Bargaining Brief - April 19, 2017

Progress, but not yet Close to a Settlement

Your PAT team met with the District on Monday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. We originally described the meeting as a “settlement” day, but quickly realized that both sides needed some additional financial information not yet available to the group. We therefore set up new bargaining dates on May 8th and 9th. We were disappointed that we were not able to schedule the next group bargaining session earlier, but there were several conflicts with schedules.

Both Sides Complete Proposals

In order to reach an agreement this school year, both PAT and the District have agreed to write complete bargaining proposals and move to a process that is a hybrid between traditional bargaining and interest based bargaining (IBB). Much work went into completed full proposals, which were exchanged on Monday. Several issues were dropped by both sides, which limits what is still being bargained.

Tentative Agreements on Four Articles

We have reached a tentative agreement (TA) on four articles: Academic Freedom and Instruction, Mentor Agreement/Professional Growth, Evaluation, and the Grievance Procedure.

Continued Disagreement on Workload

Staffing and workload continue to be the biggest areas of disagreement. Without adequate funding for schools, the District is planning to reduce PAT positons by close to 130 FTE. This results in increased caseloads and class sizes for all. We know that we cannot maintain all working conditions in this funding environment, but we continue to disagree on the workload protections members should have. The District is proposing to eliminate the general workload protection in Article 5D. In addition, it wants to eliminate the average HS class sizes awarded in an arbitration after the District unilaterally moved to the 6 of 8 schedule at the high schools. PAT strongly disagrees with both rollbacks.

A Better Year vs. a Longer Year?

Three years ago, PAT campaigned for a “better year” before a longer year. It was our opinion that it was better to hire more teachers to lower class sizes/caseloads all year than to run a longer school year with higher class sizes and caseloads. In a compromise to reach an agreement, we agreed to add two paid instructional days after the District had added over 140 PAT positions. However, we included a condition that “extended days would have to be cut prior to a reduction in staffing levels”. Now that the District is facing a reduction in staffing levels, it wants to delete this language to retain the two added instructional days. PAT still believes that reducing class sizes/case loads is a higher priority over added instructional days.

PAT Offering to Resolve Several Grievances and “Reset” Relationship

Your team has proposed contract changes that would resolve several outstanding grievances. Our hope is to truly “reset” the current relationship to one where the new contract will be honored and enforced.


PAT Bargaining Team


Steve Lancaster, Bargaining Chair & Social Studies, Lincoln HS

Suzanne Cohen, PAT President and Former Math & Science, Peninsula

Alicia Brown, Special Ed, Roosevelt HS

Elizabeth Thiel, PAT Vice President and Former Language Arts, Madison HS

Emy Markewitz, 3rd grade, Vernon

Marty Pavlik, PAT UniServ Consultant

Ric Oleksak, Retired, Sellwood MS

John Berkey, PAT UniServ Consultant

Chelyn Joseph, School Pscyhologist, James John & Skyline

Kathi Koenig, PAT UniServ Consultant

Al Rabchuk, Math, Wilson HS