PPS proposes plan for teachers union - KPTV - FOX 12

PPS proposes plan for teachers union

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Contract talks between Portland teachers and the school district continue just as the current contract is about to expire.

Officials with Portland Public Schools presented the teachers union with two new proposals in hopes of reaching an agreement.

The school board is hoping the new proposal will settle contract differences between both sides.

Under the new proposal, the district will provide a 1 percent cost of living raise for its union teachers, every year for the next four years.

The district also said it will increase the amount it pays in teacher salaries by $13.5 million over the next two years.

School board members said that keeps the pay in line with other salaries of metro area school districts.

Under this plan, everything stays within its budget and the district wouldn't have to cut positions.

"We know we have a lot to talk about with pat to meet these goals and we know it's important for our schools and our teachers to come together to negotiate an agreement that works in the best interests of our students," said Matt Morton, a Director for the Portland Public School Board.

The district said it would also restructure how much it pays for health insurance so that in the end many teachers would end up paying less.

The Portland Association of Teachers released a statement late this afternoon in response to the district's press conference on Friday morning:

 As educators, we are deeply committed to the success of every student. Our goal and hope throughout our current contract negotiations with the Portland Public Schools (PPS) district has been to work together to create the Schools Portland Students Deserve.

Our students deserve a rich curriculum to educate the whole child. They deserve equity in all aspects of their education. Our students deserve reasonable class sizes, wrap-around services and a common-sense approach to testing that doesn't take away from valuable classroom instruction. Portland students also deserve professional educators who have the time, training and support they need to help them achieve.

As educators, we all know that our students learn better when we collaborate and work together. That's why we are disappointed that the PPS School Board has chosen to attempt to bargain our contract through the media rather than collaborate with educators. To date, none of the members of the school board or the district's leadership has participated or even attended a bargaining session.

Even so, we remain committed to working together to find solutions. We hope the school board will take us up on our offer to sit down together so we can identify mutual interests to move forward.

As with every proposal, we will give PPS' recent proposal the consideration it deserves. In order to do the right thing for students, as we work toward our goal of resolving the contract, we need to take the time needed to be thoughtful and thorough in our approach.

Both sides are schedule to meet next week to begin the negotiation process.

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