PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Educators in Woodburn voted to authorize a strike amid a “bargaining crisis” with the school district, according to a release Thursday.
The Woodburn Education Association said that the union saw a 98% member turnout with 92% voting to authorize the strike. Union members have been in talks with Woodburn Public Schools since June 2022.
The major points of contention for union members include smaller class sizes, additional time allotted to completing essential tasks like grading and lesson prep, and competitive wages.
“Right now, because of the stress on families, students, and staffing levels in our schools many days can feel like education triage,” said Misha Pfliger, teacher and Woodburn EA bargaining team member. “District Administration has the resources available to substantially reduce class sizes to ensure students get more attention to cultivate learning, Administration can also agree to reasonable special education caseloads so students can get better support. We’re proud to work in Woodburn and believe there’s potential to make our schools even better for students.”
Along with keeping up with the increasing cost of living, the union says increased compensation would help “stop Woodburn from losing teachers to other districts.” According to the union, 63 teachers, nearly 20% of the district’s overall teaching staff, have resigned since the academic year started.
The union said it’s providing the district the required 10-day notice before striking.