Yesterday was the second day of mediated negotiations and our bargaining team was working diligently from 9am to almost 7pm.
At the end of last session, PPS Management sent us a letter stating certain subjects were "permissive subjects." According to Oregon Law, there are certain subjects of bargaining that the law permits the parties to bargain over but the District Management can refuse to bargain about if they so choose. We started by addressing the letter: We disagreed with their legal analysis of what is and is not permissive but asked the District to clarify what they felt was permissive and if they were refusing to bargain with us on those topics despite our disagreement.
Your team worked diligently to generate proposals that would move us closer to a settlement while waiting for proposals or a response to the letter to come from the District. Late in the day, they gave us a package “supposal” (nonbinding) on several articles including 6, 7, 8 and 9 with no movement whatsoever on numerous other articles. We were distressed to see that there were no changes on caps, no changes on overages, no changes on weekly planning time, and no additional wrap-around supports for students or educators. It is clear the District does not want to bargain with us in any meaningful way about the issues most critical to educators and students.
In their supposal, the District proposed moving from 3% to 4% on Cost of Living Adjustment but with an additional workday added. This amounts to roughly 0.5% increase in their Cost of Living Adjustment and is nowhere near the rate of inflation that we have experienced over the last few years.
The district continues to propose adding three professional development days and two student instructional days on a yearly basis to be implemented upon their unilateral discretion for the schools and programs they choose.
Once again, we want to reiterate that we do not want to strike. However, the clock is ticking with two thirds of our articles unresolved, and the District has not moved enough on any of our priorities to engage meaningfully in the process. We continue to hope that the District will reconsider its approach to this negotiation so that a strike does not become necessary.