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/

FAQ's for Subs and OEA Relief Fund for Subs

FAQ's for Substitutes (as of 4-7-20)

While the coronavirus pandemic has us asking more questions than there are answers, please CLICK HERE to get clarity on some of the most pressing questions we've received from our substitute members.

OEA Relief Fund for Subs

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.

President's Message: Solidarity in the Time of COVID-19

Our lives and the lives of our students have taken a gut-wrenching U-turn in the past two months. 

And as I write one of my final messages before my tenure as PAT President is complete, we’ve been devastated all over again by what’s happened to school funding as a result of the COVID crisis. I started my career in PPS in 2003. Every year we faced layoffs, and I was a temporary teacher for several years. In 2005 I got involved with PAT, and quickly jumped into the work of our Legislative Committee, dedicating myself to improving school funding. I’ve been a part of every school funding campaign ever since. 

When I ran for President four years ago, I believed that Measure 97 would pass, and bring billions into our schools. I campaigned on the commitment that I would bring educators’ voices into the decision-making process--that we would shape how those dollars were spent. Things didn’t quite turn out the way I planned. 

A LONG ROUTE TO BETTER REVENUE

Within days of taking office as PAT President, our longtime superintendent resigned over fallout from lead in the PPS drinking water. Within months, it was clear that Measure 97 would not pass, and then Trump was elected. Together, we’ve sustained our public schools through all of these crises. 

While it’s been an honor to serve as PAT President the past four years, I’ve always loved teaching, and am really looking forward to returning to the classroom next year at Roosevelt. I’ll admit, part of my excitement stemmed from passage of the Student Success Act, and knowing our state’s budget forecast was solid. Just two months ago I believed that we would all have a chance to enjoy the fruits of our collective action, that we would be working with PPS to fund many, many more teaching positions, and that we would be in a better place to support our students, especially those most in need.  

Our collective efforts to highlight the needs of public schools and those of our students have not been in vain, but next year PPS will be in a very different place than we all hoped. On May 20th the state’s next revenue forecast will be released. We don’t know the magnitude of the coming recession, but some estimates project a 60 million dollar shortfall for the District. We don’t yet know what this shortfall will mean for staffing at PPS. Furloughs and looming budget cuts are not the teacher appreciation message anyone ever intended to send, but once again we must shift our advocacy to meet current realities. 

Of course, the state legislature could redistribute its current budget to address the projected shortfall, or draw on the Education Stability Fund. As educators, we need to send a strong message that lawmakers must shield our students and our schools from COVID-19’s economic fallout. As soon as more opportunities to support our schools become available closer to home, we will let you know.

FEDERAL ACTION NEEDED

Meanwhile, urgent action is needed at the federal level. Our national union, the National Education Association (NEA), is calling on Congress to allocate an additional $175 billion to stabilize education funding. The $30.7 billion authorized thus far is not nearly enough. It’s clear that the economic impact of COVID-19 could rival the Great Depression. State and local governments will need massive federal assistance to preserve public education and other essential services. A decade ago, during the Great Recession, state and local governments scrapped essential student services and laid off tens of thousands of educators. We can’t let that happen again. Email your members of Congress and tell them to keep students learning and educators working. 

We have already begun the process of protecting next year’s budget, by agreeing to modify our contract and accept furlough days. The PPS school board approved this plan Tuesday night. Together with our other labor partners, we are saving PPS $10 million, while holding PPS staff financially harmless, thanks to the federal Work Share program. This is a very unusual situation, to be partially furloughed without any financial penalty. But it’s not a loophole, this is exactly what these federal dollars are intended for--to avoid future layoffs and stimulate our local economy. 

OTHER WAYS TO LEND A HAND

I know some of you are eager to help others in need. We will be announcing a few ways to help our families and students soon. In the meantime, please remember the OEA Foundation. The foundation provides grants of $100, but is running out of money for the rest of this school year. If you can, please consider a donation.

You should have received an email from PPS on Tuesday outlining the next steps for our partial furlough. If you would like, there is an information session to learn more about the Work Share program. It is not necessary for you to attend. If you can't attend live, we will also be sending out a recording. It is being hosted by one of our labor partners, LABOR'S COMMUNITY SERVICE AGENCY, INC., a United Way of the Columbia-Willamette Community Partner. This is happening today, Thursday, May 7th from 3:30-4:40 pm. To join: 

Click here or call in at #1(346) 248-7799 or 1(669) 900-6833, Webinar ID# 892-5340-3568  As a reminder, beginning this Friday, there are no work expectations.

