Portland School Board approves new 3-year contract with teachers union

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The Portland School Board has approved a new contract with teachers in the district that includes a 13% salary increase over the next three years.

The board approved the deal with the Portland Education Association at its Tuesday meeting, and the contract is already in place.

“I really want to recognize the amazing work that has happened between the two teams,” school board chair Emily Figdor said in a statement from the district. “At first when we sat down and realized there were a lot of problems, it wasn’t clear that we were going to make progress like we have.

“But we were able to step back and listen to each other and talk about the values ​​we were trying to achieve and agree on our shared values ​​and vision. By doing this, we have achieved more than we thought possible.

Kerrie Dowdy, president of the PEA, said at the meeting that she wanted to thank the “many voices of the PEA involved in this contract.” She pointed in particular to the work of Beth Romano-Arsenault, the union’s chief negotiator, who Dowdy said led negotiations for about 10 years but will now step down from that role.

“The PEA would especially like to thank Beth for her knowledge and skills as a negotiator, and for the hours and hours she has given to benefit our association,” Dowdy said.

The contract includes a salary scale and salary increases each year that total a combined increase of 13.4% from the three-year contract and total nearly $7 million.

“The pay scale investments are designed to make district teacher salaries more competitive with regional school districts, which will help Portland Public Schools attract new educators and retain existing staff,” the board said. district statement.

The educators’ working day has also been extended to now include a collective 25 minutes before and after the pedagogical working day, instead of just 15 minutes before the start of the day. Twenty of these minutes will be flexibly scheduled by school leadership teams to meet student needs before or after the school day.

The contract identifies two additional hours per month that can be scheduled for teachers to collaborate with colleagues, support students, or be used for family engagement. And it establishes leadership teams with stipends in all schools whose goal is to create a formal structure to collaborate in the advancement of teaching and learning in each building.

“The ratification of this agreement with the PEA is an extremely important step forward for us as a school district,” Superintendent Xavier Botana said in the statement. “We discussed how we can create an environment where we are one and where there is collective efficacy, and how people in the district can feel that the organization is aligned to move this shared vision forward. I believe this contract helps us do that.


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