April 8, 2020 COVID-19 Communication from PAT

Message sent to our membership on April 8th, 2020

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?

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
http://www.pdxteachers.org/

Q&A for Substitutes During COVID-19

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.

April 7, 2020 COVID-19 Communication from PAT

Message sent to our membership on April 7th, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator, 

PAT and PPS have been working on defining a workday/learning day that prioritizes equity, physical health, and emotional well being, and flexibility for everyone involved. At the same time, we must meet state expectations so that we may continue to work and be paid during this difficult time. We believe the plan put forth by PPS in collaboration with us puts us on this path.  

This document of teacher work expectations is not the same as any contract modification, or a signed MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) that is a legally binding agreement signed by both PAT and the District, which delineates specific issues pertaining to our working conditions during this period. We have a meeting with PPS on Friday to discuss this. This sequence of events is not our first choice, but during these times everyone is doing the best they can.

We do feel comfortable moving forward with this plan, knowing that every day the plan may need to be changed. We also know that the most important thing is connecting with families and supporting immediate needs. You can apply for grants of $100 to assist families you serve with rent, food, bills, etc….

PPS has made it very clear that they want to support employees in being able to complete the work expectations. This means that everything should be flexible-- if you can’t make a scheduled meeting like a staff meeting or PLC, it should be recorded so you can watch it. For those of you required to do office hours, you can choose your own hours. If you are having trouble with the work expectations, talk to your supervisor. If that doesn’t help, contact us.

You may still have questions like: what if I’m sick, or need to miss a day? We are working with PPS to figure out as much as we can, but because the week is flexible, if you need to miss a day or two, you should be able to “make it up” later. At this point in time, there is no plan to utilize substitute teachers. If you are a substitute teacher, or curious about what we worked out for our guest teachers, we will post an update on the PAT website and send a separate email soon.

This is hard-- it’s hard for us, our students, our families. It’s hard for PPS too, and things keep changing. Schools have not been closed for the rest of the school year-- yet. The ramifications of the crisis we are all in continue to unfold. Take a moment to be grateful that we are still employed and unionized-- even if it’s now as an “HD-PPS PAT Educator”. Prioritize your students who need the most. For some, it may not be a student who normally needed extra support. As we learn more about each family's situation, we discover needs. We don’t have to be great at online teaching and learning. It’s not a direction we will be permanently moving towards. But, we can be great community builders, and crucial supports for our students.

Our careers are filled with stories of “the teacher” that made a difference in a student’s life. We tell our stories of the educator that made a difference in our lives. We sometimes have the privilege of hearing something like that from our students. Sometimes we wonder and hope. We are in a unique situation where all our students are in need of extra support, and we are all positioned to be that person who makes a difference in so many lives. This work isn’t new to us. And this is the work we can excel at during a crisis.


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

April 2, 2020 COVID-19 Communication from PAT

Message sent to our membership on April 2nd, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator--

During this time of profound uncertainty and anxiety, Portland educators, like most others across the country, are dealing with a total upheaval of our lives. Since the shutdown of schools, educators have been juggling the task of caring for their own families, supporting children and elders at home, while desperately trying to figure out how best to serve our students.

As we navigate this new terrain, we continue to advocate with district leadership in PPS that the plan moving forward must center equity and students’ emotional needs, and must be responsive to the needs and realities that students, families and educators are facing in this crisis.

First and foremost, we must make sure that the path forward does not widen the inequities in our society that already put some of our students at a disadvantage.

In this global pandemic, lesson plans, taking grades, and aligning our “distance” curriculum must take a secondary role to the mental health and safety needs that many of our students are facing. No district should be requiring students to be graded on what they can learn independently in whatever living situation they find themselves, or students to follow a strict schedule that assumes unlimited access to technology.

Many of you have also voiced concerns about the significant challenges that educators face under our new circumstances. In addition to creating a new model for connecting with students and supporting their learning, many teachers are caring for their own families, facing limitations with wifi and other technology, and navigating housing/space limitations.

