Closed-Door Mediation Between Police Union and City Continues Into Fifth Session

Contract negotiations resumed in January after a nearly yearlong delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police officers in riot gear.

The Portland Police Association met with the city of Portland on Sept. 14 for their fifth mediation session to hash out a collective bargaining agreement, according to Oregon’s Employment Relations Board.

The first closed-door session was held over 45 days ago, on July 28, which puts the parties well past the minimum 15 calendar days required before either can declare an “impasse” and enter arbitration.

In other words, if the city and the police union can’t resolve their differences, either may call in an arbitrator at any time to select the “last best offer” of only one party.

As of Sept. 3, the city and union had reached tentative agreements on at least six articles of the contract, WW has learned through a public records request.

The items they agree on include a new 90-day requirement for the city to investigate a PPA member’s complaint of underpayment, and changing the designation of PPA members from “special duty” to “association leave” when they are “attending union conventions or conferences” as “official delegates” of the police union.