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School Board and Teachers Agree on New Three-Year Contract

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School Board and Teachers Agree on New Three-Year Contract
Posted on 11/15/2016
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The Portland Board of Public Education voted at its meeting Tuesday, Nov. 15, to approve a new three-year agreement with the Portland Education Association (PEA). Highlights of the contract include capping the district’s share of health care cost increases to 3 percent per year, modest increases in teachers’ annual steps, and a 1.5 percent salary increase for both the second and third year of the new agreement.

Members of the PEA voted on Nov. 14 to approve the new contract, which covers the period running from Aug. 26, 2016 to Aug. 25, 2019.

“This collective bargaining agreement values and invests in our teachers, is fair to taxpayers and provides predictable costs for the next three years,” said Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana. “It ensures that our teacher compensation remains regionally competitive, allowing us to continue to attract the best and the brightest.”

School board Chair Marnie Morrione said, “The Portland Board of Public Education is pleased to have reached a fair agreement with our teachers’ union. We recognize and appreciate teachers’ hard work, which is vital to meeting every student’s needs each day.”

PEA President Suzette Olafsen said, “The Portland Education Association is pleased to announce that educators approved the new contract by a vote of 92 percent on Monday. The new contract represents compromise and fairness. It recognizes the important work that educators do every day and their commitment to improving student achievement. The settlement of a contract for a three-year term with the district's largest bargaining unit will provide stability. I look forward to continuing to work with our new superintendent, Xavier Botana, to serve our educators, our students, and our community.” 

Botana noted that in the previous two-year contract between teachers and the district, both parties agreed to extend the teacher day to provide adequate time for collaboration, student support and other professional activities. “This new agreement retains this commitment of three hours of additional time per week while instituting procedures to ensure that the time is well spent, and it recognizes that teachers are professional, their time is valuable and they are committed to their work,” Botana said.

He also noted that the contract includes a few differential pay adjustments, mostly benchmarked to district compensation for such things as coaching/advising in volleyball, orchestra, drama and also the middle school athletic director's compensation.

Botana praised the diligence of both parties, who negotiated the agreement over the past six months. He thanked the district’s negotiating team, which included school board members Stephanie Hatzenbuehler and Laurie Davis, along with Assistant Superintendent for School Management Jeanne Crocker and Human Resources Director Barbara Stoddard. “I would also like to thank the PEA negotiating team, particularly lead negotiator and president, Sue Olafsen,” Botana said.