Two east Multnomah County teachers' unions voted last night to go on strike.
Within an hour of each other, the Gresham-Barlow Education Association and the Parkrose Faculty Association voted to go on strike.
In both districts, teachers and administrators have been in contract talks for nearly a year. Teacher work loads, working conditions, and compensation ARE the primary issues.
Both unions reported that at least 80 percent of teachers attended Wednesday night's meeting with strong majorities in favor of a strike. Neither union released the actual vote tallies.
Union leaders must give the districts ten-days’ notice before walking out. The Gresham-Barlow Education Association has already targeted April 25th as the day a strike could begin. That district's administration describes the vote as an "unnecessary decision to disrupt our schools." It says the two sides are scheduled to resume talks on Friday.
The Parkrose Faculty Association didn’t immediately set a strike date.
A union spokesman says another mediation session is scheduled for next week.
District leaders in Gresham-Barlow took a decisive step last month, by implementing, or forcing, a contract into place. Parkrose has not done that.