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Portland Public Schools Teachers Vote To Authorize A Strike; Walkout Set For Feb. 20

Portland Public Schools teachers have authorized the first strike in the history of Oregon’s largest school system and set a walkout date: Feb. 20.

Wednesday’s decision gives union negotiators permission to authorize a strike if continued negotiations do not yield a contract.

Negotiations between PPS and its union began last April. Though they’ve made substantial progress at various points, both labor and management have said they’re close to a deal — conflicts remain on several issues seen as key by both sides.

The sticking points include: whether to eliminate early retirement incentives, how large a pay increase teachers should receive and how big a role seniority should play in who loses their jobs in case of layoffs.