Tuesday evening at 9:14 PM, PPS emailed a proposal to your PAT bargaining team. After a review of the document on Wednesday, we realized that there were:
- Brand-new proposals, despite being long-past the deadline for new issues;
- Proposals that altered or removed already agreed upon items;
- Proposals which were so poorly written that we could not determine their meaning;
Your team found it offensive that we received this incomplete, inaccurate, and sloppy document after hundreds of hours in negotiations. Both sides were slated to meet for mediation today, but we worked separately the entire day. The state mediator presented our feelings and our written summary of some of the problems in their document to the PPS team. After that, PPS spent the rest of the day working on correcting/altering their careless work.
Finally, at 5 PM, the mediator let us know that PPS would provide a corrected proposal. By 8 PM we were still waiting for that document. Once we have a complete and coherent proposal we will be able to notify you of the District’s current positions.
We are extremely frustrated that we came prepared to engage in mediation toward a settlement, but the District team was so disorganized we were unable to meet face to face. Instead, your bargaining team sat waiting the entire 11 hours. Today was yet another example of the deep dysfunction in PPS.
Remember that while all of us are anxiously awaiting a final settlement, PPS has given top administrators significant improvements in their contracts. Senior Directors received about a 30% increase in pay between the 2013/14 school year and the 2017/18 school year. The Chief of Equity and Diversity will increase from about $125,000 to $156,000. That is a 25% increase. The HR Director position was paid about $140,000 four years ago, and the newly hired HR Director will receive $166,000. These exorbitant raises come while the District has reduced educator FTE, claiming that there are not enough resources for the classroom. Why are they choosing to add fuel to the fire rather than securing stability? Who is behind their bargaining strategy which seems designed to escalate?
We have offered a series of dates for actual mediation sessions. The two teams have agreed to meet on September 11th, and to hold the 19th, 20th, and 21st.
We encourage every member to email the PPS Board members at firstname.lastname@example.org and respectfully request that PPS direct the BESC staff to fully engage in the task of negotiations. Ask the Board members to require its bargaining team to truly work toward a fair settlement.
We remain, still fighting for the schools you and the Portland students deserve.