Many PAT members have also expressed concern for their students during this time. By agreeing to make up our 3 student days at the end of the year, students will be able to receive PPS meals for another week. Our students only miss two instructional days, and we all get a little more room to balance the additional stressors caused by teaching and learning at home.

As I wrap up my final months serving as your President, I want to thank each of you. It’s been an honor and a privilege to hold this position. I’m proud of the way we united to move Oregon education forward. Our bold collective action last May will enhance our students’ learning conditions next year and in the years to come. Meanwhile, we’ve been able to preserve jobs for 66 of our colleagues next year. Educators around the country are demonstrating similar commitment and creativity, looking for ways to protect students and classroom learning.

In Solidarity,

 

Suzanne Cohen

PAT President

Furlough/Work Share MOA

Recently PAT members voted to approve the Work Share Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and begin a plan for short term furlough days. Everyone understands the terms of the MOA, but some may not understand either Oregon Work Share or the CARES Act.

Because Oregon’s tax revenue stream is primarily supplied by personal income tax, every state-funded program faces cuts in next year’s budget. PPS is no exception. All of us recognize that cuts in PAT staffing means not only hardship for our members (loss of jobs and increased workload for those who remain employed), but also hardships for the students we serve each day because of larger class sizes and reduced programs. Luckily for PPS, PAT, and the students in Portland, there is the possibility to access funds through the CARES Act and Oregon Work Share.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act became effective March 27th, 2020. It is a package that contains 2 trillion dollars of federal relief and economic stimulus “for American workers, families, and small businesses,” with the stated purpose of preserving jobs. One of the specific ways that the CARES Act is designed to work is by giving payments to states which have programs that qualify for the funding, and Oregon is one of those states.

Work Share Oregon is an example of a State of Oregon program that is able to access some of the federal CARES Act money. Work Share allows employers to leverage unemployment insurance (UI) to subsidize a portion of lost wages for employers whose work time is reduced due to market downturns or other business stressors such as the economic crisis of COVID-19. In other words, it is designed to help Oregon workers who are furloughed rather than laid off.

PPS and PAT, as well as all of the other PPS union-represented employees in DCU, ATU, SEIU, and PFSP, have agreed to address the looming budget cuts by setting aside money for next year by furloughing employees one day a week for the rest of this year.

The MOA that was approved by the PAT members and the PPS School Board is the agreement that will allow those furloughs to happen. As all of you know, by design, no one will be financially harmed as we proceed. The mechanism that allows this to happen is that PPS employees will take part in the Oregon Work Share program.

Keep in mind that our MOA specifically states that if an employee is deemed ineligible for Work Share, or if the entire Work Share/CARES Act program is stopped, PPS will return those individuals or the entire group to the pre-furlough schedule, and restore any lost days.

There are still details that we must work out, such as a workload agreement with PPS now that we will be on a four-day week. However, the PAT memberships’ recognition that we needed to protect our students and each other will help make next year a little less difficult.

Ed Foster on Retirement and Investment Questions

May 5, 2020

How would you like some good news? I thought so!

First, at present, the coronavirus situation has had no impact on PERS/OPSRP retiree pensions. Could this change? Possibly, but only after a Legislative session. Working from the classroom or working from off-site, you are still working toward your PERS/OPSRP retirement benefit.

But wait! There's more good news! If you have not received your 2019 PERS/OPSRP statement, allow me to offer a spoiler: it was a pretty good year for earnings. PERS Tier 1 regular accounts were again credited with 7.2%, with the Tier 1 variable accounts being credited 28.8%. PERS Tier 2 was credited with 13.27%. The IAP accounts (both PERS and OPSRP) had a variety of credits, depending on which fund the member was in (largely determined by age), but the average was 12.53%. 

Of course, 2020 is a giant question mark right now. However, there is even good news here!: because PERS crediting does not happen until Spring of the following year (and therefore allowing for the potential of a market recovery to help the averages), Oregon State Treasurer, Tobias Read, has said "For current state employees, changes happening in the stock market right now and over the next nine months won't affect your IAP account until the spring of 2021."

If this is all very confusing I completely understand. Typically this time of year I conduct a workshop at the PAT office where I would try to explain this and answer questions such as: Should I still contribute to my 403b? What is a 403b? Can I retire now? Should I? etc.

