Portland teachers vote to stand up for their students
Overwhelming majority supports authorizing strike
Tonight, nearly 3,000 Portland teachers voted, by an overwhelming majority, to call for a legal strike in order to support the schools Portland students deserve.
As a result of the vote, the Portland Association of Teachers will issue a strike notice to the Employment Relations Board (ERB) and the Portland Public Schools District calling for a strike beginning Thursday, February 20, 2014.
“No teacher ever wants to go on strike, we want to be in classrooms with our students,” explained PAT president Gwen Sullivan. “But Portland teachers are united and resolved to stand up for our students’ learning conditions. It’s time to move this to a conclusion so that we can have a contract that is fair for teachers and good for students.”
Portland teachers have been negotiating for 10 months for a contract that:
- results in meaningful class size relief,
- does not force teachers to teach to the test,
- supports the students and schools who need it most, and
- provides fair compensation after years of sacrifice.
Teachers and the district currently have a mediation session scheduled Sunday, February 9th. The PAT bargaining team has asked the district to meet sooner, offering to be available Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The district has not agreed to any meeting times prior to the Sunday mediation session.
“This vote shows that teachers are serious about addressing the growing crisis in our schools,” said bargaining chair Bill Wilson, a teacher at Grant High School. “We hope that Superintendent Smith and School Board leaders understand this and will come to the bargaining table as soon as possible prepared to make meaningful progress toward addressing the priorities of teachers, parents and students.”