President's Message: It's Time to Fully Fund Fund Education in Oregon

Last Thursday, the Joint Committee on Student Success visited Portland. We had many PAT members, as well as other OEA members from other districts, testify in front of this bipartisan group of legislators, sharing what we need as educators in order to achieve student success.

There was also a small group listening session prior to the public hearing with superintendents and school board members from across the metro area, including our Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero and PPS School Board Chair Rita Moore. Our PAT delegation included myself, PAT Vice President Elizabeth Thiel, our Legislative Chair Madeleine Allen (Marysville), and bargaining team member Emy Markewitz (Vernon).

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Documenting Workload Overload for Class-size, Caseload, or Number of Unique Course Preparations

For the first time, our contract has language that defines limits to class-size, teaching load, caseload, and number of unique course preparations. Article 8 in the 2016-2019 PAT Agreement:

  • defines “thresholds” for teaching loads and caseloads and requires overload pay for educators who exceed the thresholds;
  • requires overload pay for departmentalized 6-8, middle school, and high school full-time educators with more than three unique course preparations. (Article 8 of the 2016-19 agreement).
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Second Semester Study Leave Deadline: October 8th

Applications for study leaves of absence for the second semester of the 2018/2019 school year may now be submitted for consideration.  All application forms must be available for review by the Study Leave Committee by the end of day Monday, October 8, 2018.

Study Leave Application forms may be downloaded from the Benefits website [https://www.pps.net/Page/1710].  Click on the PAT Study Leave link.  Up to 1.5 FTE unpaid study leaves, with District provided health and welfare benefits, will be available for the second semester of the 2018/2019 school year.  Email to benefits@pps.net or fax to 503-916-3107 attention Terri Burton.

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Please Donate to the PAT 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.

Please donate here - and thank you!

Advancing on the Salary Schedule - October 31st Deadline

If you have earned enough credit to advance to another column on the salary schedule, our contract requires the District start paying you at this new level within twenty (20) days of the time you supplied the transcripts or other required verification to the District.  The salary advancements will not be retroactive. However, according to the PAT/PPS contract, credits verified by October 31st will be retroactive to the beginning of the school year. Check to make sure that PPS has received your verification and get an email, a receipt, or some other written confirmation from PPS that they have received the verification.

Salary Placement - New Hires

Salary placement for new hires is based on prior work experience and educational credit, but will only be made after official verification.  Make sure your previous employer(s) and all relevant colleges/universities submit the required verification to PPS Human Resources.  Salary adjustments based on eligible education or experience credit will become effective in the payroll period in which approved. The adjustments will not be retroactive. However, according to the PAT/PPS contract, experience verified within sixty (60) days of the start of your employment will be retroactive to the first day of employment. Get an email, receipt, or some other written confirmation from PPS that it has received the verification.  Review Article 12 of the PAT/PPS contract to see what experience is eligible.

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.

Calling All New Educators! Join Us for the New Educators Social – Thursday, October 18th

Join PAT members on Thursday October 18th for a chance to meet other colleagues new to PPS and get practical tips about teaching in our District. We’ll share a light dinner and talk informally about the following topics:

  • Understanding the Probationary Educator Evaluation Process
  • Preparing for Parent Conferences

Bring your questions!

Date:               Thursday, October 18th
Time:               4:30 – 6:00 PM
Location:         PAT Office – 345 NE 8th Avenue
RSVP:              https://goo.gl/forms/0jjwP1j2KDMoe2ru1

Come to the Northwest Teachers for Social Justice Conference!

The Northwest Teachers for Social Justice conference is returning to Portland this year for the 11th Annual Conference. It will be Saturday October 20th, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, at Madison High School.  The Portland Association of Teachers is excited to once again be a sponsor of this amazing event!

This year, the Keynote Speaker will be environmental activist Winona LaDuke. The conference also includes over 60 workshops, many of which are led by teachers. Learn more and register at info@nwtsj.org.