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Teachers and Parents Speak Out on Strike

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Teachers from other school districts and Medford parents are speaking out about the teacher strike.     One teacher NewsWatch 12 spoke with says the strike is good for everyone, however others feel it could create tension between teachers and the community.

“It’s not about the bureaucracy… it’s about what’s best for the kids,” said Grants Pass teacher Pam D’Haem.

D’haem said she’s standing behind the Medford teachers and supporting their decision to strike.

“In supporting teachers ultimately you’re supporting education, and students because they are the link between education and students,” said D’Haem.

She believes some people could be worried thinking the teacher’s strike was a rash decision, but she said teachers unions think long and hard before they order a strike.

“It’s not a little thing… it’s a big deal. It’s because they’ve been pushed and they’ve been asked to do things with resources that they don’t have, and it’s gotten that far,” said D’Haem.

One parent said she’s worried about her child’s education — knowing schooling will continue without the normal classroom teachers being present.  Patricia Buday has five kids, all of which attend Medford schools.

“My children love their schools, and they love their teachers, and they love everything about it and the fact that there is going to be just random people now…  god knows who is going to be teacher our children and if it’s going to be the same curriculum,” said Buday.

A couple of students said they are also upset because they are used to the way their teachers run the classroom, and they said a substitute teacher will not be the same. However, teachers who have witnessed strikes before said it’s hard for them to leave their children too.

“Teachers are there for the kids and that’s where their hearts are at and that’s their number one priority… and the more support you give… like I said those adults that work with those kids that in return is going to affect what’s best for kidos,” said D’Haem.

8 comments

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  1. Fred says:

    A Medford teachers salary and benefits are over $100,000.00 per year. Are YOU making that, your paying that. This is about the Teachers being greedy and a lack of interest in educating your children. The time has come to Air Traffic Control them and start over with less greedy self centered uncaring people.

    The kids are going to loose and it just goes on ad on in America.

    1. Hayley says:

      Fred ,
      Your calculations are VERY incorrect. I have family and friends in the Medford school district and other districts in the valley, and not one of them makes $100,000 a year. Make sure you do your research before making false claims. Also this is about more than money, its about resources, its about preparation time, its about THE KIDS. Teachers dedicate their lives to these kids and their education and they should be properly compensated not only by a decent salary, but with time, resources, administrator support, most of which is not even included in the offers put up by the district. Last time I checked the district didn`t even bring a counter offer to the table, they left the teachers with no choice but to fight for their right and the rights of their students education! The greedy with lack of interest in the children are the politicians and the administrators whose salaries are $100,00 plus a year. Check your facts before making claims.

  2. RidgeRunner says:

    Nothing like a good ol’ strike to improve public support, during a “recession”.

  3. Citizen A says:

    Fred – could you please quote your source for $100k in salary and benefits for Medford teachers? If it were that high, people would be running to become teachers. Please keep it real and back up your statement

  4. Janet Smith says:

    A teacher with a BA plus 45 quarter hours who has been on the job averages $55,000 per year when adjusted for a full 226 days per year (the published salary of $47,000 is lower because in Medford the # of days teachers work is 186). If you add on 45% more for benefits, the adjusted median annual salary for a Medford teacher is $80,000. Supporting documents from the district HR department can be found here: http://www.medford.k12.or.us/SIB/files/District%20Profile%20w%20Current%20Salary%20Schedule%202012-13.pdf

  5. Lucy says:

    I wonder how much it cost the district, who has no money, to run a full page ad yesterday in the Tribune and a quarter page ad today. Those ads are NOT cheap!

    1. Sara says:

      Exactly, Lucy! And no doubt the district will be whining about how the meanie teachers forced them into it, practically at gunpoint.

      Not to mention how expensive it will be to the district to a) hire subs especially since it’s going to be a uphill battle getting them to cross picket lines, and b) lose the daily funding they get per kid attending school since many parents supporting the teachers will be keeping their kids home.

      It’s a financial mess of their own making.

  6. po'd citizen says:

    Shame on them for putting their greed over the education of our children! There are teachers against this strike, who have cried in the classroom to the students, apologizing for the greed. Being union, they all have to do it.
    When these opportunists went into the field, they knew what they were getting paid – but after the fact, as if they knew they could use tactics like this, they use our children as pawns for their selfish agendas. Strike, negotiate on the paid time off you already get in the summer. Using the kids like this is just plain wrong.
    Too bad the ones pushing the strike couldn’t just be fired. Like politicians and fish, after a certain period, we need to get a new batch or they stink.

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