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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Your bargaining team met with our counterparts from the District for face-to-face mediation yesterday. We were happy to have our new Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero at the table for the first time, in addition to Kylie Rogers, Chief Human Resources Officer.
At the outset of the meeting, your bargaining chair Steve Lancaster said he expected this meeting to be a breakthrough or a breakdown. By the end of the evening he concluded it was neither.Continue reading
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