MEDFORD, Ore. — On Sunday, the Medford School District brought in substitutes from around the state for orientation.
At 9 a.m. Sunday morning, a loud and energetic picket line was back at work, this time welcoming substitute teachers as they arrived for orientation.
As five buses full of substitute teachers drove onto school grounds, picketers blocked their path, some even taking out their cell phones and holding them up to the bus windows.
Teachers said they are frustrated and are ready to go back to the bargaining table today, instead of waiting until Wednesday.
“Get back to the board… get back to the table and lets work,” said picket line leader and North Medford High School teacher, Nance Louise. “You know we are here working… they’re there working so why are we not meeting and working.”
The District said since contract negotiation did not pan out last night, they need to take the next couple of days to prepare the guest teachers because education is their number one priority.
“We are very focused on having academic learning occur next week,” said Superintendent Dr. Phil Long. “That’s our goal every week.”
At Sunday’s orientation the guest teachers went over the Medford School District curriculum and emergency procedures. They took drug tests, and made ID cards. The District would not reveal how many substitutes there were but did have this to say.
“We have more than we need to run all of our classes,” said Dr. Long.
The District said those teachers are prepared to stay for the duration of the strike.