This weekend we wrapped up four full days of bargaining with the District, and we’re meeting again on April 17th. Be sure to read the latest Bargaining Brief to get all the details. There are lots of balls in the air, since neither the state legislature nor the District has finalized their respective budgets, but we are still trying to reach a fair settlement.
And even in the midst of bargaining, we are pulling together to create not only the schools our students deserve, but also the city, state, and nation we all deserve.
For example, our Racial Equity committee is in process of training listeners to conduct listening sessions with all our educators of color that will help guide our work going forward. We hope these conversations, in addition to sparking ideas for new contract language, will help PAT lead work around racial equity in the District.
Our state organization, OEA, will have its annual meeting April 21st and 22nd. Here too, our work goes far beyond advocating for our students and our profession, and we’re addressing issues facing our entire community. Last year, for example, we passed a new business item to lobby for the Oregon Investment Council and the State Treasurer to divest our pension funds from any and all private prison operations. As a part of this effort, I was able to testify in front of the Senate committee addressing this issue and you can read my testimony here.
Please mark your calendars! May Day (Monday May 1st) PAT will participate in a national Day of Action. Find out more here, but plan on wearing red, doing walk-ins at your school, and pushing other school districts to follow Portland’s lead by passing Safe and Welcoming Schools Resolutions.