• NEGOTIATIONS UPDATES:

    Portland Association of Teachers and PPS Collective Bargaining Agreement

    PPS is currently bargaining with the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) for a full contract review. The current PAT-PPS Collective Bargaining Agreement expires June  2023.

    The parties have agreed to meet for in-person sessions that will be live-streamed. The Portland Association of Teachers will live-stream each bargaining session, which you can access here. 

  • Message from Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero

    Dear PPS Families and Students,

    We believe all students can learn, grow, and achieve. We aspire to graduate compassionate, critical thinkers who can collaborate to solve problems and lead a more socially-just world. Every day, our work at PPS centers on our students' voices and our commitment to upholding racial equity and social justice in our actions. 

    We recognize our excellent teachers are at the frontline of this work. Their dedication to our vision inspires me. They enter the classroom believing in the brilliance of every student. PPS graduates often recall their teachers' impact long after they’ve left our classrooms. 

    Because teachers are also employees, we renegotiate their contract with the teachers’ union, the Portland Association Teachers (PAT). As community members, we want to ensure that you know that process and the priorities we bring into those conversations.

    In the current process, which began on October 12, our PPS Collective Bargaining Team will focus on increasing daily opportunities in every classroom to boost student success and achievement. Our priorities will guide us to:

    1. Provide professional learning, coaching, and support for teachers and leaders that is robust, effective, and aligned to our school district’s instructional framework, to better ensure consistent and effective instructional practices;

    2. Close opportunity gaps, improve learning outcomes, and meet the School Board’s defined student achievement goals, especially for Black, Native American and students of color, and students with disabilities.

    We know it takes a combination of excellent educational programming, a coherent set of teaching and learning strategies, and positive and supportive conditions within a school community to increase student achievement and outcomes. 

    We know our educators can impact the trajectories of our students. Our shared responsibility is to build a school system where a culture of excellence exists, where students feel cared about, their brilliance is showcased, and outstanding teaching and learning happens. I look forward to working with our teachers and external partners to make this a reality for all our students. 

    As with all of our labor negotiations, I will follow the progress of our talks with PAT. Along with Deputy Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Proctor, we will provide guidance and support to the District’s collective bargaining team. Our shared goal is to arrive at a tentative agreement that our community, school board, and educators will fully consider and approve. 

    Sincerely, 

    Guadalupe Guerrero

    Superintendent



  • Bargaining Session Updates

    After each bargaining session, PPS will update the community on the progress toward an agreement with the Portland Association of Teachers.

  • January 10

    The Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) was scheduled to present a counter proposal on Article 9 to the District’s counter proposal from December. They did not do this, but instead posed questions about the District’s counter proposal from December.

     

    The discussion focused on two areas:

    • Existing contract language requiring mandatory minimum five-day suspensions in certain situations (9.4.14)

    • Additional language proposed by PAT, which would establish subjective environmental safety reasons for why any “professional educator may refuse to work…”  (9.15)

     

    Five-Day Mandatory Minimum Punishments

    PAT’s bargaining team argued that the existing contract’s mandatory minimum suspensions should be kept because those days are an opportunity to come up with a plan to address a disruptive student’s behavior.

     

    We strongly disagree. As we’ve said before, these punishments stigmatize students, lack context, and are a stark departure from our shared commitment to restorative justice. These punishments mirror the flawed mandatory minimum punishments which have failed so many youth in our criminal justice system – which is why the next five largest districts in Oregon do not have such language in their contracts. Finally, we contend that the decision to suspend should be a rare response to a student’s behavior and not a go-to response when adults need time to address the student’s needs. We owe it to students and families to address these types of situations without losing learning opportunities.

     

    Environmental Safety Language

    PAT’s bargaining team defended their proposed contract language, which would outline environmental reasons why any individual “professional educator may refuse to work…”  The proposed language would expand those situations beyond the existing contractual safeguards, which allows for such action when there is a threat of substantial injury or significant health hazard.

     

    We share PAT’s core goal – to keep our students safe and healthy – and we know that many PPS learning spaces need modernization, either for their age or because of the changing climate. We are in fact working to modernize and update all of our schools, in part thanks to the investments of our voters in school bonds. We can’t keep students out of school while that work happens though.

     

    But we struggle to understand how we could keep schools operational with the language PAT would add. It would allow an educator to effectively shut down a classroom over subjective standards of cleanliness. Some larger facilities projects – some of which are crucial, we agree – can only be made without students around or render whole buildings inoperable for long periods of time. The language they want to add could regularly shut down classrooms and leave students without spaces to learn.  As we work to achieve the mutual goal of safe and clean working and learning spaces, we must find solutions that don’t result in a loss of instructional time for students.