Earlier this week, the Oregon Department of Education put out guidance for “Distance Learning for All.” While the ODE guidance makes frequent references to equity, and points out many of the barriers to educating our most vulnerable students, it offers few solutions. We know that many of our students do not have reliable wi-fi, a quiet place to work, or adults at home who are able to devote their time during this crisis to guiding them through virtual learning modules or suggested activities. It is imperative that as a public school system, while we offer learning opportunities to all, we must focus our attention on reaching out to and supporting our students facing the greatest challenges. Their most pressing needs may not be academic.

If you are concerned about the new guidelines, consider writing to Governor Kate Brown and  Director of the Oregon Department of Education, Colt Gill.

Feel free to cc me, our Superintendent, and our state president. 

To:

Colt Gill: colt.gill@state.or.us

Kate Brown’s chief of staff: nik.blosser@oregon.gov

CC:

PAT president: patpresident@oregoned.org

PPS Superintendent: gguerrero@pps.net

OEA President: john.larson@oregoned.org

We continue to work with PPS to make meaning of the state’s guidance and will continue to share everything we know. 

In the meantime, please remember that we are the professional educators.  You know what your students and families need. Despite the cloud of uncertainty that surrounds us, trust your judgement on how to best work with your students given the tools and opportunities available.

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

 

 

March 27th COVID-19 Communication from PAT on School Closures

 

Message sent to our membership on March 27, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator,

We know that uncertain times can leave us feeling anxious. We want you to know that we continue to work on your behalf during these times. 

We have been in regular communication with PPS to make sure we can complete the demands of the Governor's executive order, and give our students the best we can, with reasonable expectations from ourselves- knowing that our new “working conditions” vary greatly, as do our virtual proficiencies. As always, our primary concern is not only our students, but also your health and safety. 

To that end, we have insisted that any plans provide flexibility for educators, and opportunities for us to capitalize on our strengths while we grow some new skills. No one believes that online learning is an adequate substitution for what we do in our schools with our students. We also understand that we must figure out ways to connect with our students. We believe that the plan for the first week back, which gives educators an opportunity to familiarize themselves with online platforms, is an appropriate first step. 

To reiterate what PPS sent out earlier today, the expectation is that the first week back, beginning Monday, March 30, all PAT members who are able to, will work remotely, engaging in online learning and collaboration. The work expected will be flexible and at your own pace. 

  • You can expect to complete your daily assignments in about 2.5-3 hours, plus any additional planning that you might choose to do. PPS sent this suggested schedule in the email that went out today.
  • This work is geared toward classroom teachers, including special education and ESL teachers. The District has told us that educators in different roles may receive different instructions in the next few days. If you are unsure of your expectations for next week, please reach out to your principal or program supervisor. 
  • For the small number of educators who do not have internet access at home, the District can provide you with a hotspot. Please fill out this form that PPS provided to let them know you need one.

If you are anxious about your abilities to work from home, we ask that you give it a try. We believe that PPS is absolutely interested in supporting everyone so that they can be successful. We will work together to make this work. Of course this is hard- but we are saving lives by staying home, so we must persist. 

We also encourage you to reach out to your students, if you haven’t already, because we know these are trying times for all and our most important job is building and sustaining relationships with those we serve.

As always, this only begins to scratch the surface of the questions that keep arising. Thank you for your patience as we continue to adapt to our changing circumstances.

We also have some sunshine to share, and hope you will share your efforts with us.

Because our PAT budget had funds earmarked for events that have been cancelled, we have been able to contribute funds to: The Oregon Food BankMeals on Wheels, No Kid HungryThe United WayPPS Coronavirus Relief Fund, and the Oregon Education Association Foundation.

The OEA Foundation provides micro-grants for PPS students and their families. You know your families the best, so if you are aware of a PPS student who is in need, apply for a micro-grant through the OEA Foundation by using this weblinkThese $100 grants can be used to purchase grocery store gift cards, rent, or utilities for a PPS student’s family. 

The PPS Fund has created a Coronavirus Relief Fund. Dollars raised will provide $100 in groceries to PPS families who qualify for free and reduced lunch.

