Teachers in the Eagle Point School District in southern Oregon have been on strike since May 9. Classes were cancelled for most of the week and the district says it will open some schools Monday with substitutes crossing picket lines. Earlier in the week, teachers in the Reynolds district (located in east Multnomah County) voted to approve a strike, which will start on May 21 if the union and administrators can’t reach an agreement before then.
This is the second time in less than a month that we’ve discussed striking teachers. The Gresham-Barlow School District saw a strike April 25. A tentative agreement was reached and the strike ended after less than four hours, but it was still big news since it was the first teacher strike in the state since 2006. And it’s not just Oregon teachers that are using the strike option. San Francisco educators voted to approve a strike this week also — the first there since 2006.
So, what’s going on here?
Budget cuts are at the heart of these labor disputes. Teachers don’t want to settle for less, but districts say limited resources prevent them from offering more in terms of both pay and benefits.
Are you a teacher or school administrator? Do you have kids in school? What’s your take on labor issues in Oregon schools?