A #metoo Moment for PPS

Last week the School Board released a report detailing their investigation into the Mitch Whitehurst case. I’ve read the entire 322-page document, and there’s a lot to digest. I’m shocked and saddened by how many times principals and other high-level administrators failed to act on reports from female students and employees.  As a woman, and an educator, I can’t help noticing that it wasn’t until an adult male was victimized that serious action took place.

I’m left wondering if PPS may finally be having its own #metoo moment.

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Leaders Needed: Run to Be a PAT Representative

Every year, PAT members at each site elect Building Representatives. Please consider running to be a Rep! Your site can elect 1 Rep for every 9 members. Any PAT member can run to be a rep, and all PAT members can vote in Rep elections.

What do Building Reps do? Our union works because Reps do a lot! That’s why it is important to have a full team of Reps to share the load. Here are some of the responsibilities Reps take on:

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Take Action on School Gun Violence

On May 18, 2018, 10 people died and at least 10 others were injured at a school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. This is the 22nd U.S. school shooting since the beginning of the year.

To date, more students and staff have been killed in school shootings this year than soldiers killed in active combat.

We, as a society, must do better to protect our students from gun violence both inside and outside of schools. Here are three things you can do right now:

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Compensation Review: Deadline June 1st

On Monday, April 16th, you should have received an email from to your PPS account from “PAT Salary Review”. If you think you might at all qualify, please fill out the link.

You do not need to email the PAT office to let us know or ask us if you should fill out the form, just go for it!

It’s also important to be aware that sending the info to PAT does not fulfill the requirement to submit your request for salary placement review to the District.

Here is the content of the email:

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Retroactive Credit for Master's Degree: Deadline June 1st

In their April 16th email addressing compensation review, the District also spelled out how educators can get credit for Master’s degrees earned prior to licensure. If you think you might at all qualify, please fill out the link below.

The email states:

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As Teacher Walkouts Spread, The Funding Fight Comes to Oregon

In an inspiring display of solidarity and commitment, teachers across the country have been walking off the job to protest cuts in education funding, and corporate tax breaks driving them.

Just last week 26,000 teachers in North Carolina stormed the state capitol demanding more funding for public education. This action followed week-long teacher strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona, as well as shorter strikes in Kentucky and Colorado.  

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National Board Certification Workshop: Thursday, May 31st

National Board Certification in Oregon is on the rise. Provisions in our contract and TSPC provide incentives and support for teachers who earn their National Board Certification. For more information on National Boards, the State Bill that provides funding for NBCT Candidates, incentives offered in PPS for National Board-Certified Teachers, or supports available for NBCT candidates, there will be an info session open to PAT members at the PAT Office (345 NE 8th Ave) on Thursday, May 31st from 4:30-5:30 PM. If you have questions, please contact Sara Daley, NBCT at sdaley@pps.net.

Showing Real Appreciation for Teachers

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Thank you for all you do for our students, our District, and our union. We appreciate you being an active member of PAT. Because of you, we have a strong, collective voice.

Thanks especially to the members who attended the May 8th School Board meeting, where we were able to celebrate the achievements of our colleagues who were recognized for their outstanding work. Congratulations to Tiana Ahmann, Martha Bryan, Trevor Butenoff, Kelly Dwight, Ben Ellenwood, Camila Arze Torres Goitia, Kathryn Moore, Kirsten Parrott, Gage Reeves, Tai Said-Hall, and Henise Telles-Ferreira.

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Educators Endorse Candidates for the May Election

The Portland Association of Teachers Political Action Committee (PAT PAC) and the Oregon Education Association Political Action Committee (OEA PAC) have endorsed the following candidates for the May 2018 primary election. The PAT PAC board considers candidates’ positions on public education, their commitment to union values, their alignment to PAT strategic goals including racial equity, and their electability. We look forward to working with these candidates to improve our schools, and move our state, city, and county to better support our students and families.

You can see the full list of candidates endorsed by the Oregon Education Association here.

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Compensation Review: Deadline June 1st

On Monday, April 16th, you should have received an email from to your PPS account from “PAT Salary Review”. If you think you might at all qualify, please fill out the link.

You do not need to email the PAT office to let us know or ask us if you should fill out the form, just go for it!

It’s also important to be aware that sending the info to PAT does not fulfill the requirement to submit your request for salary placement review to the District.

Here is the content of the email:

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Responding to Your Evaluation Report

If you feel that any aspect of the Teacher Evaluation Report you received is incomplete, inaccurate, or unjust, you may submit a written rebuttal statement/objection to the evaluator and request that it be attached to the Evaluation Report.  It will become a permanent part of your personnel file.

