Don't Be Tricked on November 6th

Today is Halloween, but Election day is the real trick or treat experience.

This vote will have a lasting impact on our students and our profession, and some choices are really frightening!

Ballots are due on November 6th, and it’s clear we need Kate Brown to be our governor.

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Make Sure Teachers Have a Voice in Politics

The Portland Association of Teachers Political Action Committee (PAT PAC) is proud to announce its candidate endorsements for the November 2018 general election. The board considers candidates’ positions on public education, their commitment to union values, their alignment to PAT strategic goals including racial equity, and their electability. PAT PAC funds come from the voluntary contributions of PAT PAC contributors, not dues dollars. To contribute to the PAT PAC, return this form to the PAT office.

Oregon Governor: Kate Brown

Portland City Commissioner Position 3: Jo Ann Hardesty

Metro Council Position 2: Christine Lewis

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Get Out the Vote! Canvass for Jo Ann Hardesty, PAT Candidates, and Ballot Measures

The November election is incredibly important in Oregon, with a historic city council race, and control of the Governor’s seat in question. We also have numerous ballot initiatives which could either move our state forward with new funding for affordable housing, jobs, and clean energy, or send us backward with more tax loopholes for the rich, racial profiling, and limits to women’s reproductive rights.

We are partnering with the Jo Ann Hardesty campaign to run a Get Out the Vote Canvass on Saturday, November 3, from 10 am to 1 pm, at the PAT office. Come help reach out to Portlanders who have not yet voted.  This is an opportunity to make a real impact on voter turnout, the weekend before ballots are due. RSVP here, and bring along a friend!

Elementary First Quarter Grade Reports

PAT and PPS have extended the MOU on Elementary Report Cards, which means Elementary teachers should use the PPS Parent Teacher Conference Form, and not the grade report card, for the first quarter.

The MOU says, “All Pk-5 and self-contained 6th grade PAT bargaining unit members shall be required to prepare the PPS Parent-Teacher Conference Form instead of grade reports and shall not submit grade reports at the end of the first quarter grading period. These forms will be discussed and presented to parents/guardians at the parent/teacher conference scheduled in November (or in August for Rosa Parks Elementary School).”

No Make-Up Conferences When Families Are on Vacation

Family Conferences are one of the many tools we have to boost student success. It’s a chance for us to talk to families holistically about their child—including their curiosity, love of learning, and critical thinking skills. These two days are long and exhausting, but they’re also filled with meaningful conversations, personal connections, and other opportunities to build community.

This year, conferences are scheduled right before Thanksgiving. Some families may not be able to attend due to travel. Our Superintendent made it clear that make-up conferences do not need to be scheduled when families can’t attend because of travel. Instead, they may want to schedule a video-conference, phone call, or email contact during the time period designated for conferences. As educators, we try to be flexible, doing whatever it takes to meet with families, especially those whose work schedules or other obligations make it hard to meet during the designated conference time. Just remember, we don’t need to schedule make-up conferences because families are on vacation. You deserve to enjoy your holidays just as much as your students and their families.

When Do I Cover for an Absent Colleague?

The PAT Office has received numerous questions about whether or not members must cover class for an absent colleague. 

The answer is in Article 8, Section 7 which states:

Every effort will be made to employ substitute teachers to cover classes of absent teachers. Except in true emergency situations and except as otherwise provided in 8.7.2, professional educators shall not be required to substitute for other professional educators.

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Materials and Supplies Stipend

The PAT/PPS contract provides that each professional educator shall receive a materials and supplies stipend of $100 each school year to use to purchase materials. (Article 12.7) This is in addition to materials and supplies budgeted by the school or district. 

Educators are NOT required to submit any receipts or itemized requests for reimbursement to receive this stipend.  Instead, the stipend is provided as an additional $100 on the October pay check.

Dues and PAT PAC Deductions in the October Paycheck

We experienced a few glitches in September deductions.  We have hopefully resolved the problem in the upcoming October check.  Here’s what will happen:

  • For members who had no dues deducted in September but should have: The annual dues amount will be divided into 11 months instead of 12 and will start with this October check.
  • For members who had dues deducted at the 2017-18 dues rate instead of the 2018-19 rate: To make up the difference of what was charged last month versus what should have been charged, an extra nine cents (.09) will be added to each of the remaining 11 months, starting with the October check.
  • For PAT PAC contributors who did not have their voluntarily pledged amount deducted in September:  You will have two (2) deductions made in the October check.  After October, the regular 1-month pledge amount will be deducted.

Please Donate to the Sick Leave Bank

Last school year, PAT members helped dozens of colleagues in need thanks to contributions to the PAT Sick Leave Bank.  These colleagues had exhausted their accumulated leave balances, but were unable to work due to extended or recurring personal illness. With the help of the Sick Leave Bank, they avoided the additional hardships of lost salary and lost insurance coverage.

Thanks to your generosity, last year we met our goal of collecting the maximum number of voluntarily-donated hours allowed under our contract. Recent improvements in our contract mean that we can now fulfill almost all applications for assistance prior to running out of Sick Leave Bank hours.  This shows the District that PAT members act on their belief that an injury to one is an injury to all.

It’s a new school year, with new needs, and a new Bank to fill. We can accept up to 4,000 hours and have a long way to go to reach that goal. Read more about the Sick Leave Bank guidelines here.