If Medford teachers strike as their union has threatened on Feb. 6, schools would be combined, classes reduced to half days and all sports and after-school activities would be canceled and games forfeited, Superintendent Phil Long announced Wednesday afternoon.
After meeting with the Medford School Board for an executive session Wednesday, Long outlined how the district would continue to provide educational services to its 12,000 students in the event that teachers walk.If the teachers strike, schools will be closed Thursday and Friday, Feb. 6-7, and Monday, Feb. 10, to give district administration time to organize classrooms and substitute teachers time to prepare lessons. Classes would resume Tuesday, Feb. 11.
Schools would be combined, with one school holding classes in the morning and a second school in the afternoon at the same site. Students would attend classes for four hours — two-thirds of a normal school day, Long said. All after-school programs and sports would be canceled, and all games sanctioned by the Oregon School Activities Association forfeited.
Of the Medford Education Association's 600 members, about 520 are classroom teachers who potentially could join the strike. The rest are licensed support staff. The district posted an advertisement for K-12 Oregon licensed teachers on its website Tuesday and also is advertising for substitute teachers in newspapers from Northern California to Portland.
Teachers who plan to strike starting Feb. 6 will be required to turn in their keys and remove all personal property, in effect resigning their positions for the length of the strike, Long said.
Teachers who choose to stay and continue to work will be paid at their normal rate. All other teachers will be deducted half of a percent of their annual salary for each day they are on strike.
The union will pay teachers on strike $100 to $120 per day, an Oregon Education Association official said.
Lashley said she hopes that all teachers will stand together but is assuming that there will be some union members who choose not to strike.
"The decision to strike was not taken lightly by individuals or the association, and I imagine that the decision not to strike is just as difficult," she said.