PPS Lowballs Rehired Custodians

by Steve, October 15th, 2007

After being forced to rehire the custodians they illegally fired, Portland Public Schools has decided to try to cut their pay by nearly 30%.

In negotiations for a contract that expired June 30, PPS proposes reducing starting wages from $14 an hour to $10.70 and forcing employees to absorb future increases in health care costs. This is especially insulting, since many of the rehired custodians left other jobs to return to PPS based on the current wages.

This is an obvious pattern in PPS labor negotiations.

At the school board meeting last week, Linda Hush-Loomis, the wife of a PPS custodian, testified “My husband left a job paying nearly $13 per hour, the cut would leave him around $11 per hour.”

PPS just approved a bond to payoff the approximately $15 million settlement with the illegally fired custodians. Now they’re using the same tactics that eventually led to the illegal firings in the first place. Does PPS have no institutional memory? Or are they just ethically bankrupt?

There is a petition (32KB Microsoft Word document) available to print and gather signatures if you want to show your support of these hard-working, under-appreciated employees.