Bargaining Update, July 2020

Hello Colleagues! 

I want to share with you where we are right now with bargaining, and offer a few thoughts and analysis from our “Return to School” survey. As you know, our plans for bargaining significant improvements to our contract have been derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now facing budget shortfalls rather than the infusion of new monies that we had all been anticipating. Concurrently, we are navigating truly unprecedented working conditions as we prepare to return to work in August. As a result, PAT will be moving forward on two fronts simultaneously. 

Bargaining Our Successor Agreement

We will be bargaining a successor agreement to our current contract with a limited number of issues on the table including workplace safety, equity issues including restorative practices, compensation, and benefits. All of the hard work that has been done on contract improvements will not be lost. Some of the proposals that were developed will fall within the scope of the limited bargain. We will bring the remainder of the improvements to the table in the next bargaining cycle when (hopefully) the effects of the pandemic are no longer driving our decisions.

Negotiating an MOA for the Fall

We will be aggressively negotiating a Memorandum of Agreement (which has the force of our contract but does not become a permanent part of our contract language) regarding the terms of our return to work in August. There are a truly mind-boggling number of issues to work through to determine what our teaching and learning conditions will be for this next school year. With only seven weeks before we are expected to report for work, and the district’s August 15th deadline to publish a plan, we have an incredibly short window of time to get contractual protections in place. As we negotiate through the summer (starting the week of July 20th), we may call upon you to provide your insights if you are willing to do so during your summer break.

As for our Return to Work Survey, first some data points:

 

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Bargaining Brief - January 16, 2018

After five days of continuous negotiations, this morning at 3:00 AM your PAT bargaining team agreed on a settlement framework with our District counterparts.

Significant details remain to be formalized, but we hope to finalize a tentative agreement by Thursday afternoon.

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Bargaining Brief, January 11, 2018

Your bargaining team met with their District counterparts until 8:00 this evening. We informed the District that we were prepared to work over the next five days in order to reach an agreement, and to stick with the mediation process, no matter where it takes us over the weekend.

We were pleased to receive a similar commitment from the District team.

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A Message From your PAT Bargaining Chair

Your PAT Bargaining team has blocked off five days over the next week in the hopes of reaching a settlement with the District. In addition to meeting all day Thursday and Friday, we’re prepared to meet every day over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend.

We will do everything we can to facilitate a fair contract settlement this weekend.

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Bargaining Fact Sheet - Safety

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We Want Safe and Supportive Schools

As educators, we believe a safe and supportive learning environment is one of the cornerstones for creating great public schools.

We want PPS to be a place where students can make mistakes and be welcomed back into their classroom communities.

But we know that interventions are needed for this to work, and many students will require ongoing support. Indeed, the entire District needs reliable, consistent systems in place if we want to foster safer schools.

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Bargaining Brief, December 5, 2017

Your PAT bargaining team met with the District until close to 8:00 PM last night.

We presented a mini-package of issues to the District in the morning, and after an exchange of proposals we were able to settle on language for several smaller articles where we’ve been previously close to agreement.

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Thankful for Solidarity

This week your PAT bargaining team is THANKFUL for all the work you and your colleagues have done to settle our contract. From wearing blue on Tuesdays to attending school board meetings, your collective efforts are having an impact!

Last week we had two days of mediation with the District and it feels like bargaining has finally begun. Although we have had substantive discussions, and were even able to exchange proposals back and forth, no new agreements were reached.

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Bargaining Brief, November 16th

Your PAT bargaining team met with the District until 8:00 PM tonight. 

We spent the bulk of our time reviewing each side’s proposals around workload, workday, and work year. We also touched on several other key issues such as salary, special education supports, and professional development.

Thanks to your organizing efforts, it felt like bargaining finally began today.

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Bargaining Brief, November 15

The two bargaining teams just ended day one of the two-day mediation session, and your Bargaining Team would like to thank all of you who had time to email/tweet/call/Facebook the Superintendent regarding the importance of focusing completely on getting a deal.  Your efforts worked.  Not only did the Superintendent get the message, he even cancelled his plans to leave bargaining in the early afternoon.

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Bargaining Fact Sheet - Special Education

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Special Education in a Downward Spiral

For years PPS has been shortchanging special education. Students with some of the greatest needs aren’t getting the services and individualized attention they deserve, and now these problems are rippling across entire buildings.

The District has no plan to stop this downward spiral, and they have refused to consider the various proposals PAT has put forward to stabilize, and potentially reverse, this situation.

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