Bargaining Brief June 12, 2021

Dear PAT Colleagues:

This weekend, your Bargaining team is prepared to spend all day Saturday and into Sunday to negotiate a tentative agreement on this mini-bargain. You can watch all our sessions this weekend, as well as past sessions, here.

Thanks to all of you who took our survey last week on Accelerated Schools and the Schools Portland Students Deserve. Here are the results. Educators are strongly united in our belief that to improve outcomes for our historically underserved students, we must start by fully resourcing schools with small class sizes, wrap-around services, and well-rounded offerings including the arts, library, physical education, and recess. 

We presented the survey results to the district on Wednesday, along with our PAT counter-proposal.   The survey absolutely supports the PAT’s desire to put into place the beliefs expressed in the “Schools Portland Students Deserve.” Our counter-proposal replaces the District’s misguided “Acceleration” ideas as originally proposed, with the supports and practices outlined in our shared PAT vision.

On Friday, the district presented another PPS counter-proposal on Acceleration Schools, which made significant movement toward the values you expressed in our survey, including dropping the proposal to unassign educators for any reason and numerous other objectionable provisions.  Nonetheless, there remain several areas that are highly problematic which must be addressed to achieve a program design that we believe PAT members can support.

The District also presented on Friday PPS counter-proposals on Attracting, Supporting, and Retaining Educators of Color.

We have made significant progress on some of the issues we brought to the table, including peer support for educators of color, racial equity professional development for all educators, official monetary support for the facilitators of affinity groups, and a financial acknowledgement of the unique workload demands for educators in Dual Language Instruction programs.

Other issues still on the table include stabilization of schools with high turnover, acknowledgement of the work of bi-lingual educators, a few additions or adjustments to the workload overage chart, and a reasonable Cost-of-Living Adjustment to our salary schedule which would be retro-active to the 2019-2020 school year.

We will send you another update after the weekend. If we do not come to an agreement, we will regroup and prepare to enter into a major negotiation in the fall. 

If the PAT does come to a tentative agreement with the district this weekend, we will not be voting to ratify the agreement until we return in August. First, the PAT Executive Board must meet, fully review the agreement, and vote to recommend for ratification. After that, the entire PAT membership must be able to thoroughly review the details of the agreement. We can’t accomplish that before we all return in August because we know that many PAT members are away over the summer break.

Finally, we will NOT leave you wondering what has happened. If we do reach a tentative agreement, the PAT bargaining team will provide the full TA and a detailed outline to prepare for a vote in August. If we cannot reach a tentative agreement, we will send out a communication to explain where and why the District failed to meet your demands.  

In Solidarity, 

Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Thea Keith