May 29 Communication from PAT- re Update from PAT on PPS Work Share Rules

Message sent to our membership on May 29th, 2020

 

Dear PAT Colleagues:

 

The PAT learned this week that Portland Public Schools is enforcing the Work Share requirement of a 20% reduction in work in a way that was never discussed or agreed to. While the District's expectation remains that educators should be working 5 hours a day or 20 hours a week, if in the course of your week you anticipate working beyond 32 hours, please notify your supervisor immediately. Your supervisor must then tell you what duties they will be taking off your plate for the week to ensure that you can complete your work within the 32 hours, or proportion thereof if you are employed at less than 1.0 FTE. If your supervisor fails to provide adequate adjustment to your workload for the week, you should not work beyond your 32 hours. Otherwise you risk being removed from the Work Share program for that week. 

 

Because PAT members work about 40 hours per week (when the two-hour staff meeting is counted), the four-day furlough total number of hours worked must be no more than 32 hours (four days of eight hours a day). As such, PAT advises you to keep a careful record of your work activities. 

 

What does tracking your hours mean? For each type of school that is a little different. Keep in mind that the current collective bargaining agreement requires that you follow a particular distribution of time each day. 

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May 21st, PAT’s Matching Donation Fund Campaign

The communication sent to PAT membership on May 21st, 2020:

 

Dear Educator,

Many of you have been asking about charitable giving during these difficult times. We are excited to announce a partnership with The Fund for PPS where 100% of money raised will go directly to our PPS families and students in need.

Starting today, educators and members of the general public can make donations to The Fund for PPS and every dollar will be matched by the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT), up to a maximum of $20,000. The matching fund campaign will continue through June 1, 2020. 

Your elected PAT Executive Board of Directors take managing your dues dollars very seriously. Because of COVID-19, items in our budget related to travel or larger gatherings this spring have been cancelled. We’ve decided to use a portion of these unused funds, up to $20,000, to support our PPS families.

All of our educators are going above and beyond right now to support our students. We know that some of you are experiencing financial hardships of your own, or that many of you have already done some charitable giving. We also know many of you are eager to work collectively to support our students and their families, and we are excited about the opportunity to double our impact.

You can help by contributing here and promoting this matching campaign with your friends and families.

You can read our press release here.  

Thank you so much for all you’ve done for our students, families, and communities already.

In Solidarity,

Portland Association of Teachers
http://www.pdxteachers.org/

Electronic Ballot for Furlough/Work Share Plan Closes at 5pm Tonight

To PAT Colleagues,

Last night we sent a ballot to your pps.net account to cast your vote on the proposed furlough/ Work Share plan PAT has been discussing with the PPS District. 

Below are the links to related material including the results of a "yes" or "no" vote. If you did not receive your ballot, please check your pps.net “junk folder” or contact Jennifer.Dixon@oregoned.org for assistance. 

Substitute members will not receive a ballot as they will not be affected by this proposed furlough/Work Share plan. We are currently updating our Q&A page for substitutes and will have more information here soon.

Only PAT members will receive an email to vote; if you are not a member and would like to join so that you may vote, please contact Jennifer Dixon at Jennifer.Dixon@oregoned.org. 

Please see your ballot for the draft version of the MOA.

BALLOTS MUST BE SUBMITTED NO LATER THAN 5:00 p.m. TODAY, Tuesday, May 5th, 2020.

May 3rd Communications from PAT

Dear Educator,

We are inviting you to a tele-town hall all member meeting to learn more about the Work Share plan we communicated earlier with you about. After many discussions, PPS has agreed to keep members whole. In other words, if an individual has their workweek/salary reduced and they are rejected by Work Share for any reason, they will be returned to their previous work schedule and receive their lost wages. 

Only active, dues paying members of PAT that are regularly employed educators, not our substitute members, will be able to vote and be invited to the call.

The member meeting will take place by telephone on Monday, May 4th at 5pm. Your number will be automatically dialed. If you do not get the call, you can call (855) 756-7520 Ext.60463# at 5pm.

We will go over some of the basic information about the Work Share program, what a reduced schedule might look like and then answer as many questions as we can.

You will receive a ballot in your PPS e-mail inbox at 5pm on Monday, May 4th. Voting will close on Tuesday, May 5th at 5pm. Should we ratify, the school board will then vote Tuesday evening.

