Teachers and administrators in Gresham are applauding Wednesday's quick end to a strike.
Passing drivers honked their support, as union teachers walked from Gresham High to the negotiating site.
At 9:30 a.m., union bargaining chair Tom Urbanowicz addressed members outside the church where talks had just concluded:
"We just finished signing a tentative agreement with the district. Yeah, we can’t give out details. We’ll be holding a meeting as soon as possible to get members together to talk about the details, and ask whether you would like to approve the tentative agreement. We’re asking you to go back to work," he said.
That was their reaction to news of a settlement. Teachers couldn't celebrate long, because they needed to get their classrooms ready for students to return.
Neither side would offer details, but Gresham-Barlow Superintendent Jim Schlachter said the district wanted a low-cost contract, to spare teacher jobs.
"We succeeded. We will not be cutting teachers in the coming year, which for us is very important because we need to get through the two-year biennium. All bets are off depending on what the legislature does next year, in terms of what the next bi-ennium looks like," Schlachter said.
The two sides were at odds over salary, furlough days, potential layoffs -- as well as work conditions like instructional and preparation time, and dealing with unruly students.
The school board and union members still need to approve the tentative agreement.