Bargaining Brief, April 4, 2023

Hello Educators,

Today your PAT Bargaining Team met with PPS management for our 6th bargaining session. 

We spent most of the session discussing our proposals for hard class size caps and additional planning time. 

It won’t be a surprise to any PAT member that, when it comes to planning time, PPS ranks near the bottom of the 14 districts in the Portland metro area. We have proposed a guaranteed minimum of 440 minutes of planning time each week at every grade level, including an additional 30 minute block of planning time within each school day for elementary educators. This would move us from 13th place to 5th place. Take a look at how PPS compares with the other districts in the Portland area

The District provided counter proposals for several smaller issues, but we are still waiting for the District to respond to most of our substantive proposals.

We’ve prepared a detailed side-by-side comparison of where we stand on the key issues in bargaining, which we encourage you to read and share with your colleagues.

Our PAT president Angela Bonilla summed what’s at stake today, remarking:

We cannot keep doing what we are doing because it is not working. We will continue to lose educators. I understand the educator shortage is a national trend, and we are not exempt. But educators going on strike is also a national trend… And why is that? It’s because we are done working for free. We are done being morally injured. We are done, as Special Educator Ginger Huizar always says, running ourselves ragged holding up a raggedy system. 

We have the opportunity to stitch a new garment, one that serves all students and all educators, one that allows kids to have individual attention and support. We know better, so we must do better. We need small class sizes to build Great Public Schools for our students. And like I tell my students when we are trying something that seems impossible: “I think we can do it. I believe in us”.

We will be back at the table on Thursday, April 13th, 2023. You can always watch us live on our YouTube page and catch up with the sessions from today.

In Solidarity,
Steve Lancaster, Chair
Francisca Alvarez
Samara Bockelman
Julia Fogg
Thea Keith
Charity Powell
Portland Association of Teachers