PPS has also been putting some extra supplies to good use during this crisis. PPS is working with Multnomah County to donate materials-on-hand, like several thousand N95 masks that will be redistributed to hospitals, in addition to deploying PPS high school 3D printers to make face masks for medical personnel.

Finally, we know that many of you are volunteering your time in your communities. Please send us brief stories and photos of you in the community working at a food bank, dropping off groceries to a neighbor in need (porch-to-porch drop offs), or walking dogs at your animal shelter.

In these unprecedented times we are asking things of ourselves we've never imagined. We are digging deep into our bag of tricks to rise to the challenge to teach creatively and inspire lifelong learning. We are professional educators who have always made things work under less than perfect circumstances, and we know we can do it again- because we are helping our world heal.

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

March 20th COVID-19 Spring Break Notice from PAT

Message sent to our membership on March 20, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator,

This is certainly not the “have a happy spring break” e-mail we imagined sending you, and yet, we really do want to encourage you to take a break.

When we come back from Spring Break, we will be figuring out what our new working conditions will be. We worked with PPS to develop a survey, which we encourage that you take. We know that we are all in different places in our technological abilities, as well as the amount of time and flexibility we have to work from home.

We have been clear with PPS that many of our educators have called, emailed, texted, and insisted that there are many ways we can continue to work in service to our students. We have encouraged PPS to seek volunteers, because we know there are a lot of you.

We also know that for many of you, working during this time presents many challenges: wifi access, caring for others, and lack of quiet work space. Our intent is to work with PPS to determine how we may all continue to work in a way that is reasonable.

Substitutes

We strongly encourage all substitutes to apply for unemployment insurance via the State’s website: https://www.oregon.gov/employ/Pages/Unemployment-Insurance-Videos.aspx.  After discussions with PPS, the District has made a commitment to the PAT that it will not object to unemployment applications submitted by substitutes.  In those same discussions with PPS representatives, the PAT proposed that substitutes should be paid their individual monthly average pay for the duration of the closure.  Only hours ago, PPS agreed to compensate substitutes during the extended closure based upon an average of work performed.  https://www.pps.net/Page/15149

During this global health crisis, it is important to note that your health insurance coverage will continue.  We are strongly advocating that substitutes who would have worked the equivalent of 70 full work days - had it not been for the school closure - should still qualify for health insurance for the 2020-2021 school year.  We will provide updates on this issue as they develop. 

Bargaining

Your PAT Bargaining Team met (via phone conference) and discussed the options on how to proceed with the planned opening of negotiations.  After a lengthy conversation we realized that negotiating at this time is simply not practical.

Once PAT and the District have a better idea of how government leaders plan to handle the COVID-19 crisis, our  two teams will discuss how to proceed with both the PAT and the PAT Substitute Teacher negotiations.   

 

Know that your PAT staff and leaders are working continuously to navigate this new territory.

We hope you have a good spring break!

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

March 13th COVID-19 Communication from PAT

Message sent to our membership on March 13, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator,

As you are hopefully aware, thanks to many of you and your advocacy, the Governor ordered all Oregon Schools to close until March 30th for educators, April 1st for students.

Though closing schools is not easy, we have absolutely made the right decision from a public health perspective. I am so grateful to our Superintendent’s leadership during a very difficult time. He heard our call, and responded the same day.

Naturally, we will all have many questions, and the truth is, we don’t have all the answers. PAT is working with PPS and others across the city and state to make plans that are responsive to the needs of workers, students, and the community. As we know more, we will share. Thank you for your patience and grace as we work through these difficult times.

Here are a few questions we have received with the best answers we have at this time.

Q: Will educators be required to provide online or remote instruction while schools are closed? 

The short answer is no. Taking a traditional school environment online is not a simple task – nor is it one that should be attempted without serious consideration of the practicality and risk. In conversations with PPS, it is clear we can not provide this in an equitable way. However, we are exploring ways to use technology to keep students engaged and connected to learning.

Q: Will we use the snow make up days at the end of the year?

PAT will work with PPS to best alleviate the impact on students' instructional time, while always respecting employee rights. We have not yet begun this conversation, so, we don’t have answers for you. At this time, the only thing we do know is that those three days on the end of our calendar are days PPS employees should make themselves available to work. We have no idea how this will play out, but it makes sense not to make any plans for those days.

