A message from PAT President Angela Bonilla:
I wanted to share an update about what’s been a tense and frustrating few days.
As we shared in yesterday’s update, the PAT bargaining team spent 24 hours in a marathon bargaining session Sunday. We came to a settlement package with the PPS bargaining team, including Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero, with significant gains for educators and students. The PPS bargaining team recommended the deal to the board members present at bargaining, and three hours later we were told that the deal was rejected by the board.
To have the deal pulled after working so hard, and making tough compromises to win on our key issues, was incredibly frustrating. It has kept us from getting to go out to meet and facilitate member conversations about the settlement, and to provide answers and context to your questions.
PPS has been posting proposals that are out of date and out of context, causing confusion and misinformation for families and educators. I want to be clear - the deal we reached at the table makes improvements on each of our key issues and demands.
Some of the improvements include:
- Class size committees with parent involvement
- Expanded overage pay
- Added planning time and planning days
- Increased cost of living adjustments
- Added mental health staff
- Safe building protections
We knew this was a long term fight for great public schools for all in Portland. This deal includes key wins today, while also building a foundation for bigger improvements in the future. And, just as importantly, we are growing and showing our power at every school site across the city while making deep and lasting connections with our families and our community.
Today was a beautiful action on Burnside Bridge. Seeing thousands of you out marching reminded us of what we are fighting for and why we stand strong for what our educators and students need.
Our position is that there is an agreement that the PPS bargaining team recommended, that was a total package and the board needs to vote that agreement up so that we can start the ratification process.
PAT’s ratification process is centered in member voice and member involvement. The PAT Executive Board will be convened and asked to vote on if they recommend passage of the contract, and to lay out the member ratification process. Members will have time to read and review the full agreement, engage in meaningful discussion, and ask questions and get answers to details of the agreement.
We know the toll that uncertainty is having on educators and families as we wait for the PPS board to do the right thing and approve the deal we made at the table. While we navigate this unprecedented situation, we ask for your patience, trust, and understanding.
We need to continue the pressure on the school board to do the right thing and give us the chance to ratify the contract. Emotions and frustrations are high, but we want to reiterate, while PAT members and allies are engaging in peaceful protest, we strongly condemn vandalism.
Tomorrow, we ask that you join us for a collective action at City Hall. Please check in with your Picket Captains for more details. Tomorrow's action is voluntary AND paid.
PERSONAL LOAN INTEREST REIMBURSEMENT
In addition to strike benefits and grant funds, The OEA will guarantee payment of the interest on a loan secured by a member during the course of a strike, under the following conditions:
1) Prior to seeking a loan from the bank or credit union, the loan request must be approved by the Local Financial Assistance Committee. Please email Peter Brogan ([email protected]), with the subject line, “$500 PAT Loan”
2) In your application state the amount of the loan and what bank or credit union you are applying to. 3) The maximum loan for which payment of interest will be guaranteed by OEA is $500. If there are two PAT members in one household they can apply for up to $1,000;
3) All strike-related loans must be repaid within one year following termination of the strike.