PAT Rep Assembly Materials - September 28, 2016

It was great seeing many of you at the RA yesterday! Here are some materials for you to use in your building: 

If you would like me or another PAT leader to come to your meeting to talk about Measure 97, please let me know when. We would love to come out.

Thank you for being a leader in your building, and for all you do to advocate for schools, students, and teachers.

 

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A Big Ask You Need to Answer

Before I was PAT President, I taught 7th grade Math and Science at Peninsula, back when it was a K-8. Despite being a Title 1 school, we didn’t have a counselor. 

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Organizing for Measure 97

If Measure 97 passes, we secure an additional $6 billion in stable funding for education, healthcare, and senior services. If it fails, we are facing a $1-2 billion shortfall next budget cycle. Oregonians have been waiting for two decades for the legislature to fix our revenue system, and we won’t get another opportunity like this. 

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Bargaining Update

Your bargaining team continued its work over the summer and into the new school year.  However, many key discussions will be put on hold until after November 8th.  On that day, voters can decide to add significant new educational funding for K-12 schools by voting yes on Measure 97.  This would mean that the District would have financial resources to lower class sizes, reduce caseloads, improve safety, add instructional time, and restore the services to kids that have been eroded over 25 years of defunding Oregon schools.  We are also delaying discussions on compensation and benefits.  If Measure 97 fails, we expect renewed proposals for cuts to staffing and programs.

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PAT-PAC Endorsements

The PAT-PAC Board met and has voted to take no position in the race for Portland City Commissioner Position 4. The PAT-PAC Board is recommending Dr. Sharon Meieran for Multnomah County Commissioner District 1, and Tawna Sanchez for House District 43. A complete voter’s guide with all PAT-PAC recommendations will come out October 12th.

Advancing on the Salary Schedule

Did you take classes over the summer that you want to use to advance on the salary schedule? If you want the salary increase to be retroactive to the beginning of the school year, it's your responsibility to make sure that PPS Human Resources Department receives verification that you successfully completed the courses by October 31. If PPS receives verification after October 31, the salary adjustment will be made effective the second month following the month in which proof is received. Read more here to see what is required.

Initial Placement on the Salary Schedule

Are you new to PPS? Do you have past teaching experience or degrees that you want to count towards your initial placement on the salary schedule? Please be aware that placement depends on PPS' receipt of official verification of your teaching or work experience, and it is your responsibility to make sure they receive it. To get credit for your experience retroactive to your start of employment, PPS Human Resources Department must receive that verification within 60 days of your start. Read more here to see what is required.

Make Time for Mandatory Trainings

Each year educators are required to complete mandatory online trainings on topics such as Emergency Preparedness and Prevention and Reporting. This year’s mandatory trainings are estimated to require 3 hours and 15 minutes. Our contract requires administrators to provide time during the workday for all mandatory trainings. Educators required to complete mandatory trainings on their own time should be paid at their hourly rate.

How to Raise Issues with Your Administration

Did you know that every PAT member has the contractual right to raise issues and concerns with the building administration?  All you have to do is talk with your building representatives, and they can present your idea or issues as part of their monthly meetings with the building administration.  Don’t let little issues become big problems.  Talk with your PAT Building Rep so they can make sure administrators are aware of problems and can correct possible violations.  

Using Professional Development Funds

The PAT/PPS contract provides funds for professional development as well as tuition reimbursement. The Professional Improvement Fund allows educators to spend $1500 over three years for transportation, meals, lodging, and registration costs to attend a conference, provided it has a legitimate pedagogical purpose. Please note that temporary teachers are not currently eligible for the Professional Improvement Fund.

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Two Great Professional Development Opportunities

Two great opportunities to use your PD Funds are coming up this October. Follow the links below to find out more details or register. Both events are co-sponsored by the PAT. 

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Help Us Address Class Size

Join the Instruction and PD Committee’s discussion of class size/caseload.  Our next meeting is on Wednesday, October 5th from 4:30-6:00 pm at PAT.  We will present your concerns the following week to administration at our monthly Instructional Program council meeting.

Oregon Writing Project - The Politics of Teaching THIS Election

Join us as we grapple with the complexities of teaching about the 2016 election. How do we lead critical conversations about candidate’s platforms? How do we give voice to important critiques while maintaining professional boundaries? How do we weave this into our opening of the year curriculum? Oregon Writing Project teachers join with Portland Association of Teachers in this discussion. Friday, September 30, 4:30-6:30, at the PAT office.

PAT Members Speak Out on Housing Crisis

On Saturday, September 17th, Portland Tenants United held a rally at City Hall to call for an end to No Cause evictions and demand a rent freeze. Teachers see first hand the impact homelessness and housing instability have on our students and their families. PAT President Suzanne Cohen and Social Justice chair Rachel Hanes spoke at the rally in solidarity with PTU and tenants fighting for stable housing.

Step Up for a Better Oregon

After more than a generation of cuts to public education, we have a chance to turn things around this November. Measure 97, spearheaded by the Better Oregon campaign, will put more than 33% more money into our schools: resources for art, music, and world languages, along with the supports and services so many of our students need.

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Watch Out for the Freedom Foundation

In recent weeks, union members around the state have been approached by the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think-tank claiming they want us to “give ourselves a raise.” But their real agenda is to bust our union and silence the voice of working people. Backed by billionaires like the Koch brothers, their agenda is clear -- break our union's back and take away our voice to collectively bargain. Here’s what you need to know if you or someone from your school crosses paths with the Freedom FoundationYou can also find out more in this video from the Northwest Accountability Project.

 

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Give Your Schedule a Check-Up

Does your work schedule give you the time you need to support your students?  Make sure your schedule respects your rights under the PAT contract when it comes to duty, planning time, staff meeting time and other workday components. 

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Contribute to the Sick Leave Bank

Now is the time to donate hours to the sick leave bank. The sick leave bank provides members with serious illnesses extra time once they exhaust their own sick leave. You can donate between 4 to 24 hours each year. In the last bargain, we expanded the number of hours allowed in the bank, but PPS no longer contributes. Read the guidelines here.

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Yes on Measure 97!

Congratulations on the start of the school year! Amidst all that is going on as you begin your year, thank you for taking the time to nurture and strengthen the most important structure of our union: the members and building reps at every site.

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Getting Back On Track

Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.  - Nelson Mandela

Welcome back to school!

After a summer filled with so much uncertainty and tragedy, in our district and across the country, we need to get back on track.  As educators we know there aren’t quick fixes to our societal ills, but done right, education is the foundation for a just and equitable society.

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Bargaining Update

As you start the 2016-17 school year, you are working under an expired contract.  State law requires that the District maintain most contract provisions during the “status quo period”.  Your bargaining team has continued to meet in interest-based sub-groups with the District over the summer. 

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