Q: What about our substitutes?

We are working with PPS and OEA for support. We know this is a very stressful and uncertain time. 

Please know that healthcare and economic support are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. 

Q: Will we really return to work on March 30th?

That is the plan right now, but of course, plans can change. As you leave your classroom today, please consider taking things home that you may want or need during an extended period of time.

Q: What can we do now to help?

Plans are being developed for those not at high-risk to volunteer and help. If you think you might be willing or able to help with child care, food distribution, or other tasks as they arise, please fill out this form. But you don’t have to wait for us or anyone else-- you know your school and community. Work together to problem solve needs as they arise. And don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment.

COVID-19 is likely causing stress and anxiety due to the unpredictability of this situation and the potential impact of a widespread pandemic. If you are experiencing anxiety or need additional support, please take advantage of the free counseling services through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Their number is 866-750-1327.

We encourage you to stay home if you are sick or have concerns about exposure, make preparations for yourself and your family, check on friends and neighbors, and stay informed (from the Oregon Health Authority, World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, etc).   

I want to emphasize that this is what we know right nowWe are advocating for your rights as union members, and the overall health of our community. This situation continues to evolve on a daily basis and we will keep you updated as things develop.  

Suzanne Cohen

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

March 12, 2020 COVID-19 Communication from PAT

 

Message sent to our membership on March 12, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator, 

As you know, the situation surrounding coronavirus is very fluid and continues to evolve. There is a lot of uncertainty facing us, not just as educators, but as the people and families who are living with this outbreak. Please know that your health, and that of your families, loved ones, students, colleagues, and communities remains of utmost importance.  

I want to share what PAT is doing to support our members, and answer some questions we have been receiving. In a nutshell, we are fighting to slow down the spread of COVID-19, to make sure our students' needs for food and basic services are met, that graduation can still happen, and we are coordinating with others to safeguard individuals and communities across our city.

First of all, PAT remains in close communication with PPS regarding the virus and schools, we have also been communicating with our nutrition service workers and custodial staff. We meet and discuss issues daily. At this point, it is PAT’s position that it’s not a matter of if, but when, schools will close. We are advocating that notice goes out today, for a date in the future that gives us and our families an opportunity to prepare. The decision to advocate for closing schools does not come lightly to us. Here is just one of many articles that leads us to believe it’s our social imperative to practice greater social distancing. It states:

Public officials understandably don't want to close schools unless they absolutely have to, and many closures so far have been triggered by a known case of infection or exposure among staff or students. Yet research suggests the best time to close schools is before that happens.

"If you wait for the case to occur [in your school], you still have wound up closing the school, but now you've missed the opportunity to have the real benefit that would have accrued had you closed the school earlier," says Yale University sociologist and physician Nicholas Christakis.

The Governor today directed school districts in Oregon to stay open, but also to avoid crowds of 250. We know this is incongruous. We believe that we must be prepared for school closures in the coming days. PAT will continue to advocate with and for you and your students, in all areas.

Our contract has some language about this already, but of course this is an unprecedented time. We aim to be collaborative, flexible, and helpful- while always prioritizing health and safety.

17.2.4 Absence Due to Quarantine: In the event a declaration of quarantine made by the Public Health Official prevents a professional educator who is not ill from reporting to work, the professional educator shall not suffer a loss in pay and no charge will be made against the professional educator’s accumulated sick leave.

In the event of a prolonged school closure, PAT will work with the district to make sure that benefits are not interrupted, and to negotiate any plan to make up days. 

We know that this pandemic is stressful, due to the many uncertainties and questions it raises. 

We know that there have been concerns about what PPS has communicated with custodians about “enhanced cleaning.” We pressed the district to clarify the plan about disinfecting high-touch areas. On March 9, Frank Leavitt, the Director of Facilities, communicated the following to all custodians. See the full communication, and the Memorandum that went to Head Custodians on March 4 here

There has been some confusion on ‘who’ is responsible for ‘what’ in regards to cleaning and disinfecting classrooms.  While the teaching staff’s main priorities and goals are the education of the students, the Custodial staff’s main priorities are the cleanliness and safety of the building and its occupants… both during the day and at night.

