Today your PAT Bargaining Team took time out of the last planning day before students arrive to meet with PPS Management. Our state mediator asked both parties to bring as many articles as possible that could potentially be agreed to in order to get them off the table before official mediation begins.
Your team prepared five articles that we believed could be brought to agreement. The District brought a single article on Early Childhood that is far from settlement (they struck out most of our proposal). We ended the session with a single Tentative Agreement on Article 14 Parking. This is not the progress needed to achieve a settlement and avoid a potential strike. Bargaining Chair Steve Lancaster expressed frustration at this lack of progress: Youtube link (starting with Steve’s comments 1:13:00).
We are starting the school year with a frozen salary schedule, workloads that are far too high, and inadequate wrap-around services for students. The issues are urgent as evidenced by the fact that Portland has now become the 2nd least affordable city in the country for a teacher to live in: Axios Article and the study it references.\
Given that today’s session ended with very little progress, we can only hope that the District team will come into mediation on Thursday fully prepared to engage on the urgent issues we are facing.
Our community coalition will be at sites all this week sharing information about our bargain. Please wear blue and your “Working Without a Contract” button tomorrow and remind your colleagues to do the same.
Your Bargaining Team
Steve Lancaster, Chair
Ryan Olds, OEA Staff
Angela Bonilla, President
Portland Association of Teachers