April 6, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gresham-Barlow School District responds to reports teachers association
will hold strike vote April 11
Response from Superintendent Jim Schlachter:
“The Gresham-Barlow School Board and school district are disappointed by this announcement. It is the district’s hope that the teachers association will continue to work with the district in settling unresolved issues and not continue down this path. Taking a strike vote is a voluntary decision by the teachers association. We do not believe that the issues that separate the two sides warrant the disruption of the school year for our students and families. We look forward to the district’s next meeting with the association on April 13 and hope both sides will be committed to finding shared interests and solutions. The school board is dedicated to ongoing discussions with the association.”
“The district was required to implement its proposal for two reasons: to keep class sizes from going up and to keep as many teachers in the classroom as possible. The district had to move forward with changing the high school schedule to keep class sizes from getting any higher. Also, the association’s proposed salary increases are equivalent to cutting 43 teachers or 16 school days. Both of those options are unacceptable.”
The morning of April 4 leadership from the school district and the teachers association met to discuss next steps and how to work together to reach a settlement. Both sides agreed to meet April 13. At that time, the negotiations teams from both sides will come together. Rather than exchange language proposals, the district and the association will meet in small groups to identify shared interests, and see where we can reach common ground.