To that end, the custodial staff should be prioritizing the disinfecting of the ‘touch points’ noted in the memo below and attached.  Part of that goal is the cleanliness of rooms and the desks, floors, etc. within the rooms. The evening staff should be focusing on disinfecting the classroom desks and touchpoints within the classroom in the evening.  We know this will take time away from other, much needed work, however, this must become a priority so that when students return to school in the morning, they will arrive to clean desks.

 Senior leadership has reminded principals and teachers that we need their help in keeping the desks clean during the day with disinfecting wipes, which many schools have already received (they continue to be delivered to schools as they arrive in the Warehouse) and that they may use the Alpha-HP in the morning (per instructions) again before students arrive.  We understand that the day custodian cannot be in each room doing this during the day. 

We have also communicated to principals that, due to the added duties for the night crew, there may be a dip in service of some regular tasks.  Please be sure to keep in communication with your principals and your FOM of areas that may have been missed and work with your FOM on how we may return to those items with the day custodian’s help. 

We will continue to give you updates as we know more, and will continue to advocate. In the meantime, please contact the Board and the Superintendent with your concerns, and stay home if you are sick. 


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

Bargaining Proposal Showcase- March 16 and 18

UPDATE: Due to school closure, this event is postponed and will be rescheduled.

Since last May, PAT members have been volunteering ideas for new contract language via email, calls, and through work with the Bargaining Committee. In addition, the Bargaining Team has been meeting to bring all those suggestions together into an Initial PAT Bargaining Proposal.

SIGN-UP HERE On Monday, March 16th and Wednesday, March 18th, from 4:30 to approximately 6:30, the PAT Bargaining Team will present the PAT initial proposal to PAT MEMBERS ONLY. The presentation will be held here at the PAT. Because space is limited, we ask that you SIGN-UP HERE if you plan to attend.

Report Your Building Organizer

Please report your building organizer by filling out this form. Thank you!

President’s Message: Everyone Counts in the Census

It may not be something that you’ve thought about before, but I want to share a few reasons why the U.S. Census is so important to the well-being of our students and the strength of our public schools.

First and foremost, the census affects $800 billion in public education funding.

Every year the federal government distributes federal education funds to states and localities—funds that help reduce class sizes, hire specialists, provide preschool to low-income families, and ensure that hungry students can get breakfast or lunch to help them pay attention in class.

These funds are allocated based on population and poverty level, information calculated directly from census data.

UNDERCOUNTED=UNDERSERVED

When children and their families go uncounted, it is unlikely that their schools and communities will receive the resources they need, widening educational inequality.

Young children are at high risk of not being counted. Research shows that the 2010 census missed 10 percent of children under the age of five. That’s more than 2 million kids.

What’s worse is the fact that hard-to-count populations include some of our most vulnerable families: recent immigrants or English language learners; those without stable housing; and children in shared custody arrangements, or those being raised by someone other than their parents.

Because the census count happens only once every 10 years, if we undercount young children, the consequences will last for most of their childhood.

Census data also affects numerous other social programs that directly impact children’s health and academic success, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which keeps millions of families out of poverty.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Because educators are trusted, it’s important that we do our part to reassure students and families that participation in the census is safe, important, and necessary. This is how we help ensure that every community receives its fair share of federal and state funding for schools and other critical services.

So please talk to your family, coworkers, and friends about what is at stake for public schools in the census.

As a middle school math teacher, I also encourage you to participate in Statistics in Schools Week, March 2-6, 2020.

Educators across the country will be teaching students about the importance of the census, and you can find an extensive collection of lesson plans, maps, coloring pages, word finds, and more on the Census Bureau website. Our national union also has a Census toolkit with similar resources.

