Bargaining Brief- September 28, 2020

PAT Colleagues:

On Monday, September 28, your bargaining team met with PPS to try again to reach agreement on topics that directly impact PAT members’ work lives.  The meeting can be viewed here (Part 1Part 2Part 3).  

We spent the entire session exchanging proposals dealing with the evaluation procedure during this CDL year. 

On a positive note, we reached an agreement on language that directs evaluators to recognize that educators need support and assistance during CDL rather than evaluations designed to identify unsatisfactory performance. 

In addition, PPS agreed that professional educators must receive notice that an administrator will conduct a drop-in observation either by receiving a communication prior to the class starting, or by having the administrator announce their presence when they enter the CDL class. 

Finally, the two sides agreed that for any Plan of Assistance (POA) either planned or started prior to March 2020, the PAT and PPS HR would meet to determine whether or not the plan should remain on hold until we return to in-person instruction, or whether the plan can move forward.

The two sides could not reach agreement on the timeline for adjusting the current evaluation for CDL conditions, or on what could happen if the timeline isn’t met.  If a committee of PAT members and PPS administrators cannot complete modifying the current evaluation tool by the end of October, PPS proposed that it could evaluate educators using the existing, unmodified tool. 

As all of you know, the existing tool is designed for a traditional in-person educational model.  Even the quickest review of that rubric makes clear that the descriptors for distinguished, proficient, developing, and unsatisfactory performance generally don’t apply to distance learning.  Determining an employee’s career status using an evaluation tool that is specifically not suited to current conditions is simply wrong.  PAT will not agree to any settlement that gives PPS that ability. 

The agreements we reached were accomplished after almost eight hours of bargaining the same topic.  Your team simply will not allow PPS to apply a “trust us” approach to any topic as significant as your evaluations. 

The two sides meet again on Friday, October 2nd.  We hope to make additional progress then.


In Solidarity,


Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Portland Association of Teachers