Strike averted! Parkrose School District and teachers’ union come to agreement

It took almost all night to reach a tentative agreement – but it looks as if a settlement has indeed been reached …

Parkrose School District Superintendent Dr. Karen Fischer Gray speaks before the Parkrose Business Association.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Labor unrest has been brewing in east Multnomah County school districts, but it now looks as if it will be “business as usual” at Parkrose schools – instead of schools shutting down for at least three days starting April 25, as threatened.

On April 20, Parkrose School District Superintendent Dr. Karen Fischer Gray announced, “In the very early hours of this morning, the Parkrose School District and the Parkrose Faculty (PAF) Association reached a tentative agreement.”

It took a lot of hard work to reach settlement, Superintendent Gray admits. East Portland News file photo

The “hard work” to which Gray referred were labor negotiations with the Parkrose Faculty Association, regarding the contract that ran out in July of last year – and a Strike Authorization Vote passed by a majority of their 189 certified employees on April 11.

Heading into their sixth State-mediated round of negotiations on April 19, Gray had stated, “The District and PFA have been bargaining for almost a year, for many hours. On April 16, we met for another 14 hours in our fifth mediation session. While the parties seemed to agree on a majority of the workload issues, the sticking point continues to be salary and benefits.”

Somehow, it appears, the sticking point was resolved. Details of the contract arrived at after the all-night session are being finalized, Gray said, “But we are very grateful for all the hard work of everyone involved and the great support the community has given this school district.”

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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