Report: Portland teachers set strike vote

Report: Portland teachers set strike vote

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 6:52 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 30 at 6:02 PM

Poll:
Do you support a Portland teacher's strike?

PORTLAND -- The Portland Associations of Teachers will hold a strike authorization vote next Wednesday, meaning they could walk off the job 10 days after that, according to The Oregonian.

The group sent out an email Wednesday evening.

"While none of us wants to strike, we are resolved to do whatever it takes to halt the continued erosion of the teaching and learning conditions in our schools," the email read.

If approved, the step does not mean there will definitely be a strike. State labor law requires the 10-day waiting period after a strike vote.  A settlement could be reached before then. A negotiating session has been scheduled for Friday.

The same Wednesday email expressed hope that significant progress could be made on Friday, the newspaper reported.

The district, via HR director Sean Murray, replied to the strike vote with the following statement:

“We are disappointed that PAT has taken a step closer toward a strike by scheduling a strike vote. A strike by PAT would be devastating to Portland’s students and families. A strike by PAT would undermine Portland’s schools, which are now gaining stability after years of state funding cuts.

"For more than 10 months, PPS has been working to reach an agreement with PAT. PPS has refrained from taking any immediate unilateral action to impose working conditions on our teachers. We continue to stay true to our commitment to reaching a settlement at the table. Tomorrow we will be in mediation with PAT, and we will continue to negotiate for an agreement that is in the best interests of Portland’s students.” 

Background: PPS adds teachers amid contract talks

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