Teachers and Portland Public Schools Reach Tentative Agreement
A possible agreement was made between Portland Public Schools and the Portland Association of Teachers on Sunday evening. The kids will be back on Monday.
More than 40,000 Portland kids will resume classes on Monday, following a stormy back-and-forth between the district and union bargaining teams and more than three weeks of absence from the classroom.
A proposed agreement between Portland Public Schools and the Portland Association of Teachers effectively puts an end to the teachers’ strike that has prevented classes from starting since November 1.
PPS sent a letter to families on Sunday afternoon, stating that in addition to the school board’s approval of the entire contract at their meeting on Tuesday, union members must endorse the provisions. But there will be a two-hour delay on Monday when pupils return.
Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero and the PPS school board wrote in the letter, “We are relieved to have our students returning to school and know that being out of school for the last three weeks — missing classmates, teachers, and learning — has been hard for everyone.”
The district wrote in the letter, “We thank our students, families, and community for your patience and perseverance through these protracted negotiations.” “We also wish to convey our sincere gratitude to our educators, who serve as the foundation of our district and improve the lives of our students.”
According to PAT, educators have reached a “historic tentative agreement” that includes significant gains for class size, protected planning time, student mental health care, building health and safety measures, and cost of living increases.
Tentative deal reached between teachers and Portland Public Schools:
— Elizabeth Miller (@llmiller12) November 27, 2023
A approximately 13.8% cost-of-living increase is outlined in the draft agreement over a three-year period. PAT had recommended more than 20%, whereas the district had initially proposed just under 11%.
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The contract also expands funds for addressing building problems, access to mental health support teams for children across the district, and dedicated planning time, as stated in releases from PAT and PPS.
PAT President Angela Bonilla stated, “This contract is a watershed moment for Portland students, families, and educators,” “Educators walked picket lines alongside families, students, and allies — and because of that, our schools are getting the added investment they need.”
According to district authorities, the deal will come with a three-year cost of roughly $175 million. According to them, this will require “significant cuts” to be made in the spring budget process for the next academic year.
Guerrero and the board also mentioned that in order to advocate in Salem going forward and to support a property tax levy that is scheduled to be renewed in May and directly supports PPS educators, they will also look to the Portland community.