Public Notices & Agency Updates
For Immediate Release
February 12, 2015
Contact: Laura Conroy
MESD committed to safe environment for staff members
(PORTLAND, OR) The MESD values its staff members as a critical component to our mission in providing a
quality education for children in our community. MESD demonstrates this value by working cooperatively with
partners like the Oregon Education Association (OEA).
MESD and OEA bargaining teams are currently engaged in contract conversations for staff. During bargaining
the OEA representative introduced Mr. Bigham’s personnel issue and requested this subject be negotiated with
the Superintendent. Ms. Nickerson emailed the OEA representative in response to this request. Following the
Association's clarification that Mr. Bigham's leave was sanctioned under a portion of the contract reserved for
elected or appointed representatives, the matter was resolved and Mr. Bigham's request to attend the NEA
conference was approved."
MESD is committed to providing a safe environment for staff members, and takes harassment, intimidation, and
bullying very seriously. MESD has adopted policies and rules to ensure that staff members have a clear,
consistent, and legal process to address those issues. That process includes the following steps;
1. Reports of harassment, intimidation and bullying must be presented to the MESD Administrator,
Superintendent, or Board Chair; may be made anonymously; and must include the details of the action.
2. The complaint is promptly investigated by an official, which may be an external investigator. The
investigators findings, and recommendations for disciplinary action, if any, are submitted in writing to the
3. If the party filing the report is not satisfied with the investigators decision, an appeal can be filed with the
Superintendent. The Superintendent will conduct a meeting with the parties, and provide a written
decision in response.
4. If the party filing the report is not satisfied with the Superintendent’s decision, the party my file an appeal
with the Board. The Board will conduct a hearing and provide a written response.
MESD received two discrimination complaints from Mr. Bigham pursuant to MESD’s harassment, intimidation,
and bullying reporting policy. An external investigator conducted the review of the first claim, and the matter
was concluded. The MESD is unable to comment on the second matter as it is not yet concluded.
MESD’s policy informs staff members of other processes as well, by stating that complaints related to
employment may be filed with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, Civil Rights Division, and US
Department of Labor.
MESD received notice of complaints filed with TSPC and BOLI by Mr. Bigham. Due to privacy laws, MESD cannot
comment specifically on the nature of these complaints. MESD is cooperating fully with the agencies in their
investigation of these complaints.
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Multnomah Education Service District prohibits discrimination and harassment on any basis protected by law, including but not limited to race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability or perceived disability, pregnancy, familial status, economic status, veterans' status, parental or marital status or age. For more information and detail on MESD's non-discrimination policies, including procedures and contact information for reporting discrimination, please visit the MESD Non-Discrimination, Harassment & Bullying Notice page.
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