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As Portland and Its Police Union Enter Mediation, Over 40 Topics Remain Unresolved

Among them: body cameras.

The city and the Portland Police Association are slated to enter mediation for their collective bargaining agreement on July 28, according to Oregon’s Employment Relations Board. The process, which lasts for a minimum of 15 days in accordance with state labor laws, happens behind closed doors and out of the public’s view.

The police union and the city initially began the bargaining process in early 2020 prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. After nearly a yearlong pause, they resumed negotiations in January—only reaching consensus on about 30 items of the 68-article contract before the 150-day clock ran out that allowed one or both parties to initiate mediation.

On June 14—the 151st day—the PPA initiated the closed-door process.

An “unresolved issues” list filed that day with the state, obtained by WW, lists over 40 topics that remain unresolved between the two parties, including policy relating to body cameras, the city’s proposed discipline guide for officers, and Independent Police Review, which Portlanders voted to dissolve and replace with a new citizen-led board.

If the city and the police union can’t reach an agreement during mediation, they land at an “impasse.” From there, the parties can initiate arbitration, where an arbitrator will issue a final and binding decision that sides with the “last best offer” of only one party.