May 2, 2008 Volume 109 Number 9

Classified employees ratify four-year contract at Portland Schools

The Portland Federation of Teachers and Classified Employees Local 111 ratified a new four-year contract with Portland Public Schools. The vote, held April 9, was by a 94 percent margin, said Local 111 President Tom Smith.

The 1,360-member unit represents teachers, classroom paraprofessionals, secretaries, clerks, occupational and physical therapists and assistants, campus monitors, community agents and driver’s education instructors employed at Portland Public Schools.

Local 111 is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers-Oregon, AFL-CIO.

The Portland School Board ratified the contract at its meeting April 28.

Under the agreement, PFTCE employees will receive a 2.5 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) retroactive to July 1, 2007; an additional 2.5 percent COLA on July 1, 2008, plus step increases of between 2.5 to 5 percent for eligible employees not at the top of their wage scale on July 1, 2008.

On July 1, 2008, employees also will receive a one-time “longevity bonus” of 1.5 percent.

This means that every employee would receive, at a minimum, an increase in base wages of 5 percent in the next four months, as well as a significant lump sum for retro pay.

With the step increases and longevity pay, every employee —depending on pay scale — will receive a total wage increase of between 6.5 and 10 percent.

The school district’s monthly health care premium contribution will increase by $46 per month (to $826) in October 2008, and an additional $50 a month in October, 2009.

The agreement includes a wage re-opener to cover the final years of the contract. The school district will conduct a classification study in early 2009 that will be considered in negotiating wages and benefits for 2009-2011.

“The participation of our members and supporters — marching on informational picket lines in the freezing rain and howling wind — made a huge impression on the school board,” Smith said. “It made me feel just sheer pride in being a part of PFTCE.”

With ratification, Portland Public Schools has contracts in place with all bargaining units except the teachers. The contract with the Portland Association of Teachers, which represents close to 3,000 teachers, counselors, school psychologists, and librarians, expires June 30.

PAT is an affiliate of the Oregon Education Association.


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