MEMO BLOG Memo Calendar Memo Pad Business Memos Loaves & Fishes Letters Home
Districts, employees move to state mediation
Portland Plan gets east Portland hearing, testimony
Festival of Lights: Bringing Joy to the World
East Portland gains new mini-U.R. Districts
High school Fall Sports Round Up
Neighborhood Association not supporting infill plans

About the MEMO
MEMO Archives
MEMO Advertising
MEMO Country (Map)
MEMO Web Neighbors
MEMO Staff

© 2011 Mid-county MEMO
Terms & Conditions
Districts, employees move to state mediation

Tim Curran
Mid-county Memo

In a show of solidarity, area union members and volunteers joined Parkrose teachers and employees picketing the school district. From left, North Clackamas School District teacher Deborah Barnes, eight-year-old Tori Garrett, and Sena Norton, Boring Middle School teacher and Garrett's stepmother.
Mid-county Memo photos/Tim Curran
Parkrose classified employees, also working without a contract, were also a part of the informational picket held last month. From left, Prescott Elementary Education Assistant Karen Archuleta, Oregon School Employees Association organizer Jedd Rivera, Prescott Elementary Education Assistant Aleesha Lowe, Prescott Elementary Education Assistant Jaime Archuleta, Prescott Elementary teacher Wenna Jacobson, Prescott Elementary Education Assistant Judy Kirsling.
Two of three Mid-county school districts - Reynolds and Parkrose - are seeking state mediation help in reaching agreement on their teachers contracts; classified employees in Parkrose also.

The third district, David Douglas, has been negotiating since June, but is not headed to mediation - yet.

Districts are struggling economically. The recession is having similar effects on school districts and their employees. With less money coming in from the state, districts want no salary advancement, no increase in compensation, no increase in professional development money and no tuition money for advanced education.

Reynolds teachers have asked for a raise equal to the consumer price index plus two percent in the contract's first year and an additional 2 percent next school year. The first mediation session is scheduled for Jan. 5.

The district said the money the teachers are asking for, nearly $11 million dollars would come at the cost of teacher layoffs, fewer school days, and more classrooms that are crowded. The union claims the district has the money for the raises.

In Parkrose, teachers and classified employees have been working without a contract since July 1. In the interim, negotiations between sides have failed to come up with an agreement.

Parkrose Faculty Association Vice President Jerry Landreth understands the district is cash strapped and there is less money to go around. “We believe there is less money coming in, but we're waiting to see what the audit results are so we can confirm the financial circumstances the district is saying it is in,” said Landreth. The PFA wants the results of annual state mandated audits before its scheduled mediation session on Jan. 10.

The district wants a three-year deal, and rejects any salary increases other than the automatic pay raises based on years of service and education level achieved.

Since teachers with 11 years or more of service are maxed out on the step increases in salary, the teacher's last proposal to the district asked for no raises the first year and a modest increase in the second year of the two-year deal for all 179 district teachers. The PFA offer included ten furlough days. The district asked the teachers to pick the days, but the union demurred, preferring to negotiate the contract in toto, not piecemeal.

Under state labor law, once mediation begins, parties must stay in the process for at least 15 days. Typically, there are one or two sessions within this period. After 15 days, parties may continue, or either party can declare an impasse. At that point, districts can impose their final offer, and the union can vote to strike after a 30-day-cooling-off period. Teacher strikes are rare. Parties usually settle during the mediation process.

In addition to the informational picket held on Nov. 23, Parkrose teachers, volunteers and other Oregon Education Association members picketed the district office at its November board meeting.

The PFA and OEA are also planning a pre-picket rally the day of the December board meeting, Monday, Dec. 12. When the story was being assembled, Parkrose superintendent Karen Fischer Gray was on vacation and unable to respond to a request for an interview.
Memo Calendar | Memo Pad | Business Memos | Loaves & Fishes | Letters | About the MEMO
MEMO Advertising | MEMO Archives | MEMO Web Neighbors | MEMO Staff | Home