“We want to greet our kids as soon as possible in our own classrooms, not on the picket lines,” said Lashley.
In a prepared statement, Lashley expressed her frustrations with the bargaining process. She says the MEA conceded to the district’s 1.9% cost of living adjustment, 190-day school year, and year-one health insurance offer.
The MEA also offered a one-year proposal to keep teachers in the classes and allow bargaining to re-start.
“We are shocked, dismayed, and deeply saddened that the district did not accept this offer,” said Lashley.
But district leaders say they haven’t given up hope that a longer-term deal can be reached.
“We’ve worked for a year on this, we need to finish this, and we need a contract long enough that we can work together for the next couple of years and not be bargaining all the time,” said Medford Superintendent Phil Long.
Although a strike wouldn’t put a stop to the bargaining process, both sides say they want to issue to be put to bed. Until then, many teachers are planning on waking up to the worst.
“If we do not have a settlement tonight… we are on strike at 6 a.m.,” said Lashley.