Bargaining for Racial Equity: Contract Language to Attract, Support, and Retain Educators of Color

As we look toward bargaining with PPS on our PAT/PPS contract, one of PAT's goals in the bargain is to win language that better supports educators of color in PPS. 

We want to make sure our proposals in the upcoming bargain include language moving us towards that goal, and to listen to our members of color in determining which concepts to pursue. To that end, we created a survey, which went to all our members who identify as a person of color. We asked those members to rate bargaining concepts on how effective they think they would be in attracting, supporting, and retaining educators of color.

The bargaining concepts on the survey came from our bargaining committee, our racial equity committee members, suggestions from members of color, as well as concepts being considered for coordinated bargaining efforts with other local teachers' unions in Oregon.  

The results were enlightening. It is clear that PAT members of color believe that there is a lot we can ask for in our contract to better support educators of color in PPS. The following topics received a rating of “highly effective” in attracting, retaining, and supporting educators of color, by 70% or more of the respondents: 

  • Stipends for peer support for new educators of color.
  • Stipends for any educator who is asked to use bilingualism in their job.
  • A loan-forgiveness program for PPS students of color who become PPS educators.

In addition, a number of questions received over 60% of respondents rating the idea as “highly effective.”

  • Providing educators with materials in the language of instruction.
  • Requiring that PPS develop district-wide professional development on implicit-bias, anti-racism, and culturally responsive practices.
  • Creating a stipend or extended pay for educators who run student-affinity groups during lunch or after school.
  • Strengthening current contract language that addresses the stabilization of schools with high staff turnover.

As we move closer to finally getting into the next round of bargaining, we will do all we can, with the power of the whole PAT membership, to move these issues into the contract.