Murmurs: Burgerville Workers Union Gets Icy Reception

In other news: Chief deputies seek protection from Sheriff Dan Staton.

Chief Deputies Ask County for Protection From Sheriff Dan Staton

Two of the three chief deputies for Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton sent a letter May 19 to the county seeking protection from Staton in a pending county human resources investigation. "[Tim] Moore and [Jason] Gates have direct knowledge of Sheriff Staton's workplace conduct," says the letter from Holly Lloyd, the deputies' attorney. "Although they will cooperate with the investigation, Mr. Moore and Mr. Gates fear retaliation from Sheriff Staton. Sheriff Staton has engaged in increasingly erratic behavior, has threatened loss of employment to each member of his Command Staff on multiple occasions, and has also personally threatened to personally sue each member." The letter follows calls for Staton's resignation from two sheriff's office unions. Staton's spokesman said the sheriff had not yet seen the letter. County spokesman Dave Austin says the county doesn't comment on pending investigations.

Franklin's Advanced Scholar Program Loses Founder

Since teacher Susan Anglada Bartley helped start the Advanced Scholar program at Franklin High School in 2007, graduation rates have soared, particularly among black students ("Starting a College Stampede," WW, Jan. 28, 2014). Now Bartley is leaving Franklin and the program she championed. She'll transfer to Grant High School next fall, returning to the classroom full-time. "We all need an opportunity to grow and change," she said, declining to discuss her reasons for leaving Franklin. Portland Public Schools spokeswoman Christine Miles says the Advanced Scholar program will continue. Franklin officials "are working to name a replacement," Miles says.

Burgerville Warns Employees Not to Join Union

A newly formed Burgerville Workers Union has gotten an icy reception from management. On May 6, all Burgerville employees were given copies of a letter by their general managers signed by Jeff Harvey, Burgerville's CEO. According to union organizer Luis Brennan, he and his fellow employees were told not to talk about the letter at work. "We have a special culture at Burgerville," the letter reads, "which could be greatly changed by bringing a union into our organization." The letter was the first major pushback for the new union, which was in the planning stages for months but became publicly visible only in late April. The union's initial demand is a $5 raise for all hourly workers, and it has held marches across Portland and delivered messages to Burgerville's Vancouver headquarters. (On May 14, the union gained the endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders.) Burgerville chief cultural officer Jack Graves tells WW the company will not interfere with employee decisions: "We respect their right to support or not support a union."