We were informed that PPS management would give a proposal around 11am this morning. We had hoped that management was finally ready to engage with us on the urgent issues facing students and educators. At 2:30 we received their proposal. To put it mildly, what we received did not live up to our expectations.
Here are the low-lights:
COLA: No movement - The offer from management locks in an 8% reduction in salary relative to inflation.
Planning Time: Regressive - Management’s offer has language that appears to offer more planning time but is actually regressive from their last proposal and would have the effect of REDUCING planning time for many educators.
Class size limits: Continued refusal to bargain over reasonable class size limits.
Mental health supports: Continued refusal to bargain over additional support for students.
Student Discipline: Management refuses to implement guaranteed support for students who engage in acts of violence or threats of violence.
Environmental Safety: Management did acknowledge, for the first time, that environmental issues such as temperature and cleanliness have a place in the contract, however, management’s proposal would not guarantee a change to the status quo. **Most of the proposals allow the principal to take action if they should choose to do so, rather than enforceable environmental standards.
Special Education: Management’s proposal removed language that was already agreed upon. Furthermore, they made the agreements previously reached contingent upon PAT agreeing to eliminate current contract rights in Article 18: Transfers. By doing this, District Management is holding hostage the only article we made significant progress on in an attempt to use this critical, student centered article as a bargaining chip to give management a means to take away our transfer rights.
Our cause is just, our proposals are feasible, and our community is overwhelmingly supportive. District management has been unwilling to listen to us at the table, so now they will have the opportunity to hear from all of YOU on the picket line. Together WE WILL WIN!!
Steve Lancaster, Chair
Ryan Olds, OEA Staff