Bargaining Brief 6.13.21: Teams Reach Tentative Agreement

Dear PAT Colleagues:

Your PAT Bargaining Team is pleased to inform you that late Saturday evening, we achieved a Tentative Agreement with the District team for a two-year successor agreement to our 2019-2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement. We will be bringing this TA to you this week for ratification so that it can go into effect in time for next year. 

Both teams had agreed to bring a limited number of issues to the table in the hopes that by limiting the scope of the bargain we would be able to arrive at an agreement before the summer break.  While we brought a handful of proposals to the table, the issues of greatest importance to the PAT for this limited bargain were obtaining contractual supports that would help to recruit, support and retain educators of color in PPS, and to secure a fair cost of living adjustment for all members.  

The District welcomed a discussion of our shared interest in supports for educators of color, and also brought a set of additional issues. The most complex and controversial of these was a school reform initiative that would have sweeping implications for our contract and the teaching conditions in affected schools.  PAT and the District share the goal of adding resources to schools with high needs, and therefore we put forth PAT’s vision for doing so based on the elements outlined in The Schools Portland Students Deserve and the State of Oregon “Quality Education Model.”  In the end, creating a new school reform/support model proved too complex for a limited scope of bargaining and PPS entirely withdrew their proposal.  PAT likewise withdrew several items which ultimately allowed both parties to partner in finding new ways to better support educators of color. 

The highlights of what was agreed to include:

  • 3% COLA for 2020-21 with retroactive pay to July 1st, 2020 for all employed during the term of the agreement, including retirees
  • 3% COLA for 2021-22 effective July 1, 2021
  • All employees in the BA+0 column of the pay scale will be moved to the corresponding step in the BA+15 and the BA+0 column will be eliminated making Step One of BA+15 the new base salary.
  • A package of improvements to attract, support, and retain educators of color: 
    • Stipend for Bilingual Educators, as defined in our CBA appendix I
    • Stipend for DLI Educators
    • Pay for educators who lead affinity groups
    • The creation of a program of Peer Support for new educators of color
    • Professional development for all members on anti-racism, implicit bias, and culturally responsive practices.
  • We also agreed to a separate process to take place early next year, to talk about Article 9 in our contract (Safety) and the Student’s Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.  The goal of the discussions will be to identify and change language that may disproportionately impact traditionally underserved students.  

There were a number of issues that we were unable to come to agreement on including changes to the Workload Overage language, eliminating the sunset on our Early Retirement Incentive, and creating a “Grow Your Own” program to support PPS students of color to become PPS professional educators. For now, our current contract language on Overages and ERI stands, and we will bring all these issues (and others) back to the table for a full bargain next year.

The PAT is encouraged by the good faith effort of the PPS team in achieving resolution on our mutual goals and we are hopeful that the productive working relationship established during this year’s negotiations will continue to develop as we return to the table this fall.

Next Steps

Given the extremely short time remaining in the school year, your Bargaining Team will be working through the rest of the weekend to complete the formal contract language and prepare materials for the membership to review in order to vote for ratification by Tuesday, the last contract day of the school year. 

We will present the Tentative Agreement to the PAT Executive Board on Monday and ask for the board’s recommendation. 

On Tuesday, June 15th at 2:00 pm, we will hold an all-member meeting to present the Tentative Agreement and answer questions. Please look for a link on Monday to register 

The ratification vote will open on Tuesday the 15th, and will stay open until Monday the 21st.  

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, and then signing off for the summer.

Special thanks to Angela Bonilla and Nadia Coronado for adding their important voice and deep professional experience to our bargaining sessions.

In Solidarity, 

Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Thea Keith