The rebuttal should normally be submitted within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Evaluation Report. Write it carefully and have a trusted colleague review it before you submit it.

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Retroactive Credit for Master's Degree: Deadline June 1st

In their April 16th email addressing compensation review, the District also spelled out how educators can get credit for Master’s degrees earned prior to licensure. If you think you might at all qualify, please fill out the link below.

The email states:

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Progress at the OEA Representative Assembly

Many thanks to the members who represented PAT as delegates at the 2018 OEA Representative Assembly on April 27th and 28th. We had a full day of business on Saturday, and PAT members brought forward and passed several new business items, including:

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Bargaining Chair Steve Lancaster Wins State Award

Our Bargaining Chair and Lincoln High School teacher, Steve Lancaster, was an award recipient at the annual Oregon Education Banquet Ceremony. Though our class size language isn’t perfect, it is the first of its kind in Oregon and will help push the legislature to make class size a mandatory subject of bargaining. Congratulations Steve, and all of you for the collective effort!

Chess for Success

Vangie Shaw, a long-term PPS educator and PAT leader passed away earlier this year. She asked that contributions be made to Chess for Success. PAT was able to purchase a table at the Chess for Success luncheon and invite PAT members who are coaches to attend as well. We were happy to honor Vangie by contributing to a great organization. Special thanks to Ben Kiggen, Craig Switalla, Kyle Cooke, Maria Hernandez, Ron Morgan, and Spencer McEwan for attending the luncheon and being coaches for this worthwhile program. 

Boycott Burgerville

On April 23rd workers at Burgerville store #41 on 92nd and Powell voted 18 to one in favor of union recognition. This makes their branch of the Burgerville Workers Union (BVWU) the first to win official recognition from the National Labor Relations Board. Workers are asking supporters to boycott Burgerville until the company agrees to bargain with the union.

Let's Engage!

PAT has a goal to have 1-on-1 conversations with at least 75% of our members. We know that these face-to-face conversations are key to maintaining union strength and solidarity.

PAT needs YOU to sign up to be a listener! OEA will pay for your sub, and provide training on the mechanics of how to be a listener and the technology we’re using will be provided on site.

All listening will occur on Fridays, so sign up on the PAT website!

Being a listener is a fun and easy way to be an active and involved union member. As professional educators, we know how valuable face-to-face time with other educators can be. While these conversations only last around five minutes, it provides a critical opportunity for member voices and stories to be heard and valued. 

Special Education Social: Thursday May 17th

PAT Special Education team members are invited to come together on Thursday, May 17th at 4:30 PM at PAT to reflect and connect. Topics will include our new contract, federal law, and our common issues. Let’s eat, drink, and network together!

PAT Substitute Workshop: Multnomah County Library, Monday, May 21st

PAT Substitute Teachers are invited to join the PAT-Retired group for a free tour and training at the Multnomah County Central Library. Participants will get a walking tour of this historic building and learn about available library resources. PDUs are available and the workshop is available free of charge.  

DATE:     Monday, May 21, 2018
TIME:     12:00 PM
PDU:       1.5 hours

Members of the PAT-Retired group will be meeting beforehand for brunch at 10:30 AM, at Cheryl’s Restaurant,  1135 SW Washington St.

Please RSVP by May 18th to Marleen Wallingford, marleenwong@comcast.net or (503) 927-2766.

National Board Certification Workshop: Thursday, May 31st

National Board Certification in Oregon is on the rise. Provisions in our contract and TSPC provide incentives and support for teachers who earn their National Board Certification. For more information on National Boards, the State Bill that provides funding for NBCT Candidates, incentives offered in PPS for National Board-Certified Teachers, or supports available for NBCT candidates, there will be an info session open to PAT members at the PAT Office (345 NE 8th Ave) on Thursday, May 31st from 4:30-5:30 PM. If you have questions, please contact Sara Daley, NBCT at sdaley@pps.net.

President's Message: Taking Action and Making Change

Over the past two months I’ve been so inspired by our colleagues around the country, taking action to defend our profession and fight for the funding all public schools deserve.

Teachers in West Virginia struck for nine days in February, winning a five percent raise for all state employees, and millions in additional school funding. Oklahoma teachers followed suit, boosting teacher pay by $6,000 and restoring millions to the education budget after striking for a week and a half. And Kentucky teachers shut down schools across the state two different times after conservative lawmakers tried to sneak through a bill that would gut their pensions.

This week, teachers in Arizona and Colorado are walking out to protest inadequate funding, and this movement keeps growing.

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