EAGLE POINT, Ore. — The 2014 teachers strike in the Medford District is not the first time educators in Southern Oregon have walked off the job in recent memory.
Until now, the most recent teacher strike in Southern Oregon was an 8-day walkout in Eagle Point in 2012. That strike came after 14 months of deadlocked labor talks.
The union accused the district of several wrong-doings, and during the strike, a member of the school board was accused of joining picket lines. After more than a week of waving signs and horn honking, both sides reached an agreement.
Not all education disputes are between teachers and districts. In 2008, the employees of the teachers union, the Oregon Education Association, also walked off the job. They’re the people who help union members negotiate contracts with their districts. The statewide strike affected about 50 employees.
In 2006, the Rogue River District, which had long suffered from low salaries and management problems, saw their 60 teachers walk off the job in a short one-and-a-half day strike, mostly over salaries and benefits. Two days later, when it was all over, teachers say it was worth the anxiety.
There have been several other times in recent years when other school districts’ contract talks lagged and there was talk of a strike, but very few ever get that far.
Most Oregon teacher strikes have lasted a week or less. The shortest was a three hour and 20 minute walkout in the Gresham District in 2012, and a four hour strike in Corvallis back in 1978. The longest was a 22 day strike in Eugene in 1987. Klamath County District was out on a three day strike in 1985.