June 18th, 2010 5:33 pm | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Schools

Portland Superintendent Asks PPS Teachers for Wage Freeze

Teacher cuts?

Less than four months after ratifying a new teachers contract for 2010-11, Portland Public Schools wants its 3,000-plus teachers and guidance counselors to give up their 2 percent cost-of-living increases to save jobs. The district also wants the union to freeze members' ability to make salary gains based on "steps" and "columns." (Steps are increases based on years of experience. Columns are pay raises based on post-graduate educational attainment.)

The unusual ask comes as Portland Public Schools looks to fill a $19 million budget gap for next year in response to declining state support for education. Update at 3 pm: The district says the move would save $6.4 million in ongoing spending.

The Portland Association of Teachers union instead wants the district to dip further into its reserves, which stand at $33 million or about 6 percent of the district's general fund budget.

Here's the union's response to Superintendent Carole Smith's request:

Letter from Portland Association of Teachers
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