We know this is quick, and we want to be able to provide you with all the information necessary to make an informed vote. Here are some additional sources of information coming soon, in addition to the town hall:

  • Another email tomorrow with more information
  • An Executive Board recommendation
  • Your ballot will contain more information

PPS has approached the PAT, other PPS unions, and non-represented employees about the possibility of furloughing employees by 20% for the last five weeks of school this year.  The 20% proposed reduction would mean we would work 4 days a week between now and the end of the school year. 

They estimate saving 66 PAT positions.  

The PPS plan is that employees would work four days a week for the rest of the 2019/2020 school year, and have our members make no less than their regular salary.  This would be accomplished by using the Work Share program of Oregon and Federal Cares Act funding.  Work Share is a program that protects employee income in situations where an employer has to cut employee hours in order to avoid layoffs.  Here is additional information about the Oregon Work Share program:

https://www.oregon.gov/employ/Businesses/WorkShare/Pages/Work%20Share%20Home%20Page.aspx

A set of frequently asked questions can also be found here: 

https://www.oregon.gov/employ/Businesses/WorkShare/Pages/Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx

By utilizing the Work Share funds, PPS will achieve a significant savings through a temporary furlough, members will keep their pre-furlough health benefit levels, and with the funds from the Work Share program, professional educators would make as much (or more) than they did prior to the cuts.       

Should PAT members and the school board agree, this would begin on Friday, May 8th.

We look forward to answering your questions Monday night.



Portland Association of Teachers
http://www.pdxteachers.org/

Tonight! PAT Tele-Town Hall Meeting, 5pm

To PAT Colleagues,

We are inviting all members to a tele-town hall meeting tonight at 5pm to discuss the furlough/Work Share plan we have previously communicated. The member meeting will take place by telephone on Monday, May 4th at 5pm. Your number will be automatically dialed at that time. If you do not get the call, please check your PPS e-mail for the number to call in our message dated May 3rd or e-mail portlandteachers@gmail.com

We will go over some of the basic information about the Work Share program, what a reduced schedule might look like and then answer as many questions as we can.

You will receive a ballot in your PPS e-mail inbox at 5pm on Monday, May 4th. Voting will close on Tuesday, May 5th at 5pm. Should we ratify, the school board will then vote Tuesday evening.

We know this is quick, and we want to be able to provide you with all the information necessary to make an informed vote. Here are some additional sources of information coming soon, in addition to the town hall:

  • Another email tomorrow with more information
  • An Executive Board recommendation
  • Your ballot will contain more information

PPS has approached the PAT, other PPS unions, and non-represented employees about the possibility of furloughing employees by 20% for the last five weeks of school this year.  The 20% proposed reduction would mean we would work 4 days a week between now and the end of the school year. 

They estimate saving 66 PAT positions.  

The PPS plan is that employees would work four days a week for the rest of the 2019/2020 school year, and have our members make no less than their regular salary.  This would be accomplished by using the Work Share program of Oregon and Federal Cares Act funding.  Work Share is a program that protects employee income in situations where an employer has to cut employee hours in order to avoid layoffs.  Here is additional information about the Oregon Work Share program:

https://www.oregon.gov/employ/Businesses/WorkShare/Pages/Work%20Share%20Home%20Page.aspx

A set of frequently asked questions can also be found here: 

https://www.oregon.gov/employ/Businesses/WorkShare/Pages/Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx

By utilizing the Work Share funds, PPS will achieve a significant savings through a temporary furlough, members will keep their pre-furlough health benefit levels, and with the funds from the Work Share program, professional educators would make as much (or more) than they did prior to the cuts.       

Should PAT members and the school board agree, this would begin on Friday, May 8th.

We look forward to answering your questions Monday night.

May 1, 2020 Communication from PAT- re PPS Discussions re Potential Furloughs and Work Share

Message sent to our membership on May 1st, 2020

Dear PAT Colleagues:

       As many of you may have heard, PPS has approached the PAT, other PPS unions, and non-represented employees about the possibility of furloughing employees by 20% for the last five weeks of school this year.  Their goal is to save general fund resources.  PPS’s desire to furlough workers now is because of the extraordinary increase in unemployment in Oregon, and the loss of business for so many small businesses.  Oregon knows that the amount of tax dollars coming into the state will be far less than was originally forecast, and the Governor has asked school districts to plan for significant reductions in funds next year.  The PPS idea to have a temporary furlough for all employees is its response to this funding crisis; PPS wants to save as much as it can for staffing next year.

