Bargaining Brief 10/4/17

PPS Continues to Submit Incomplete and Inaccurate Bargaining Proposals

After months of exchanging bargaining proposals, Laird Cusack, the PPS bargaining chair, continues to submit inaccurate and incomplete bargaining proposals. The PPS proposals do not consistently employ standard contract writing processes which would show when current contract language is deleted or when new language is added. Therefore, your PAT team has been forced to review every word submitted in each PPS proposal. We have found random words missing inside paragraphs of contract language that are not being amended or discussed. We have also found whole sections of the current contract that simply disappeared without any notation that the language was eliminated. Additionally, PPS has failed to track past interest based bargaining consensus agreements and include them in the PPS proposals. Finally, PPS routinely deletes its past proposals including areas where we have moved to agreement. Laird routinely has failed to remember past conversations and proposals that have resolved certain portions of the contract. This forces PAT to research the bargaining history around these lost agreements and/or restart the conversations that led to the original solutions. All of this has stalled the bargaining process.

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Bargaining Fact Sheet - Compensation

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PPS Salary Proposal Falls Short

When it comes to compensation, our union’s goal is to secure a fair salary and benefits package, one that allows PPS to attract and retain professional educators. 

Unfortunately, Portland educators have been falling behind our peers in neighboring school districts for years. This gap has only widened as other districts have settled agreements with their respective unions, while we begin our second school year without a contract.

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Bargaining Brief 9/21/17

Today your Bargaining Team met with the district for our fourth day of mediation since the district ended the IBB process.

At the end of the day, we are wondering, did we take steps forward, or just fewer steps backward than we have become accustomed to?

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Bargaining Brief - September 11, 2017

Your bargaining team finally met with our counterparts from the District for face-to-face mediation today.

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Bargaining Brief - August 24, 2017

Tuesday evening at 9:14 PM, PPS emailed a proposal to your PAT bargaining team.  After a review of the document on Wednesday, we realized that there were:

  • Brand-new proposals, despite being long-past the deadline for new issues;
  • Proposals that altered or removed already agreed upon items;
  • Proposals which were so poorly written that we could not determine their meaning;

Your team found it offensive that we received this incomplete, inaccurate, and sloppy document after hundreds of hours in negotiations. Both sides were slated to meet for mediation today, but we worked separately the entire day. The state mediator presented our feelings and our written summary of some of the problems in their document to the PPS team. After that, PPS spent the rest of the day working on correcting/altering their careless work.

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Bargaining Brief 7-17-17

Your PAT bargaining team met with the district’s bargaining team today for our first mediation session. Although we were in session for more than twelve hours, we were unable to make any tangible progress.

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bargaining brief 7/14/17

District’s Bargaining Team Pushing for a Crisis!

(1) The District’s team ended interest-based bargaining (IBB).

(2) The District’s team asked for mediation. This is one of three decision points in state law to move towards the ability to unilaterally implement the District’s bargaining proposal and for PAT to declare a strike.

(3) The District is repeating a bargaining strategy used in 2013 to refuse to bargain over permissive subjects of bargaining. This time the District’s strategists are refusing to bargain over workload, class sizes, caseloads, number of preparations (distinct courses), and staff meetings. PAT is now forced to create complex alternate bargaining proposals to preserve its interests. This is a time-consuming strategy that delays the bargaining process. To make matters worse, the Districts strategists are rolling out their objections a few at a time. This delays the necessary legal review before creating alternative packages.

(4) District team members have stated that we need to be in a crisis to reach a settlement.

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Bargaining Brief 7/6/2017

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District Returns to Legal Maneuvers to Force PAT to Eliminate Workload Protections

If you were here in 2013 before PAT almost went on strike, you will be disappointed to learn that District negotiators are repeating the same aggressive legal strategy to force PAT to abandon protections in our contract.  Once again District negotiators are refusing to bargain over certain “permissive” subjects of bargaining*.  This time around, PPS Chief Negotiator Laird Cusack is demanding that our workload language must be removed from the contract because it is “permissive” and the District chooses not to bargain over this topic.  PAT disagrees with this legal analysis and may be forced to file another unfair labor practice charge for bad faith bargaining.

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Bargaining Brief - June 13, 2017

District Withdraws from Interest-Based Bargaining (IBB)

Our IBB protocols require that both sides meet with the IBB facilitator prior to withdrawing from the process. The District triggered such a meeting which was held last week. At that meeting, it became clear that the District had no interest in continuing interest-based discussions. District negotiators insisted upon leaving the collaborative process. The District stated: “Until we get to a crisis point where one side can strike and one side can implement, we won’t get to a deal.”


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Bargaining Brief 5/24/17

District No-Shows Today’s Negotiations

A Message From Your Bargaining Chair:

Dear Colleagues,

While your Bargaining Team came ready to begin another attempt to collaboratively resolve our contract negotiations, we must report that the District chose not to attend bargaining today.   In addition, our team has indications that District leadership is preparing to move out of the Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) process and will call for mediation.  PAT is deeply disappointed that after nearly two years of attempting to find a collaborative way to address the issues that are critical to teachers and students, the District appears ready to walk away and return to doing business in a way that creates constant conflict.

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