For obvious reasons, conducting a seminar simply isn't an option at present. However, I am still more than happy to help and answer any retirement/investment questions you might have. Please feel free to contact me at ed.foster@fosterassoc.com, or through PAT.

Be well!

Ed Foster
Registered Representative
Cetera Advisors
Foster & Associates, Inc.

PAT PAC Endorsements

May Primary Election: Please VOTE

The Covid-19 crisis has brought existing inequities in our society into stark focus.

Now more than ever, it is crucial that our policy makers are committed to uplifting the most vulnerable in our community, and reframing our economic policies around the values of equity and sustainability. 

This May Primary, we have the opportunity to elect the leaders we need to build the future we envision: this future includes a fully-funded public education system, strong protections for workers, universal health care, racial justice, environmental sustainability, and stable housing for all.

PAT PAC's endorsed candidates share this vision. Please VOTE this primary election, and share PAT PAC's endorsements with your friends and family who vote in Portland. Ballots are due by May 19.

Please save the image below and text or post it.

You can read more about each of our endorsed candidates, plus the OEA PAC endorsed candidates for statewide and Federal races, on our website.

Building Rep Election Process

Our building elections are how we ensure that Reps at each site are trusted, respected leaders. Normally each spring, we ask Building Reps to hold a Rep Election at their site so that members can democratically elect their representatives. 

Typically, this is done live with a paper ballot, so that votes are both secure and confidential. Without live staff meetings, we are working on developing a system to allow Reps to run a secure and confidential vote at each site, but we haven’t yet worked out the kinks. Please stay tuned for more information about Rep Elections. 

In the meantime, we are asking elected reps to remain in their position, and talk to people about running to be a Rep.

  • Notify all the members at your site that Rep Elections will be coming up, and that all members are eligible to run.
  • Think about who is trusted and respected in your building. Talk to them about running!
  • Think about representation. Does your Rep team ballot include a balance of experiences that mirrors the members at your site? Consider grade level, subject, gender, race, and age.
  • You get to elect 1 Rep for every 9 members, so aim to get at least that many people to run.

To run to be a Rep for your site, let your current Head Rep know you are interested. For more information, including the Building Rep Job description, go to www.pdxteachers.org/pat_elections. For additional questions, contact our Vice-President elect, Gwen Sullivan (gwenner3@gmail.com).

 

PAT PAC Board Election Results

In April, PAT PAC contributors elected new members to serve as Directors on the PAT PAC Board. Erika Scheider and Mary Watkins will each serve a three year term beginning on July 1st. Jacob Jonas Closs and Joanne Shepherd will each begin a one year term on July 1st. 

In addition to the newly elected Directors, next year’s PAT PAC Board will include these members whose terms continue: Elizabeth Thiel, Madeleine Allen, Rebecca Levison, Tina Lamanna, Gwen Sullivan, and Greg Burrill. 

To run to be elected as an at-large director of the PAT PAC, one must be a contributor to the PAC; a member of PAT or PMAE-Retired; and a member of the PAT Legislative Committee.

To learn more about the PAT PAC, go to www.pdxteachers.org/pat_pac

Contract Exceptions

Every year, the PAT Advocacy Committee receives requests from building reps about how to seek an exception to a contractual provision.  This type of exception is usually an exception that is limited to that building and limited to those teachers in the building – it is not an exception that is applied PPS-wide. We call this limited modification to a provision of the contract, a Contract Exception.

Most contract exceptions involve requests to make changes in the teacher work year (article 6), in the workday (article 7), or in workload (article 8).  Simply, a contract exception must be initiated by an educator at a building, and not by a building administrator. The PAT Advocacy Committee creates the exceptions application process – not PPS. 

All exceptions expire at the end of the school year in which they were granted. Meaning, if your building was granted a contract exception in this academic year, it will terminate at the end of this school year in June.   

If a building wants to initiate a building exception, we have the exception application on the PAT website, along with a checklist to help you gather all the documents you’ll need in addition to submitting a completed form to the PAT Advocacy Committee. 

What is a contract exception? 

It’s a limited modification of a provision in your union contract.  

Who can initiate a contract exception? 

Only members of the union at your building. A building administrator cannot initiate this process. 

What is the procedure? 

The PAT Building Head Rep (1) educates their colleagues on the potential impact of this exception; (2) prepares a secret ballot and (3) conducts the election. Finally, the Head Rep will complete the PAT contract exception form found on the PAT website and submit to the PAT Advocacy Committee and await approval/denial. 