       The PPS plan is that employees would work four days a week for the rest of the 2019/2020 school year, and have our members make no less than their regular salary.  This would be accomplished by using the Work Share program of Oregon and Federal Cares Act funding.  Work Share is a program that protects employee income in situations where an employer has to cut employee hours in order to avoid layoffs.  By utilizing the Work Share funds, PPS will achieve a temporary furlough, members will keep their pre-furlough health benefit levels, and with the funds from the Work Share program, professional educators would make as much (or more) than they did prior to the cuts.

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April 24, 2020 Communication from PAT- re Latest Developments with PPS

Message sent to our membership on April 24th, 2020 

Dear Educator,

On Tuesday, April 21st, PPS met with PAT leadership to discuss budget issues for the academic year 2020-2021. Because Oregon is dependent on income tax revenue, we all understand from prior recessions, that lower income tax revenue means cuts to public sector services. Both PPS and PAT want to find a way to diminish the impact of the loss of revenue to the school district.   

We wanted to let you know that we are exploring with PPS some possibilities for the remainder of this school year. Though we can’t share details yet, and aren’t even sure what is possible- we did agree to explore options. A few things we wanted to make sure you know:

  • PAT cannot, and will not, agree to anything without presenting the details to you, and having members vote on it
  • PAT is exploring options that do not harm members financially this year
  • PAT is working in collaboration with other unions

At this time we have nothing concrete to report. As soon as we find out more about our options we will communicate further.

In Solidarity,

Portland Association of Teachers
http://www.pdxteachers.org/

April 23, 2020 Communication from PAT- re Ergonomics

Message sent to our membership on April 23rd, 2020 

Dear Educator,

We know that distance teaching and learning is hard, but it shouldn't hurt!

Most of us aren't accustomed to spending so much time sitting in front of screens, especially in work spaces we've had to design ourselves.

PAT worked with The Standard (one of our partners with our Health and Welfare Trust) to get some tips on how to help prevent and alleviate some of the physical aches and pains caused by poor ergonomics.

First, there are some stretching techniques that might help, especially if you've already noticed some strain on your muscles and joints.

Also, we want to make sure that you've set up your home office the best way for your body. Here are a few resources:

Ergonomic Home Office

Ergonomic Zombies Training Video

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April 23, 2020 Communication from PAT- re OEA Relief Fund for Subs

Message sent to our membership on April 23rd, 2020 

Dear Educator,

In recognition that substitute educators have been disproportionately affected by a loss of income due to the COVID-19 school closure, OEA has opened up its Relief Fund to all OEA Union members employed as substitutes who have experienced a loss in salary during this time.

You can find more information about the OEA Relief Fund and complete an application by clicking here.

Each individual applicant will be awarded up to a maximum of $1,000 after the application is processed. To be eligible to receive funds, you must have become an OEA member by March 2nd, 2020.

We appreciate all your work and hope you continue to be well.

In Solidarity,

Portland Association of Teachers
http://www.pdxteachers.org/

April 13, 2020 Communication from PAT- re Leaves of Absence

Message sent to our membership on April 13th, 2020 

Dear Educator,

We know many of you have questions regarding leaves of absence. Below is a brief overview we’ve put together to give you some more information and to answer some of your questions. If, after reading through this, you still have questions or need assistance with applying for a leave of absence, please email us at PortlandTeachers@gmail.com, and don’t forget to include your work location in your email. (To view the below information as a PDF, please click here.)

 

Covid-19 Related Emergency Leaves of Absence

Last updated 4/13/2020

You are legally entitled to make use of all the new leaves of absence programs that have been created at the Federal level due to Covid-19 closures.  However, PPS has communicated to your PAT leadership, that PPS would prefer that you remain at work (telework). School administrators will work with you to flex your schedule as necessary to ensure that you remain at work (telework) between now and the end of the school year.  

 

This document will provide you with a brief overview of the new leaves of absence created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), additional details are provided below along with weblinks and additional legal memos to help you understand which leave of absence is right for your situation. 

 

What type of leave am I eligible for?  

 

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