In an historic vote, members of the Portland Federation of School Professionals (PFSP – AFT Local #111), the union representing 1,350 classified employees at Portland Public Schools, rejected ratification of their new tentative agreement and are heading back to the bargaining table.
“Our members are frustrated and exhausted,” said John MacDuffee, PFSP President. “They want a living wage, safe working conditions, and a higher quality of life. These are the same workers who were there on the front lines during the pandemic, showing up every day to support students – both in the classroom and behind the scenes - even when staffing shortages put them in harm’s way. The result of this vote indicates there is a lot of work still to do to improve the working conditions of our members."
PORTLAND, OR—On Tuesday, June 21, the Portland School Board approved a budget for 2016-2017 that includes up to $250,000 to make free lead testing available to any Portland Public School (PPS) school worker who requests it.
This new funding comes from an agreement made between the district and leaders of four unions representing school workers at PPS over the course of two meetings
“Unions stand up for workers even if they’re not in the bargaining unit … technically.”
This was the mindset of Southwestern Oregon Community College Classified Federation (SWOCCCF), local 3972, President Vickie Brumit, and the rest of the local’s classified employees when they challenged the classification of five test proctors at their college.
For years, the college hid the proctors from the unit claiming they were not classified employees and not subject to the union contract.
Sitton Elementary School in North Portland is one of 21 schools nationwide to receive a $5,000 AFL-CIO Adopt-A-School grant. During a presentation to the school, Diane Newton-Prior, one of the Local 111 (PFSP) members who work at the school, expressed her gratitude to the AFL-CIO on behalf of classified staff and teachers.
“We are very honored and will put the money to good use,” said Newton-Prior, who is a library assistant at the school. “At a low income school, every penny counts, and there are many ways we can use the grant.”
AFL-CIO Adopt-a-School grant program is designed to provide