Portland Police Association executive director Daryl Turner announced Monday morning that the police union and the city will enter private mediation over its contract.
“The PPA’s bargaining team will continue to diligently work toward a mutually agreeable contract. We look forward to the mediation process to achieve that end,” Turner said in a statement. “The city should understand the need to reach finality on a new contract. Pressure breeds progress and results.”
As WW previously reported, both parties are legally entitled to request private mediation after 150 days of bargaining.
The City Attorney’s Office said in a statement Monday that PPA filed for mediation this morning, and that the city is “disappointed” that open bargaining will no longer continue, “as we believe the bargaining process was working well.”
“The parties discussed many significant issues, and we were engaged and finding places of agreement, as well as areas needing further discussion,” the City Attorney’s Office said. “We will continue to bargain in good faith and to provide as much transparency as is allowed by law.”
According to the bargaining website hosted by the city, the parties have reached tentative agreements on about 30 of the 68 articles in the contract.
Related: Just 17 Days Remain Until the City and the Portland Police Association Can Demand Private Mediation to Hash out Their Contract
The parties haven’t yet reached consensus on several big-ticket items, such as Article 20, which outlines discipline procedures and mandates that if the city must discipline or reprimand an officer, “it shall be done in a manner that is least likely to embarrass the officer before other officers or the public.”
During the final bargaining session on June 2, the city proposed a new discipline guide for reprimanding officers. And on April 21, the police union proposed bargaining body-worn cameras into the contract.
Those subjects of bargaining, and others, will now be negotiated in private.
Mediation takes place for a minimum of 15 days, according to state labor law. After that period, if both parties still can’t reach a consensus, they arrive at what’s called an “impasse.” From there, the parties can initiate arbitration, where an arbitrator issues a final and binding decision, siding with the “last best offer” of only one party.