Portland Public School teachers will vote Wednesday night whether to strike, and their students are planning walkouts in support. KGW reports students at Grant, Lincoln, Cleveland and Madison High Schools will stage lunchtime walkouts, while students at Jefferson and Wilson are holding in-school rallies. While the Portland Association of Teachers votes at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall downtown, parents and student plan to rally outside the hall.
Meanwhile, the Oregonian reports the district is trying to recruit substitute teachers should the union strike. Subs would receive five days’ pay guaranteed, even if the strike doesn’t go on that long. The subs are union members as well, and while they can’t walk out as a group they can decline to work as individuals. The union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint, saying the district is threatening to suspend the substitutes’ health insurance if they don’t cross picket lines. The distinct denies this.
The district says it’s not done negotiating. The next session between the two sides is set for Sunday. If talks fail, the earliest the union can strike is February 18th.
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