Future Mediation Dates
There are several bargaining dates scheduled in November. We have agreed to three mediation dates on November 2nd, 15th, and 16th. In addition, we have scheduled multiple small group meetings between HR representatives and PAT staff to work on the mechanics of the proposals. We should have a good idea by November 17th whether we are making progress towards a settlement.
PPS Continues to Submit Incomplete and Inaccurate Bargaining Proposals
After months of exchanging bargaining proposals, Laird Cusack, the PPS bargaining chair, continues to submit inaccurate and incomplete bargaining proposals. The PPS proposals do not consistently employ standard contract writing processes which would show when current contract language is deleted or when new language is added. Therefore, your PAT team has been forced to review every word submitted in each PPS proposal. We have found random words missing inside paragraphs of contract language that are not being amended or discussed. We have also found whole sections of the current contract that simply disappeared without any notation that the language was eliminated. Additionally, PPS has failed to track past interest based bargaining consensus agreements and include them in the PPS proposals. Finally, PPS routinely deletes its past proposals including areas where we have moved to agreement. Laird routinely has failed to remember past conversations and proposals that have resolved certain portions of the contract. This forces PAT to research the bargaining history around these lost agreements and/or restart the conversations that led to the original solutions. All of this has stalled the bargaining process.Continue reading
PPS Salary Proposal Falls Short
When it comes to compensation, our union’s goal is to secure a fair salary and benefits package, one that allows PPS to attract and retain professional educators.
Unfortunately, Portland educators have been falling behind our peers in neighboring school districts for years. This gap has only widened as other districts have settled agreements with their respective unions, while we begin our second school year without a contract.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
District’s Bargaining Team Pushing for a Crisis!
(1) The District’s team ended interest-based bargaining (IBB).
(2) The District’s team asked for mediation. This is one of three decision points in state law to move towards the ability to unilaterally implement the District’s bargaining proposal and for PAT to declare a strike.
(3) The District is repeating a bargaining strategy used in 2013 to refuse to bargain over permissive subjects of bargaining. This time the District’s strategists are refusing to bargain over workload, class sizes, caseloads, number of preparations (distinct courses), and staff meetings. PAT is now forced to create complex alternate bargaining proposals to preserve its interests. This is a time-consuming strategy that delays the bargaining process. To make matters worse, the Districts strategists are rolling out their objections a few at a time. This delays the necessary legal review before creating alternative packages.
(4) District team members have stated that we need to be in a crisis to reach a settlement.Continue reading
District Returns to Legal Maneuvers to Force PAT to Eliminate Workload Protections
If you were here in 2013 before PAT almost went on strike, you will be disappointed to learn that District negotiators are repeating the same aggressive legal strategy to force PAT to abandon protections in our contract. Once again District negotiators are refusing to bargain over certain “permissive” subjects of bargaining*. This time around, PPS Chief Negotiator Laird Cusack is demanding that our workload language must be removed from the contract because it is “permissive” and the District chooses not to bargain over this topic. PAT disagrees with this legal analysis and may be forced to file another unfair labor practice charge for bad faith bargaining.