Thursday, Jul 28, 2016
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Education

Oregon teachers say pact likely

The president of the Oregon City Federation of Teachers expressed optimism Friday that the union and the Board of Education will reach a new contract by next week.

David Schafer said the school board met Friday night in a closed meeting to discuss those negotiations, but took no action. Oregon’s contract with the teachers expires July 31.

The 250-member teachers’ union has offered to shoulder additional health-care costs, forgo raises, and to accept changes in the contract language, he said.

“The proposal we gave to the board felt right for the kids and right for the teachers,” Mr. Schafer said, adding that the teachers’ union “recognizes the economic plight of the community.”

The union has offered to keep the starting annual salary for teachers at $34,936, he said.

Mr. Schafer said he will meet with union members Monday to give them an update on the talks.

“I hope we can have a resolution by next week,” he said.

“For six years now there’ve been concessions by the union,” Mr. Schafer said. “I think it’s important to note that way before [concessions] became popular, our union has accepted increased health care contributions, out-of-pocket expenses, and salary cuts while other districts around us had been getting raises,” Mr. Schafer said.

Superintendent Mike Zalar could not be reached for comment.

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