bargaining resumes in the morning.

The day began with a rocky start with both sides accusing the other of not coming to the table. But as teachers rallied outside the district’s room at the Rogue Regency Inn, the two teams had what the district calls a turning point.

After an opening proposal was sent by the district, the MEA requested a side-bar, calling for each team to send two representatives to meet face to face.

Now, two side-bar sessions and an undisclosed amount of proposals later, the district says they understand each other better than they had before.

“For us that was the first really clear, positive sign that maybe things have changed and we can move ahead,” said Superintendent Dr. Phil Long. “And I really appreciate that.”

The two sides still have more to work out around early retirement, health benefits, and working conditions.

Bargaining is set to resume Wednesday, the district saying they hope to be able to come to a deal before the end of the day. Meanwhile the MEA continued to hold internal meetings into the night in preparation for bargaining ahead.


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  1. Brooke says:

    Home schooling is the only way to go . Look at the mess going on now w this strike! These teachers are making w benefits n bonus’s on the average of 100k a yr here in the valley. But they want more benefits and money. All the while our kids are graduating w out a basic education. They have a diploma but still can’t do eighth grade algebra most of the time. Home school the next generation. The school system in the USA is broken. Sadly the USA is amongst the dumbest in the world..the most powerful country in the world has some of the dumbest people. What’s wrong w this scenario?

    1. Melody says:

      Homeschooling is not for everyone. I am a single Mom and work full time. Homeschool. Not. An. Option.
      I disagree with your assessment of the intelligence of citizens in our country, Brooke. I think the USA still has some of the brightest minds in the world. My son and his friends are smart and get A’s and B’s in school and are articulate. I’m sorry you have such a sad view of our country. Are you doing anything to help?

  2. Abigail Grissom says:

    The more that we learn about the stalled negotiations it is becoming evident that the financial person for the district Brad Earl has been providing inaccurate financial data to Dr. Long as well as the district negotiating team. Seems like his past performance at Harry and David is now being detrimental to the school district as well, It is becoming evident that the board did not realize the union had managed to save the district $65,000,000-$75,000,000 in severance packages and a early medical compensation over the next 20 years. Very confident that once Mr, Earl provides accurate financial statements to the board that a settlement can be agreed on.

    1. Charley Bolen says:

      Wow. What an awful comment about Brad. Are you OEA or MEA? Since you are a shill for them, you should at least disclose it prior to your character assassination of one of the District’s employees. Absolutely disgusting.

      1. Real Talk Homie says:

        “Character assassination” of a public figure? By stating that he provided inaccurate financial measurements? Get your head of of your thesaurus and into the real world.

      2. Abigail Grissom says:

        Not sure where the “character assassination ” came from. Your welcome to google Brad Earl Harry and David and see the carnage that he left behind. That is not attacking a person just stating a factual occurrence. And for as his financial errors provided to the district in negotiating, please check with the school board and also Dr. Long or even volunteer parents who sit on the financial advisory committee to verify my statements. Financial errors have occurred that are now being resolved in order show financial solvency currently needed to resolve the strike. I am neither MEA, OEA, or any organization. Our family has lived in the valley for 20 years and all 3 of my children are products of the school district k-12. My concern is the school board and Dr. Long are being placed under heavy scrutiny for inaccurate data they relied on to where they felt a strike was their only option. If a more accurate picture was presented of how the early retirement settlement or severance packages operated or even how the PERS program could be funded by different payment options this strike could have possibly been narrowly avoided. Strike should be resolved by Friday at the latest once all updated financials have been verified.

  3. CC says:

    Brooke, how so single minded of you to only take interest in your own child. That is what homeschooling is, an ego centric system of teaching a child that their the most important person in the room. And, then homeschoolers still depend on the public education system for certain classes, because you don’t have the skills or resources at home. Maybe all of that energy placed on one child should be given to your public school system. Volunteer in your kids’ room. It takes a village. If you think teachers are getting bonuses and making 100K, you are sadly mistaken and uninformed. My husband is a public school teacher and he deals 180 kids a day and get 1 hour to teach a room full of kids, many of whom don’t care, because their parents don’t care. Oh I get that teachers are easy targets, because from the outside they have it great, summer’s off, 6 hour work day. Ha! You couldn’t be more wrong. I will tell you this, when the homeschooled kids get into a public school situation, their social skills are lacking in a very big way. Very few parents get it right. And, when it comes to the real world, they aren’t going to be ready to deal with it. Not everyone is going to think that they are THAT special. The USA is falling behind not because of teachers, it is because of ignorance and business leaders who don’t know anything about teaching trying to change the face of education. No one listens to the people on the front lines. America is the only country who offers a FREE education to all. They take everyone. Other countries, you pay for the education you receive.

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