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Two down, one to go

Reynolds teachers, district must avoid a strike, reach agreement

If all goes well over the next week, the strife between the Gresham-Barlow School District and its unionized teachers will come to an end as both sides ratify their contract agreement.

This comes on the heels of a settlement reached by the Parkrose School District and the Parkrose Faculty Association.

While the Parkrose agreement successfully avoided a strike, Gresham-Barlow wasn't so fortunate. The teachers actually marched three hours deep into a strike before a settlement was reached.

We don't really care which side in this strike conceded most; or which side wants to declare victory. We are simply grateful that the strike didn't last a moment longer.

A continued strike threatened to rip apart relationships and cripple the district's ability to deliver on its promise of a high-quality education for its students.

Ultimately, the only thing that matters is that the strike ended. And that teachers and administrators - with a ratified contract - will be able to get back to the task of molding young minds for a brighter future.

Now, all attention should turn to the Reynolds School District.

Mediation was under way Friday in that district between the teachers and administrators. This was the first such session since the teachers declared an impasse on negotiations, and the fourth mediation overall.

Like Parkrose and Gresham-Barlow before it, the clock is ticking toward the end of a 30-day cooling-off period, at which time the school board could vote to implement the unratified contract, which could lead to a strike vote.

The Reynolds teachers and district administrators must do everything in their power to resolve this impasse without taking this all the way up to the point of a strike.

Clearly, Parkrose and Gresham-Barlow have demonstrated that no matter what the differences may be, agreement can be reached. There is just no good reason to wait any longer to arrive at that conclusion. The negotiating teams in the Reynolds School District should end this impasse and do the inevitable - reach an agreement now.



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