     

    You can watch the bargaining session online here

     

    Comments (-1)
  • December 13

     

    This afternoon, PPS met with the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) to share our counter-proposal to Article 9. You can review our written proposal here

     

    The district remains resolute in its goal:  To keep our students engaged in learning, and in safe and supportive classroom environments. This includes:

    • Creating reasonable and trauma-informed standards

    • Reorienting PPS’ student discipline toward research-based restorative practices

    • Removing mandatory minimum sentencing rules

    Unfortunately, PAT’s original proposal includes language that:

    • creates a separate time-out room to “remove a student from class” at the discretion of the professional educator (9.4.1 - 9.4.6)

    • preserves a mandatory minimum five-day suspension for a threat/causing fear of harm and mandatory expulsion for physical attack/harm (9.4.14)

    • formalizes highly-subjective reasons why a “professional educator may refuse to work…”  (9.15)

    We will reconvene for our next bargaining session with PAT on January 10, 2023, from 1 pm to 4 pm.

    As part of our collective bargaining, we expect PAT to present their full contract proposal on January 30 from 9 am to 1pm. PPS will present our full proposal (minus the economics) on January 31 from 1 to 4pm. 

     

    Comments (-1)
  • November 16

    This afternoon, the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) continued its presentation about its proposed changes to Article 9. You can review PAT’s written proposal here

     PAT’s proposal includes language that:

    • emphasizes the importance of restorative justice and a multi-tiered system of support (9.3)

    • creates a separate time-out room to “remove a student from class” at the discretion of the professional educator (9.4.1 - 9.4.6)

    • preserves mandatory minimums of a five-day suspension for a threat/causing fear of harm and mandatory expulsion for physical attack/harm (9.4.14)

    • suggests language related to environmental safety,  proposing subjective reasons for why any individual “professional educator may refuse to work…”  (9.15)

    The district remains resolute in its goal: to keep our students engaged in learning in safe and supportive classrooms.  The preservation of mandatory discipline minimums is unfortunate and a key contributing factor to PPS’ disproportionate discipline and exclusion of Black, Native, and students of color from classroom learning. We will reconvene for the fourth bargaining session with PAT in December (date to be determined) to discuss this disagreement and respond to the union bargaining team’s proposed language.  

    You can watch today’s bargaining session online here.  

    Comments (-1)
  • November 1

    This afternoon, the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) presented its proposal for changes to Article 9. You can review PAT’s written proposal here

    Highlights of PAT’s proposal include language:

    • On the importance of restorative justice and a multi-tiered system of support (9.3)

    • That creates a separate room to “remove a student from class” at the discretion of the professional educator (9.4.1 - 9.4.6)

    • That preserves mandatory minimums of a five-day suspension for a threat/causing fear of harm and mandatory expulsion for physical attack/harm (9.4.14)

    • On environmental safety (9.15)

    We will reconvene for the third bargaining session with PAT on November 16 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm to continue reviewing the PAT proposal.

    You can watch today’s bargaining session online: Part I, Part II.

    Comments (-1)
  • October 26

    Next Tuesday (November 1), PPS and PAT will convene for the second bargaining session. At this meeting, PPS expects PAT to respond with a counterproposal to our proposed changes to Article 9, “Discipline and Safety.” 

    Below are two letters to the PPS community that further explain the District’s position on our proposed changes:

    Comments (-1)
  • October 12

    This morning we had a productive first bargaining session with PAT. The focus was on Article 9, "Discipline and Safety."

    PPS presented three main elements to PAT:

    • Discipline Disparities by Race at PPS
    • Current issues in the contract language, 

    • Proposed changes to the contract language, including:

      • Creating reasonable and trauma-informed standards

      • Reorienting PPS’ student discipline towards research-based restorative practices

      • Removing mandatory sentencing rules. 

    We will reconvene for the second bargaining session with PAT on November 1, 2022, from 2 pm to 5 pm. PPS expects PAT to respond with a counterproposal at this session on Article 9, “Discipline and Safety.” 

    Comments (-1)

PPS Collective Bargaining Team

Dr. Jon Franco
Chief of Schools
Dr. Renard Adams
Chief of Research, Assessment, and Accountability
Jey Buno
Interim Chief of Student Support Services
Raddy Lurie
Area Senior Director for CSI, TSI Schools
Peyton Chapman
Principal, Lincoln High School
Genevieve Rough
Senior Director, Employee and Labor Relations
Kate Wilkinson
Assistant General Counsel
Brian Hungerford
Attorney
Nadia Sanchez Rivera
Human Resources Associate

Bargaining Advisors

Guadalupe Guerrero
Superintendent
Dr. Cheryl Proctor
Deputy Superintendent, Instruction and School Communities