Bargaining Brief, August 27th, 2020

Dear PAT Colleagues:


Today, the PPS bargaining team refused to put in writing their verbal agreement that educators should get an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes per day of teacher-directed time for planning, communicating with students and families, and providing meaningful feedback to student work. Instead, the District proposed that we all trust that principals at every school will give all educators the time they need based on the proposed sample schedules provided in bargaining.  

While PPS management insisted that their schedules were clear, we repeatedly reminded them that principals were mis-interpreting Shawn Bird’s directives. As it stands, educators are being forced to educate their administrators about how to interpret work schedules, which is not appropriate.  We know that yellow highlighting on a few example schedules is not sufficient protection for educator workload. To see our precise proposal on the workday, see #6 under Section II of our current MOA

In addition, we still have differences around DLI workload and Special Education Educator workload. While PPS conceded that there is an overwhelming amount of backlogged work, and in response offered to allow all Special Education educators 8 hours to perform “catch up work” without prior approval.  However, PPS would not guarantee that Special Education educators would qualify for additional payment, even if they can demonstrate that they have a legitimate backlog which exceeds the hours in Article 6.5.4.  When we voiced serious concerns with this, management said this was a cost savings measure and they claimed that not all Special Education educators had the same backlog.  

PPS would not agree to pay for DLI educators to translate even core related materials when those materials are not provided by the District.  We were again asked to trust that the District will develop the curriculum needed for all DLI educators.  Amazingly, they seem content to force DLI instructors to create the curriculum that should be provided by the District, without additional pay, apparently because they are concerned that it might be too costly to compensate DLI educators for the work required to do their jobs.

We also proposed that part-time educators should have educator-directed time that is proportional to that of full-time educators. Again, while this sounds like mere logic, the District would not agree.

Here is what PPS has agreed to:

  • All educators have access to their buildings during comprehensive distance learning. 
  • No educator can be required to report to a building to do their work.  
  • Educator-directed time can be flexed so that PAT members could take care of their family members or demands of homelife.  

Despite these areas of agreement, the District’s unwillingness to commit to a firm number of minutes per week of planning time is leaving us frustrated that, as the school year starts for educators, they have not taken seriously our shared interest in an enforceable agreement upon which schedules can be built.  

The District would not commit to another official meeting until September 9th; however, we hope to push the District to move toward agreement in the interim.  

You can watch today’s bargaining session here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.


In Solidarity,


Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Chelyn Joseph