Medford school officials impose cuts on classified staff

Unable to settle on a contract after months of negotiations, classified employees of the Medford School District will face wage reductions and cuts decided by district officials.

The district announced Monday that a 150-day expedited bargaining process had come to an end with no resolution between employees and the district.

As per the bargaining laws, the district will now fall back on its last contract offer to classified employees, which will be applied without negotiation.

"The district now has a right to implement," said Todd Bloomquist, district human resources director.

This contract requires classified employees to contribute 6 percent of their wages to their retirement accounts effective Jan. 1, 2012, and implements a 3 percent wage reduction retroactive to July 1, 2011.

The district also agreed to put up $500,000 of reserve funds to ensure preservation of employee positions.

These wage reductions and funds added to a new insurance policy classified employees agreed to in September result in an 8 percent compensation reduction overall.

All district employees were asked last spring to cut costs by 8 percent to help bridge an $11 million budget shortfall districtwide this year.

Teachers and administrators agreed on contracts in June, which included the new insurance plan, eight furlough days, and a 6 percent contribution to cover Public Employee Retirement System costs.

—Teresa Ristow

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