PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — About a week ago, Ridgefield teachers authorized a strike if no contract was agreed to soon. Now, they set a strike date of Friday.
The Ridgefield Education Association, representing more than 200 teachers and staff, voted to strike Friday if no deal is reached by the end of the Wednesday bargaining session, union leaders said in a release. Among the issues on the table are competitive pay, crowded classes and overworked staff.
Teachers in Ridgefield have been working without a contract since September 1.
“Other districts allow their teachers to advance financially much more quickly than in RSD, and we’ve seen high staff turnover in Ridgefield as a result. We need the district to partner with us, for our students and our community,” REA Co-President Elizabeth Stamp said in a statement.
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.
Entry-level teacher salaries would be $58,769 while teachers at the top end of the salary scale would earn $110,290.
In 2018, Ridgefield teachers ratified the contract that just ended. At that time, teachers agreed to a 3-year deal that boosted pay by around 16% the first year and by as much as 26% in the third year of the deal. The district also agreed to reduce class sizes, outgoing union president Joe Thayer said at that time.
By the last year of this contract, some Ridgefield teachers earned more than $100,000 a year.