We began the day by reading a letter from Oregon Legislatures to the PPS School Board addressing the accusations made against them from PPS District Leaders.
We also crafted an open letter to the District Bargaining Team that describes the key elements of our proposal which demands the district bargaining team fulfill their obligation to bargain with us in good faith on the issues most critical to educators and students (link).
In the early afternoon, half of your bargaining team presented and discussed the content of the open letter to the district bargaining team, which now includes Superintendent Guerrero. At the same time, other bargaining members read the same letter to more than 5,000 PAT educators, community members, families and students at the inspirational rally held in front of Portland City Hall.
At 6:30pm, there was a sidebar about planning time. During this sidebar, we demonstrated how the minimum of 440 minutes of teacher directed weekly planning time we proposed, and at least two additional planning/grading days could be achieved without adding additional cost to the district budget.
Notably, PPS School Board members were not present today. We have ended the day with no settlement in sight. Both teams have agreed to continue bargaining Saturday morning. Having heard once again your demands, we are hopeful the district team will come tomorrow prepared to engage on class size limits, planning time/days, mental health supports, school safety, and a fair COLA.
While it is a continuous and long term goal of our membership to demand more funds from the state, please remember to not get distracted by district doublespeak. Stay focused on our current fight. PPS management is misusing the funding that they currently have by choosing to not spend the majority of their budget on direct student services. As our legislators shared in their letter, the school board must join bargaining and settle this contract by investing in what students need.
“It is time that you, as the elected leaders of the school district, take the reins of this situation. What our students need now is leadership that shows them you will do what it takes to invest in their futures, and that starts with coming to the table now. As educators say, their working conditions are student learning and living conditions. We all need to work together to support resolution with a contract that builds the schools our students deserve.
Your bargaining team will remain at the table to continue fighting for what teachers and students deserve throughout the weekend as long as we’re making progress. Please take this weekend to rest and rejuvenate with your friends and family. Unless you hear otherwise from PAT, picketing will begin again on Monday, November 6th at 7:45 a.m. at every school in Portland. Please start at your designated picket location so that we can ensure every spot has representation.