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District Leaders Discuss Costs of Strike

1-27 jbo financial impactMEDFORD, Ore. – School district leaders in Medford are meeting throughout the week to work out the challenge of how they’re going to keep classes open if the teachers’ strike goes into effect.

But some neighboring districts have gone through a similar experience in the past.

Administrators in Eagle Point say they had to balance logistical planning while bargaining at the same time, but the financial impact turned out to be negligible.

They say in their case, classes were taught mostly by substitutes, both from their district and all of the nearby districts.

During the six-day long strike they actually reduced school to half-days, with half the kids learning with their sub in the morning and the other half taking class in the afternoon.

The amount districts can spend on those subs is tightly regulated by the state and uses a tiered system that depends on when they started teaching.

Newer, non-retiree subs, for example, can’t earn more than $170.76 a day, or $187.64 after taxes and workers compensation. That cost can go up to a maximum of $262.46 a day for an experienced, retired teacher receiving PERS benefits.

But district leaders in Eagle Point say that’s balanced out by the fact that teachers are sacrificing pay and benefits while on strike.

“The cost for the strike was the emotional impact and the effect it had on the community as a whole,” said Eagle Point HR Director Allen Barber. “As far as the actual dollar, financial impact, that was very little because you’re not paying teachers if they aren’t working.”

The Medford School Board and administrators will likely continue meeting throughout the week to plan for that eventuality.

That, of course, can still be avoided altogether if bargaining is successful before the strike is slated to begin on February 6th.

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  1. Ryan Navickas says:

    School administrators’ salaries are more than twice that of teachers. This puts them in the class of “management”. Whether these managers are “Leaders”, as the headline suggests, can only be demonstrated through their resolve and ability to lead the district out of this crisis. According to the hundreds of community members who attended the rally two weeks ago, the “Heroes” of countless graduates of public education are the Teachers. “Hero” certainly qualifies one as a “Leader.” The proven leaders of Medford Schools are therefore the Teachers. The leadership of the management has yet to be shown.

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