Bargaining Brief, August 22, 2023

PAT Members,

Your Bargaining Team met with the District today from 11-2:30 and tried to get as much completed as possible.  We have a Tentative Agreement (TA) for Article 14 Mileage, Parking and Procurement cards, but we spent much of our time discussing the District’s proposed Article 18 Transfers language. 

The District is proposing to get rid of the relatively minimal internal hire rights after involuntary unassignment.  We have major concerns about this proposal in the wake of about 250 PAT Educators unassigned last Spring.  Under their proposal, there would be no internal preference whatsoever, and all unassigned educators would compete against outside hires upon unassignment.  The District said this will help them expedite the process and compete against other districts for applicants. 

We pointed out the District has repeatedly failed to finish the internal rounds by March 1 as our contract stipulates and that meeting this timeline may address their stated goals.

We have more proposals to give to the District as we go into Mediation, including Special Education and Housing.  

During today’s session, President Bonilla made it clear that educators want to feel good about working in our district, that over 120 Association Representatives agree that our working conditions are unbearable and that we cannot continue with the status quo.

PPS’ team made it clear that they do not believe us, your union bargaining team representatives, by dismissing President Bonilla’s concerns with their response (40:14-42:58).

We have stated from the beginning, we do not plan to bargain this contract for several years. We are almost 1 year into negotiations with very little progress.  We do not want to strike, but without significant movement from the District over these next few weeks, we may be heading towards a strike.  We remain committed to a transformative contract for our members and will not bring back a status quo agreement to the membership.

The best way to avoid a strike is to prepare for one; our PAT member leaders are ready and able to help us win a strong contract.

Please wear blue and your “Working Without a Contract” button next Tuesday. We win this contract by empowering and supporting our membership and community so get ready; It’s going to be a busy few months ahead.  

In Solidarity,

Your Bargaining Team
Steve Lancaster, Chair
Francisca Alvarez
Samara Bockelman
Julia Fogg
Thea Keith
Charity Powell
Ryan Olds, OEA Staff
Angela Bonilla, President

Portland Association of Teachers