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Portland teachers union reaches tentative deal

After almost a month on strike, the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) reached a tentative agreement with Portland Public Schools. Students went back to school Monday but will make up 11 missed days throughout the year.  
The tentative agreement includes a 13.8% cost-of-living increase over three years, creates new class-size thresholds, increases planning time, and provides additional support for mental and behavioral health. At the end of the three-year contract, more than 50% of district teachers will be making over $100,000. 

The school district said the new contract will cost almost $175 million over three years. 
The strike, which began November 1, was led by PAT president, Angela Bonilla. 
Bonilla, who was elected last year, has been a controversial figure throughout the strike, even with other unions.  
During the strike, union members rallied outside the homes and workplaces of school board members, as well as the Oregon Convention Center. 

A leader of another top union in Oregon who asked to remain anonymous said it isn’t surprising that PAT chose to act aggressively. They explained, “PAT is to the left of OEA [Oregon Education Association].”  
Former Oregon state Senator Mark Hass explained that PAT’s more extreme rhetoric is new, “I think the lobbyists and leadership are different from rank-and-file teachers,” Hass said. “They have become much more militant—and I think PAT is more militant than the average Oregon labor group.”  

Isabel Blank

Isabel Blank is Communications Director at Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector employees offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2021, Isabel worked in media relations at Travelers Insurance and held government affairs and communications roles with Yankee Institute. She has a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish, both from the University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!). Isabel loves Crossfit and supporting her local Connecticut breweries.