Fellow PAT Colleagues:
Your Bargaining Team met again with PPS on Thursday, March 11 (Part 1, Part 2), and in a small group meeting on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. The tone of the two meetings differed greatly, but the topics covered give both teams the direction towards a joint agreement.
On Wednesday, PPS and some PAT Team members discussed a wide range of topics with the goal of both teams being ready for Thursday’s full-team bargain. Although the two teams differed greatly on some issues, we did reach a common conceptual understanding on childcare options for PAT members, the development of Safety Committees in each building, member access to alternate assignments if individual circumstances require it, and the need for building staff to work with administrators to develop plans that suit their particular student and family needs.
However, on Thursday the tone abruptly changed because PPS would not move on two key issues. First, PPS and your PAT Team strongly disagreed on the amount of planning and preparation time required to have students return to in-person instruction. PAT stated that educators need a minimum of five days of PD/building/room/office prep to be ready for students to return to in-person instruction. PPS believes that the maximum amount of meeting and planning time for students to return is three days. Having students begin in-person learning on Thursday April 1st, as opposed to the following Monday, places an unacceptable and unnecessary burden on educators to ensure the safe and successful transition for students back into our buildings with a mere 72 hours of time to accomplish a monumentally complex task.
Our position is also consistent with Beaverton’s recent agreement, which begins to phase students back in starting on April 5th .
The second area of contention revolved around the official safety guidelines that will be followed for the remainder of this school year. PPS contended that they wish to have the ability to change the implementation of safety precautions whenever the Ready Schools Safe Learners document is updated by the ODE, without returning to the bargaining table. Your Bargaining Team insisted that the terms of the MOA we are currently negotiating should concretely delineate the safety conditions that will prevail for the remaining two months of this school year, allowing staff and families to fully understand the conditions in which they will teach and learn. Safety issues are a mandatory subject of bargaining under Oregon law and your PAT Team would never agree to allow the District to make unilateral changes to safety conditions without obtaining the consent of professional educators through the bargaining process.
We encourage members to tune in to bargaining when possible this weekend. The two teams are scheduled to meet on Saturday and on Sunday from 9 AM until whenever it takes to get an agreement.
Your PAT Bargaining Team-
Steve Lancaster, Chair