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Thu Jan 14, 2021, 11:57 PM

Portland's Top Proposals in Contract Negotiations Put Police Union on Defense

After nearly a year delay, city attorneys resumed contract negotiations Wednesday with the Portland Police Association (PPA), the union representing Portland's rank-and-file officers.

But the day's virtual meeting did not simply pick up where it left off in March 2020, when COVID-19 derailed the possibility of iftn-person negotiations. The conversation instead reflected the time spent away from the bargaining table—specifically, eight months of protest, political organizing, and policymaking centered on overhauling status quo policing.

"This is a moment of change," said Steven Schuback, the outside labor attorney hired to lead the city's negotiations, at the start of Wednesday's session.

Since the negotiations were put on pause by the pandemic—a decision that eventually forced the city to extend the expiring contract past its June 30 end date—a national uprising against racist policing and police brutality drew tens of thousands of Portlanders to the streets to call for overdue changes. Officers with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) responded to these demonstrations with heavy-handed and largely indiscriminate force, using tear gas and munitions to disperse groups of largely peaceful protesters.

Read more: https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2021/01/14/31357643/citys-top-proposals-in-contract-negotiations-put-police-union-on-defense

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