Thank you for helping us make the 2020 census as accurate and complete as possible. I hope you’ll also consider sending home a reminder about the census with your students. Flyers are available on the NEA website in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

In Solidarity,

Suzanne Cohen
PAT President

PAT Elections Results

On February 24th balloting closed for the PAT election. The following candidates were elected:

President: Elizabeth Thiel

Vice-President: Gwen Sullivan

Secretary: Alisha Chavez-Downing

Treasurer: Diana Collins

Executive Board (5 positions elected):

  • Mike Bauer
  • Greg Burrill
  • Vincent Chirimwami
  • Jacqueline (Jacque) Dixon
  • Rachel Hanes

All of this year’s candidates for NEA RA Delegate and OEA RA Delegate have been elected. Write-in candidates with two or more votes for NEA RA Delegate and OEA RA Delegate will be contacted by PAT in March. Please contact N&E Committee Chair, Ailien Tran (astran2@yahoo.com), if you have any questions.

Thank you to everyone who ran for office and who voted!

PAT PAC Endorsements for the 2020 Primary for Oregon Legislature

The Portland Association of Teachers Political Action Committee (PAT PAC) is proud to announce its endorsements for candidates running for the Oregon Legislature in the May 2020 Primary Election.

This year, the issues of keeping promises and respecting workers have been of central importance to the PAT PAC Board, and to all our PAT PAC members.

The passage of SB1049 last summer -- which reallocates a portion of public employee compensation away from workers’ retirement savings, to use it to pay down the state’s debt -- was deeply troubling to teachers and all public employees.

A vote for this bill represents a lawmakers’ willingness to forgo agreements made in trust, and to force public workers to pay for the state's programs.

Nonetheless, we gave every candidate an opportunity to discuss their vote with us. Some answers horrified us- not only do some of our elected officials show no remorse for their vote, some said they'd do further cuts if needed.

This primary season, the PAT PAC is not endorsing any candidate who voted for SB1049. We are hopeful that moving forward, our Oregon Legislature will be bold champions for workers, public education, and the revenue reform to allow our state to meet the needs of all our state’s children, families, and community members.

The PAT PAC endorsement panel consisted of 9 educators along with OEA staff. The panel considered the following criteria while making their endorsements: support for collective bargaining and the rights of workers; knowledge of education issues; commitment to racial equity; advocacy for strong, fully-funded public schools; and electability.

We are proud to endorse the following candidates for the Oregon State Legislature:

House District 33: Christina Stephenson

As a civil rights attorney, Christina has centered her career around protecting workers. She will be a fierce advocate for labor rights, housing affordability, school funding, and the revenue reform we need to make Oregon a place where all our community members can thrive. As the mom of a kindergartner in PPS, she sees first-hand how direly our schools need the resources to lower classes and offer all the supports that our students need.

House District 36: Laurie Wimmer

We are fortunate to have a strong field of progressive candidates for the HD 36 seat, but Laurie Wimmer surpasses all with her in-depth knowledge of the issues and policies that are most important to educators and families. Her decades of experience as an OEA lobbyist, advocating in Salem for educators and students, give her the political know-how to get things done.

Above all, Laurie’s passion for public education, economic justice, racial equity, and collective bargaining position her to be a champion for PAT members, students, and working families.

House District 42: Paige Kreisman

Paige Kreisman deeply believes in fully funding public schools, strengthening workers rights, and providing needed human services to all Oregonians. Her background as an organizer and advocate for the Portland Democratic Socialists of America demonstrated a willingness to take stand and fight for crucial issues. Although she is not an educator, she gave a firm commitment to collaborate with educators and the PAT on education legislation.

Senate District 21: Kathleen Taylor

Senator Taylor’s record on public education and labor rights speaks for itself. Not only was she a vocal advocate for the Student Success Act, she has consistently voiced the need for structural revenue reform in Oregon so that we can fully fund education, social services, healthcare, and all the things kids and families in Oregon need. She rejected the notion that workers’ retirement accounts be raided to pay down the state’s debt, voting no on SB1049. Her unwavering clear-headed advocacy for revenue reform, labor rights, and public services are a powerful force in Salem.

We look forward to working with these candidates to fully fund our schools, support workers, and better support our students and families.

The PAT PAC is not done-- we will be announcing additional endorsements in the coming weeks.

