Still no deal in Portland teacher talks

PORTLAND, Ore. — With a Feb. 20 strike deadline looming, both Portland Public Schools and its teachers are taking steps to prepare.

The Oregonian reported that the two sides met Tuesday afternoon with a state mediator. District and union leaders ended the session without a deal after more than four hours.

Also on Tuesday, district officials sent out a message to full-time and part-time teachers saying they have the right to strike or continue working. The district says all union members will be required to check out with administrators on Feb. 19 and turn in all district property.

The teachers union sent its members a message suggesting that teachers remove their personal belongings from their classrooms “together, in solidarity,” if it becomes necessary.

Unresolved contract issues include class size, salary increases and early retirement incentives.

Portland has the state’s largest school district with 48,000 students and 2,900 teachers.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

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