Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden issued the following statement, urging the Portland Association of Teachers and the Portland Public Schools Board of Education to continue bargaining in good faith amid the first-ever teachers’ strike in the district:
“Over the last three years, our educators have strived to maintain a quality, equitable education program for our children through the enormous difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been underpaid and overstressed, and we strongly affirm our support for Portland’s educators exercising their right to strike for an equitable collective bargaining agreement.
“At the same time, we urge leadership from both the Portland Association of Teachers and Portland Public Schools to continue working in good faith toward an agreement that addresses a number of key issues, including class size, salaries and benefits, safety in the classroom, stronger equity programs, and expanded services for early learning and special education.
“With deeply committed, skilled educators and a dedicated Board of Education and administration, we are confident both sides can reach a contract that ensures students are appropriately served, educators are fairly compensated, and community priorities are honored for years to come.”