Bargaining Proposal Showcase: March 16th and 18th

Since last May, PAT members have been volunteering ideas for new contract language via email, calls, and through work with the Bargaining Committee. In addition, the Bargaining Team has been meeting to bring all those suggestions together into an Initial PAT Bargaining Proposal.

On Monday, March 16th and Wednesday, March 18th, from 4:30 PM to approximately 6:30 PM, the PAT Bargaining Team will present the PAT initial proposal to PAT MEMBERS ONLY. The presentation will be held here at the PAT.

Because space is limited, we ask that you sign-up if you plan to attend.

 

PPS Budget Watch—Call for Volunteers

Want to help win the schools our students deserve? Please join fellow PAT members in closely examining the PPS budget and other pertinent financial data so that we can support our Bargaining Team and convincingly demonstrate how PPS can adequately fund all of the vital staffing supports we know our kids deserve—from smaller class sizes to hiring enough behavioral health staff to adequately supporting the social and emotional needs of kids in Portland Public schools. This team will collect and analyze relevant financial data to both support our proposals, and to develop a sound understanding of the District’s financial position and budgetary priorities for the upcoming school year.

We will be meeting in the second week of March to get started with a training and to develop a research plan. If you’re interested in “nerding out” and digging deep into the District’s budget and financial data to achieve the schools that Portland students deserve, please send an email to Peter Brogan at: peter.brogan@oregoned.org

Understanding the Unassignment Process

PAT representatives will meet with the District on March 3rd to review unassignments. Each year PAT staff review every unassignment in PPS to ensure they are done in compliance with the contract. 

Please keep in mind that an unassignment is NOT a layoff. Unassignments happen when an individual building has a reduction in FTE, and the educator who is unassigned is reassigned to another site for the next school year. 

That is accomplished by having unassigned educators apply to available vacant positions. At this time, vacancies will be posted in the Internal transfer process from March 6 – 12 (that date may change), with interviews occurring shortly after that. 

Contract educators, 3rd year probationary educators, and unassigned 1st and 2nd year probationary educators are eligible to apply for vacancies in the Internal transfer process. No external applicant may be considered for a subject area until all unassigned current educators are assigned.

Any concerned educator may ask their Building Reps for a copy of the Unassignment FAQs.

PPS is also holding two meetings for unassigned PAT members at the BESC as follows:

  • March 4: PAT members, unassignment informational meeting, 5:00pm at BESC in the Mazama Conference Room.
  • March 5: PAT members, unassignment informational meeting, 4:30pm at BESC in the Mazama Conference Room.

PAT reps will be on hand at both of these meetings to answer your questions.


K-5 Report Card Re-Design

Thanks to all who came to the IPD meeting on Jan. 8th to give your feedback on how to improve our K - 5 report card. From that group we now have our initial report card redesign committee members. We are also looking for a 3rd or 4th grade DLI teacher to join the team if anyone is interested:

  • Marlena Maestas (K, Glencoe)
  • Martha Gross (2nd gr., Richmond)
  • Christopher Naze (5th gr., Capitol Hill)
  • Elizabeth Israel-Davis (K-5 Rdg. Spec., Grout, and Chair of IPD)

The first meeting with District leadership and parents will be Tuesday, March 10th.

Before that meeting, if you have ideas you would like to share about improving the K-5 report card, please attend the next Instruction and Professional Development (IPD) committee meeting on Wednesday, March 4th, 4:30 - 6:30 PM at the PAT office. 

During that time we will be consolidating the ideas gathered at the January meeting and can also incorporate anything new which may be brought up.

Dinner provided, please RSVP here.

K-5 Report Card Re-Design

Thanks to all who came to the IPD meeting on Jan. 8th to give your feedback on how to improve our K - 5 report card. From that group we now have our initial report card redesign committee members. We are also looking for a 3rd or 4th grade DLI teacher to join the team if anyone is interested:

  • Marlena Maestas (K, Glencoe)
  • Martha Gross (2nd gr., Richmond)
  • Christopher Naze (5th gr., Capitol Hill)
  • Elizabeth Israel-Davis (K-5 Rdg. Spec., Grout, and Chair of IPD)

The first meeting with District leadership and parents will be Tuesday, March 10th.

