Message sent to our membership on April 8th, 2020 Download the PDF here
PAT has been providing weekly updates since the beginning of the PPS school closure. Each communication has included a combination of updates relevant to contract educators and to substitutes. Now that Governor Brown has announced the closure of Oregon public schools for the rest of the year, we will attempt to frequently update our website to serve as the repository of all recent PAT news. We have created a web page with all of our previously sent COVID-19-related communications, and we will continue to post any future communications on that page. At this time, we also want to ensure that our substitute teachers are not missing any communication emails, so we will be maintaining a summary of Substitute Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) on the PAT website, as well. The links for these two pages are http://www.pdxteachers.org/pat_news and http://www.pdxteachers.org/covid_19_updates.
Frequently Asked Questions for Substitutes (updated 4/7/2020)
Should I apply for unemployment benefits?
Yes. Often, our PAT substitutes work with several different school districts in addition to private schools. Without knowing your specific work arrangement, we are recommending that substitute teachers apply for unemployment benefits. In our discussions with PPS in mid-March, we received confirmation that PPS would not object to your unemployment application. Without an employer objection on the record, the Oregon Employment Department is likely to approve a substitute’s unemployment benefits application. At the time of our discussions with PPS regarding allowing substitute unemployment applications to process through the Oregon Employment Department, PAT and PPS had not yet settled the payment structure for substitutes. As of March 30, 2020, PAT was able to get PPS to agree to pay substitutes their workday average for April and May.
Will substitutes get paid during the school closure period?
Yes. Each sub will receive their individual workday average (by half day increments) for the April and May pay periods. The average was determined by looking back at how many days the substitute worked between November 16th, 2019, and March 15th, 2020. During that period there were 67 possible days a substitute could work. PPS will take the number of days a substitute worked, divide that by 67, then apply that percentage to the next two pay periods. The April pay period had 17 possible sub days (no holidays, no grading days for regular employed educators, etc.). The average days worked will be applied to the 17 possible days.
I worked a combination of days as a substitute and I also picked up a temporary position with PPS to cover for a teacher on a leave of absence. Will those days worked in a temporary position count towards my future substitute pay in April and May?
We have been told by PPS Human Resources that your hours worked in a temporary position do not count in the average pay formula that Human Resources is using to issue payment for April and May. If you find yourself in this position, please call the PAT office so we can argue that your temporary position hours should factor into your payment calculation. Article 12, section C of the Substitute Collective Bargaining Agreement states, “if a substitute accepts an offer to fill a temporary position, days worked in the temporary position shall count towards the qualifying requirement for insurance eligibility.” If temporary work counts towards your days worked to qualify you for health insurance, it should count in factoring your April and May paychecks.
Will substitutes have health insurance during the school closure period?
Yes. Substitutes will continue to have health insurance for the academic year 2019-2020.
This academic year, I have not worked the 70 days required to qualify for health insurance. Will I have health insurance for the academic year 2020-2021?
Yes. Days "worked" during April and May will be applied to earning insurance. In addition, the 70 days worked in the previous year for next year's insurance rule in the PAT/PPS Substitute collective bargaining agreement will be reduced for next year. The final number will be determined in the next week or two. To familiarize yourself with these provisions in the contract, please refer to article 12, Section C here: http://www.pdxteachers.org/know_your_contract
This academic year, I was not able to work 20 pays per school year, will I be removed from the substitute list?
Keep in mind that article 8, section E of the Substitute Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) states that, “a substitute on the master substitute list who does not work a minimum of 20 days per school year may be removed from the list…”. Prior to the school closure, PPS was habitually unable to find enough substitutes to cover teacher absences, so it doesn’t seem likely that PPS would delete substitutes from their master list. If you find yourself in this situation, please call the PAT office so we can keep track of your name. We will argue that had the schools not closed for the final 2-3 months, you would have met your 20-workday requirement.
Portland Association of Teachers