A teachers’ strike may be coming to East Multnomah County. Rob Manning reports that the union in Gresham-Barlow agreed Thursday to vote on whether to strike.
The Gresham-Barlow school district and its education association spent nearly a year talking, and in months of mediation, without an agreement.
Money and workloads are at the heart of the dispute. The district implemented its preferred contract last month.
That step forces the union to either accept the contract, or vote to strike.
The union’s co-president, Regina Norris, says about two-thirds of her members spent hours in discussions, and scheduled a strike vote for next week.
“I think the members are dissatisfied, and feel disrespected and demoralized by what the district has done, and they are upset about it. We’ll know more next Wednesday,” Norris says.
If teachers vote next week to approve a strike, they could be on the picket lines by April 22nd.
The district says the union’s latest offer costs too much. Apart from money, union leaders say they have big problems with how the district would handle potential layoffs and teacher planning time, next year.