PORTLAND — One of the last rounds of talks will take place today between the Portland Public School District and the Portland Association of Teachers. Contract talks have been going on since April, 2013. PAT wants to negotiate a 2 year deal. Talks made significant progress last week but broke off after a marathon bargaining session.
The District countered the last PAT offer on Thursday January 9th. ”We hope to move froward from there,” said Gwen Sullivan President of the Portland Association of teachers. Talks are getting down to the wire making students and parents nervous. ”We just want them to continue to talk it out.” comments Chris Lowe of Parents Stand with Teachers.
Students and the community plan a rally for 5:30 PM tonight in front of School District offices at 501 North Dixon. They all plan to fill the auditorium for the School Board meeting at 6:00 PM. The School Board can impose the last contract offer going back to the time of impasse in November. If it does that it could force a strike. Teachers would have to give the district 10 day notice before walking off the job.