By Anisha D. B. Scanlon
The Portland teachers union has declared an impasse in bargaining talks, potentially leading to a strike by late October. Negotiations have been frustrating, with little progress over the past nine months. Parents are concerned about the impact on students, and the last mediation session has occurred. Portland Public Schools increased its wage offer, but the union claims it doesn’t keep up with inflation. The union proposed an 8.5% increase in the first year, which hasn’t changed since January. Both sides want to avoid a strike, and the next step is a 30-day cooling-off period before a potential strike.