Bargaining Brief - September 28, 2016

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Bargaining Continues, but Key Decisions on Hold until after Measure 97 Vote

Your bargaining team continued its work over the summer and into the new school year. However, many key discussions will be put on hold until after November 8th. On that day voters can decide to add significant new educational funding for K-12 schools by voting yes on Measure 97. This would mean that the District would have financial resources to lower class sizes, reduce caseloads, improve safety, add instructional time, and restore the services to kids that have been eroded over 25 years of defunding Oregon schools. We are also delaying discussions on compensation and benefits. If Measure 97 fails, we expect renewed proposals for cutting staff and programs.

District Bargaining Team Loses Key Participants 

Each side has 12 participants on its IBB team and up to four alternates. Over the summer, the District has lost 3-4 team members (it is unclear if one is continuing) and two of its alternates. Superintendent Carole Smith and Chief Negotiator Catherine Cusimano are among the PPS participants who have left. This has created concerns about continuity as the IBB subcommittees continue their work. 

PAT and PPS Redesign Bargaining Timelines and Protocols 

As a result of the changes mentioned, PAT and PPS mutually agreed to redesign our IBB protocols. This new agreement is still being finalized, but key concepts are agreed upon. They include:

  • Finalizing agreements that are close to consensus in subcommittees in October;
  • Reducing the team size from twelve to eight participants on each side;
  • Restarting the process with restructured teams in December working on the remaining unsettled issues;
  • Reducing the number of subcommittees from three to two;
  • Having a final bargaining lab in March 2017.

Thank you to your PAT Bargaining Team

Our IBB process required a larger than normal bargaining team in three sub-committees. Your team has been working since last fall on consensus agreements; including meetings after school, on weekends and over the summer. Remember to thank your team for their hard work on your behalf!

Subcommittee 1: Work Year, Work day, Workload, Safety, Student Discipline

  • Steve Lancaster, Bargaining Chair and Lincoln HS Social Studies Teacher
  • Alicia Brown, Liaison to the Executive Board and Roosevelt HS Special Ed Teacher
  • Emy Markowitz, Elementary 3rd grade Teacher at Vernon
  • Ric Oleksak, Middle School Science Teacher at Sellwood MS (recently retired)
  • Marty Pavlik, PAT UniServ Consultant and Chief Negotiator
  • Candice Vickers, Equity TOSA (Recently left PAT to become AP at Hosford MS)

Subcommittee 2: Member rights, transfers, staffing, contractual provisions

  • Chelyn Joseph, School Psychologist at James John
  • David Child, Middle Level Science at Ockley Green MS (formerly at  Woodlawn PK-8)
  • Kathi Koenig, PAT UniServ Consultant

Subcommittee 3: Compensation, Retirement, Insurance, Extra Responsibility

  • Suzanne Cohen, PAT President (former Math & Science teacher at Peninsula PK-8)
  • Al Rabchuk, Wilson HS Math Teacher, PAT Treasurer and Advocacy Committee Chair
  • John Berkey, PAT UniServ Consultant


  • Gwen Sullivan, PAT Past President and former Abernethy Media Specialist
  • Elizabeth Thiel, PAT Vice President and former Madison HS Language Arts Teacher
  • Chris Riser, Middle School Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher at Ockley Green MS (formerly at Woodlawn PK-8)

PAT Voices Concerns about the District Failure to Implement IBB Agreements on Safety and School Climate

Last spring the School Board and our membership ratified the first round of IBB agreements. This ratification packet went into effect in the spring of 2016 and included agreements on Article 6: Student Discipline/Safety, the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) Handbook, a newly created Rapid Response Team (RRT) to intervene in unsafe classrooms, the re-establishment of two elementary behavior classrooms, and agreements on school climate teams. Unfortunately, almost every component of this agreement has not been implemented with fidelity. This is of great concern, since we have experienced a history of the District failing to implement its agreements and since this is our first set of interest-based agreements. In many cases, administrators who were not part of the original IBB teams made decisions to do something other than what the parties discussed. Some of these problems emerged from communication gaps in the administrative structure that the District is looking to redesign. We will keep you informed as we work to implement these agreements with fidelity. 

Update your Home E-mail to Receive Future Bargaining Briefs

The PAT Bargaining Brief is the official PAT bargaining communication with members. If it is not a PAT Bargaining Brief, the bargaining info may not be from your team. (This has occurred in the past when the District issued communications to our members that looked like they came from both teams.) One exception to this rule will be joint communications issued during the interest-based bargaining (IBB). These could happen when we schedule joint meetings to bring issues to closure. This may be the last Bargaining Brief that we print off one per member. In the future we will be sending these to your home e-mail address. If you have not verified or updated this e-mail address with our membership information, you may not receive future updates. Please contact your rep or Kelli Williams at [email protected] to confirm or update your home e-mail.