What are the deadlines? 

While the original deadline for 2020-21 contract exceptions was May 1, 2020, given our changed context we will be accepting contract exceptions on a rolling basis prior to the start of school next year. Exceptions are only valid for the school year for which it was approved. Click here for the Contract Exception application.

SpEd Update

Special Education: Challenges & Changes

Since PPS shifted to a distance learning model after closing schools on March 13th, many difficulties have arisen for educators, students, and families across Portland. Perhaps some of the greatest challenges have come to our tireless Special Education teachers and service providers. Special Education staff have been overwhelmed with a constantly shifting barrage of work tasks from both the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Special Education department in PPS. Much of the work has been redundant tracking and documenting of student information. Directives from district leaders have either lacked clear guidance for establishing priorities or conflicted with directives from supervisors at the Special Education department and their schools. 

PAT leadership hosted a large meeting with SpEd PAT reps to discuss these problems and develop a plan of action. We wanted to pressure the District to address these issues so educators could focus their limited time and resources on connecting with kids, making sure they are safe, and delivering education and services for each individual student as best they can during this crisis. 

A smaller group of approximately 10 PAT reps from SpEd, joined by PAT leadership and staff, met with the District two weeks ago to present our concerns and some essential ideas for change. We are happy to report that we have won some significant changes to work expectations and procedures for SpEd educators. These changes include the following: 

  • Redundant tracking systems will be phased out, now to be left to the discretion of the educator
  • All building meetings will be optional and at the discretion of the educator, based on how attendance would affect their weekly workload
  • SpEd program administrators will commit to working with the educator on priorities, especially if the member notifies them that they anticipate going beyond their weekly 25 or 20 hours of work
  • The District has agreed to streamline communications to staff and building administrators by sending one communication each week, the “Special Education Newsflash” 

PAT is still seeking to get agreement from the District on compensation for members that end up working beyond their daily and weekly expected hours to participate in IEP or Distance Learning Plan meetings (a document required by ODE when the IEP team determines that an IEP cannot be met and needs to be amended). 

Lastly, we were happy to hear the Director of SpEd, Mary Mertz, tell us verbally that the department trusts that all SpEd educators and service providers are doing the best they can with the difficulties of adapting to distance learning. As such, Mertz says, the department will not use anything related to educators’ delivery of services and instruction as data in future evaluations. PAT remains committed to getting this understanding as part of a larger agreement that covers all of our members during this period.

Building and Classroom Moves, Article 19

Article 19 provides compensation for packing and unpacking if your move is due to a district reconfiguration or change. Within your building, you are entitled to payment if your administrator directs you to move classrooms after the school year has begun or for the second year in a row.

If your move is the result of typical Spring un-assignments because of a reduction in positions in your building, or the result of your voluntary decision to apply for a transfer, payment is not required.  

In the case of an extraordinary move like packing up a library, band room, theater, or laboratory,  if you agree to pack up this kind of room, prior to commencing the work, speak with your administrator about the estimated number of additional hours needed to pack up this type of room. Try to come to an agreement on the number of hours it will take to pack up this room.  If you are unable to come to an agreement, then please call PAT so we can help resolve this dispute. 

Our Moving FAQ

 

California Casualty Promotion for PAT Members

Sherry Hanacek, our local PAT/California Casualty Marketing Manager has a special $25 Amazon Gift Card offer for PAT Members:

For those of you not currently an OEA/PAT Sponsored California Casualty customer, Sherry is offering a $25 Amazon gift card if you complete an auto insurance quote via the below link to Sherry’s personal California Casualty website. This is a limited time offer through June 30, 2020.

Click here to get a quote for an easy OEA/PAT endorsed auto insurance rate comparison.

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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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April 9, 2020 Communication from PAT- re Survey on Distance Learning

Message sent to our membership on April 9th, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator,

The announcement yesterday that we would not meet face-to-face with our colleagues and students for the rest of the year didn’t surprise us, and yet, we all shared in the collective grief. It is the right decision, for everyone’s health and safety. We know how hard everyone has been working, and we hate to trouble you with any more asks, but since distance learning is how we will finish the school year, we would really value your time in taking a short survey so we can better advocate for you and our students.

 

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April 8, 2020 Communication from PAT- re FAQ's for Subs

Message sent to our membership on April 8th, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator,

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?

 

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