PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Bargaining is still underway between Portland Public Schools and the Portland Association of Teachers on Thursday. The main issues involve pay, more planning time and smaller class sizes.
PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero, who is part of the bargaining team for the school district, commented on the current situation to KOIN 6 News.
“I think today represents some significant dialogue, our teams are still in conversation right now. We’ve covered some important topics of mutual interest,” said Guerrero. “We’re hoping that we’re getting some real momentum and hopefully the end is in sight.”
On whether an agreement has been reached on any of the critical issues involved, Guerrero says that teacher planning time has been their main focus at the table.
“We agree that planning time matters is a longtime teacher and educator, you want to be prepared for your students,” stated Guerrero. “You have to balance that with… I think what our families want is to also make sure is that our students have sufficient instructional time in class to engage in teaching and learning.”
In response to the picketing occurring outside both his and the district chief of staff’s home, Guerrero called those kinds of tactics “a distraction.”
“It’s unfortunate and unacceptable, frankly, when our neighbors and our families well-being is compromised,” he noted. “But we’re not going to be distracted by that. Our resolve is in making sure we get our students back to school as soon as possible by staying at the table.”
As to the likelihood of school on Monday, Guerrero said that he hopes working through the weekend will yield good news for PPS families.
There will be more bargaining on Friday when schools would have been closed anyway for Veterans Day.