PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Ridgefield teachers announced plans to strike on Friday after failing to reach a bargaining agreement with Ridgefield School District Thursday night, according to the Ridgefield Education Association.
Members of the REA, representing more than 200 teachers and staff, will begin the strike Friday morning until a tentative agreement is reached.
In a press release, REA claims that while progress towards an agreement has been made, the school district refuses to provide additional funding for mental health support, special education improvements and a “better program” for student interventions.
“None of us want to be on strike, but ignoring our dysfunctional intervention program, unsafe staffing levels and the need for more counselors when the district has the money to do something about it is unacceptable,” REA Co-President Elizabeth Stamp said in a statement. “We are united with the Ridgefield community demanding what our students deserve and we’re calling on the district to do the right thing.”
The REA executive board voted on Sept. 5 to begin a strike if they failed to reach an agreement by Friday.
“REA agreed to an extra unscheduled bargaining session this evening, hoping the district was ready to come to an agreement on student supports. Unfortunately, the district’s offer did not go far enough to support students in our district. We’re ready to return to the bargaining table tomorrow. Ridgefield teachers have been working without a contract since Sept. 1,” REA said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the school district announced schools will be closed until further notice.
The Ridgefield School District posted their most recent offer on their website for a 3-year deal that would go through August 31, 2025. Among the highlights: All employees would get a 7.5% raise the first year, a 4.5% raise in the second year and 3% in the last year of the deal.