MEDFORD, Ore. — The Medford School District and the teacher’s union return to the bargaining table. The teams are now in their eighth hour of negotiations on the eighth day of the strike.
Normally, the teams take time after a bargaining session to cool off before getting together again. The fact that the teams are meeting again, after a fairly late night, points to progress.
Thursday morning the district had a proposal to look over from the union; they chewed on that for several hours, and then at 1:30 in the afternoon, they submitted a counter proposal to the union.
Also on Thursday, the state legislature notified both sides that they had discovered more property tax revenue than they had anticipated – that money is slated for school districts.
According to Senator Alan Bates, a new $98 million of school property tax revenue has been estimated for next year. Of that, roughly $1.3 million would go to the Medford School District, which is still not enough to close the gap – but it’s enough to help.
Dr. Phil Long says that money gave them room to move on compensation, particularly in the second year. When we reached out to Medford Education Association, officials said they could not comment on how the money would influence bargaining, because they were on their way to the meeting.
Phil Long with the district says his team submitted a counter proposal Thursday, he says the value of their offer’s change is a nearly $5 million dollar and it’s to the early retirement benefit article on the contract.
“Our concern is that we haven’t seen enough momentum toward resolving this and we think with this change we’re looking for if we move this far, we’re looking for the association to come together so that we can resolve this, we need our teacher back and our kids back in school,” said Dr. Phil Long
A representative from the union says its team has no comment right now; they want to keep bargaining at the table.