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School bus drivers threaten to strike

Portland teachers aren’t the only ones at the bargaining table with PPS.

Portland School Bus drivers voted this week to strike, but will wait for a Dec 5 mediation session.

First Student, a subcontract of the district, has been bargaining with PPS but unable to find a compromise on wages and health insurance.

Also still at the table, seven months into contract negotiating, is the Portland Association of Teachers.

On Monday, teachers and district met for a five-hour mediation but made no new progress.

The district had proposed to establish a collaborative work group to address workload issues but the union rejected the offer.

Workload is one of the issues of contention. The two parties are also deadlocked over salary and health insurance.

The PAT offered to reduce its salary proposal by about 1 percentage point, to 8.55 percent over two years.

However, the district says, the offer still would leave the two sides about $200 million apart on salary.

The PAT made a conditional offer on health insurance and indicated they would meet with PPS later in the week to talk about the district's Health and Welfare Trust plans.

The next full mediation session is set for Dec. 5.