School Labor Practices Under Dispute

2-17 jbo ulpMEDFORD, Ore. – The Medford teacher strike is not the only problem between the MEA and the school district. The two sides have been arguing over multiple Unfair Labor Practice complaints (ULP’s) while bargaining has been going on.

One complaint, filed in July of last year by the MEA against the district, claims two teachers were denied early retirement benefits to which they were entitled.

The paperwork filed by the MEA claims that two teachers who retired between 2012 and 2013 were denied early retirement benefits. The district argues those teachers didn’t meet the criteria, but the dispute hasn’t been settled for either side.

Superintendent Dr. Phil Long calls these complaints a common tactic by teachers unions to spread districts thin, as it requires them to send representatives up to Salem to testify.

“If we don’t appear then we can’t state our case, in which case the other party prevails,” said Long. “It is a tactic to keep us very busy.”

Meanwhile, the MEA argues it’s the only way to ensure teachers are given what they’re promised.

“If we were not in a strike situation, I would expect that we would be still filing these because agreements have not been upheld,” said MEA representative Lisa North.

In total, there are three unsettled disputes between the two sides. All three are treated as completely separate from the strike, despite the fact that they are going on at the same time.


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  1. Jefferson McGruder says:

    The grievance was filed 8 months ago before the strike even occurred. Now you insinuate it is the unions fault as for the timing of the hearing that your administration failed to resolve. Curious if it was your early retirement being delayed how long you would want to wait until it was “convenient ” for both sides to meet?

  2. Bobbio says:

    The 2 sides have been in tense negotiations for 11 months. The grievance is being used as ammo to help the Union’s cause. This is the same game the OEA/Uniserv always plays.

  3. Brooke says:

    Jefferson and bobbio

    It’s suppose to be about the kids, not the teachers bottom line.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 or spell for the most part. 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?
    Get rid of tenure and hold teachers accountable for their failing students. In any other profession you get fired for failing at your job, not more money and benefits.
    Why are we not protesting the teachers for NOT doing their jobs?!?! Parents! Fight for your kids to get an education worthy of 100 k a yr! Demand it! It’s your tax money paying them!

  4. Daniel says:

    The strike was about an out of control school board trying to take working conditions away. In business, if you don’t like the product, bottom line, or something else you hold management accountable. Why not here? You propose holding teachers accountable all while management ties their hands with unfunded federal mandates, irrational behavior, and short sided decisions. If one teacher performs poorly, sure fire them. When every teacher has nearly the same results it’s clearly bigger than them, so blame management for not getting the job done!

    Tenure has been gone in Oregon since the 90’s.

    My two children have great teachers that do their jobs wonderfully. My children test well and perform well by most standards. Clearly that means they have excellent teachers since they are performing well. So which children do poorly in my children’s class? The ones that don’t show up, the ones that don’t do their homework, the ones with home lives that don’t support them. My wife volunteers in their classes so I know it to be a fact. How can you blame the teacher for not making their parents make them come to school? Or not making their parents make them do their homework? How do you make parents accountable without making the government big brother?

    Yes parents, “fight for your kids to get an education”!!! “Demand it”!!! Our community, state, and country would be a lot better off for it.

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