Before that meeting, if you have ideas you would like to share about improving the K-5 report card, please attend the next Instruction and Professional Development (IPD) committee meeting on Wednesday, March 4th, 4:30 - 6:30 PM at the PAT office. 

During that time we will be consolidating the ideas gathered at the January meeting and can also incorporate anything new which may be brought up.

Dinner provided, please RSVP here.

RSVP for IPD- K-5 Report Card Re-Design (March 4)

RSVP for K-5 Report Card Re-Design: Wednesday, March 4th, 4:30 - 6:30 PM

Dinner provided, please RSVP here (and select "Instruction and Professional Development" as the committee meeting).

Thanks to all who came to the IPD meeting on Jan. 8th to give your feedback on how to improve our K - 5 report card. From that group we now have our initial report card redesign committee members. We are also looking for a 3rd or 4th grade DLI teacher to join the team if anyone is interested.

Before we meet with District leadership and parents will be Tuesday, March 10th, if you have ideas you would like to share about improving the K-5 report card, please attend the next Instruction and Professional Development (IPD) committee meeting on Wednesday, March 4th, 4:30 - 6:30 PM at the PAT office. 

During that time we will be consolidating the ideas gathered at the January meeting and can also incorporate anything new which may be brought up.

Dinner provided, please RSVP here (and select "Instruction and Professional Development" as the committee meeting).

New Educator Social- March 13

UPDATE: Due to school closure, this event has been postponed. 

New Member Social: Friday, March 13th

Calling all Educators new to PPS in the past 4 years-
You are invited to come and meet and mingle with other new educators from across PPS. Come learn more about your union, the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT). You can get your questions answered, play trivia, or just eat, drink, and enjoy a Happy Friday with other educators.

Date: Friday, March 13th 
Time: 4:30-6:30 PM
Place: Great Notion Brewery NW 
2444 NW 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Appetizers and drink tickets provided, register here.

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OEA Symposium: White-Allyship - Saturday, March 14th

The White-Allyship Symposium stems from the belief that racial equality requires more skills in disrupting social norms that perpetuate the status quo.

Few white educators have received explicit support to work collaboratively and inclusively with colleagues of color to dismantle systems and beliefs that perpetuate racial inequality.

How can both parties — white educators, and educators of color — create and sustain strong cross-racial dynamics that enhance collaboration around issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion?

This Symposium, sponsored by the Oregon Education Association and facilitated by the Oregon Center for Educational Equity, is centered around nurturing effective and authentic White-Allyship.

Participants will critically reflect on what it means to be a white ally or a person of color engaged in collaborative racial equity work. The focus on working from the inside out to explore both professional and personal issues will challenge participants to step out of their comfort zone and create new entry points for understanding to support effective cross-racial work.

Register online here.

Date: March 14, 2020
Time: 9 AM - 4 PM
Place: Monarch Hotel – Clackamas, 12566 SE 93rd Clackamas, OR 97015

PDX Women’s March: Sunday, March 1st

The PDX Women's March will take place Sunday March 1st from 12:00 - 3:00 PM in the South Park Blocks near PSU.

The 2020 theme is "Remember and Rise." The PDX Women's March is a family-friendly permitted event welcoming all women and their allies.

You can find out more on the PDX Women's March website!

New Member Social: Friday, March 13th

Calling all Educators new to PPS in the past 4 years-
You are invited to come and meet and mingle with other new educators from across PPS. Come learn more about your union, the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT). You can get your questions answered, play trivia, or just eat, drink, and enjoy a Happy Friday with other educators.

Date: Friday, March 13th
Time: 4:30-6:30 PM
Place: Great Notion Brewery NW
2444 NW 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Appetizers and drink tickets provided, register here.

California Casualty Art Challenge

Impact Teen Drivers and California Casualty, the OEA/NEA Auto & Home Insurance provider, are challenging students to develop artistic ideas to combat reckless and distracted driving.

The Create Real Impact contest will provide an opportunity for students ages 14 – 22 to win $1,500 in one of six categories. Three schools with the most entries will each be awarded a $1,000 educational grant.

The Create Real Impact contest details are available online.