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Education | News | local | School Strikes And Labor Disputes

PPS Reaction To Contract Proposal 'Baffles' Portland Teachers

Teachers and administrators in Portland Public Schools are expressing frustration in the wake of difficult bargaining Thursday.

The two sides largely agree on key issues, like health insurance and the process for hiring teachers. The district and union say the salary proposals are not far apart.

But district spokesman Robb Cowie says the teachers’ latest proposal moved backwards on some issues - like how many additional teachers to hire, to help reduce workloads. 

“It appears that there has been a divergence, and a widening gap in the positions, on some key issues,” Cowie said.

“We are really baffled,” responded Portland Association of Teachers president, Gwen Sullivan, “that they would characterize it as ‘We are moving farther apart.’ “

Sullivan argues the only new piece is that P.A.T. suggested how to fund the 175 teachers it wants. The district has proposed hiring 88 teachers.

The two sides are also split on whether to continue early retirement incentives.

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