I went to pick up the kids and went into the teachers’ lounge to grab something. In the center of the table was a plate with these buttons on it.
I only recently found out that the Portland Teachers have been working without a contract since 2008. They will have another round of mediation in about a week.
The problem overall is that the teachers are sick of giving. With the contract approved in 2006, the teachers agreed to work without pay for 10 days or a 5% pay cut. This was one of their concessions in an attempt to help the district. They also agreed to eliminate some medical benefits for a savings of $100 per month per teacher, and the teachers paying more of their medical benefits. These are all things that were not widely supported by the teachers, but it was seen as necessary to keep from striking and keep the district from cutting days of the school year.
When the contract expired, the district was faced with a huge budget short fall. Instead of looking holistically at the budget for the district, the superintendent made promises that nothing would change. When I, as a parent, received one of the many emails the superintendent sent, I was shocked at her promises. Nothing would change. The budget won’t be that bad. And, the district would figure it out. Those were her messages.
Knowing what the budget numbers looked like, I was shocked. In fact, I emailed Garbanzo and asked if the money tree the district had planted had bloomed or something. I mean the gap between the budget and the funding is huge. They were looking to the teachers to give up a few more days without pay. Yeah, no one is going for it this time. The superintendent said she would look for everyone to give up days – yet, that’s hard to do when the contracts are all still active.
And, the district still is not really looking at the big picture….
I see that as a parent….being married to a teacher aside.