PPS Mediation Update - October 25, 2023

October 25

Today, we met for our seventh mediation session with the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT). Our day was very similar to last Tuesday. We convened at 10am. At 3:45pm, PAT’s bargaining team met with the mediators to share its counter to the proposal we made 8 days ago. We received that response at 5:15pm and turned around a counterproposal by 8:40pm. We will meet again tomorrow.

We need our community and PAT’s bargaining team to recognize that we are not unwilling to accept their proposal: we are unable. Even the proposal we have made will require at least $45 million in structural budget cuts over the next three years.

In stark contrast, PAT’s proposal would require $277 million in cuts over the next three years. This is without including the over 500 new educators we would need to hire under the union’s proposed hard class caps. $277 million in cuts would devastate programs, services, and staffing levels. Class sizes would inevitably rise, and the quality of students’ educational experience would decrease. The benefits of the union’s proposal do not outweigh the losses. We know it would harm our students in both the short and long term.

We will meet again on October 26, 30, and 31. We are also ready and willing to meet whenever we can in addition to those dates. We are at the bargaining table and ready to stay as long as it takes to find a sustainable solution that keeps schools open.


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