Portland teachers say they are “shocked” at the decision by Portland Public Schools to declare an impasse Wednesday.
The two sides have been in mediation for more than a month. The declaration of impasse requires both sides to submit final offers within seven days.
The district says “impasse” helped the two sides reach a deal three years ago, and could have the same result this time.
Portland Association of Teachers president, Gwen Sullivan, says it’s not a positive step.
“This brought us, I would say, to a much more dangerous place — moving our city and our schools that much closer to a potential strike,” according to Sullivan.
Sullivan says the likelihood of a strike depends on what the district proposes in upcoming bargaining sessions.
The district says the union’s proposals on class size and teacher workloads would add more than $200 million to the budget.
Union leaders say their proposal is a response to the district’s effort to remove workload limits that were in the contract that expired last June.
Significant differences remain around health insurance, salary, and rules for transferring teachers.