PORTLAND Teachers at Portland Public Schools voted to strike Wednesday night.

A spokesman for the Portland Association of Teachers told KGW the vote was nearly unanimous.

Teachers are required to give the district at least 10 working days notice before they could walk off the job. They voted to set the walkout date for Feb.20.

If the district s teachers walk off the job, it would be the first time in Portland history.

The next mediation session with PPS is set for Sunday, Feb. 9. If a contract deal is reached, the walkout would be canceled.

The district has roughly 2,900 teachers and 48,000 students.

In a letter to parentssent out before the strike vote, PPS Superintendent Carol Smith promised that the district was making preparations to keep classes going and that negotiations with teachers would continue.

Our goal is to reach an agreement that adds teachers to schools, adds school days, raises teacher pay and maintains strong benefits, Smith said.

PPS has been notifying their contracted substitute teachers that work will be available if a strike occurs. The teachers union has complained that PPS is pressuring substitutes to cross the picket line.

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