Reminder: Nominations for PAT and OEA Elections are Open

PAT is a democratic organization, and our leaders are elected by you and all our members. Our elections are held via electronic ballot in February. This year there are open positions for the following: 

  • PAT Executive Board Director-at-Large (4 seats)
  • OEA RA Delegate (approximately 30 seats) Nominate yourself here
  • NEA RA Delegate (approximately 26 seats, 9 of which are funded to travel)

Any PAT member in good standing may run for elected position. Nominations for these positions are now open, and will close in January. Learn more, and find online nomination forms on our website. Contact PATpresident@oregoned.org with any questions about these positions.

Overage Payments

Overage Payments for First Semester

Article 8 in the 2019-2020 PAT Agreement has language that defines workload “thresholds” for class-size, teaching load, caseload, and the number of unique course preparations. PPS is required by this contract language to pay educators whose workload exceeds those thresholds that were reviewed and calculated by PPS between October 19, 2020 and November 2, 2020.

Staff receiving stipends should have received a separate check on the November payday. The type of stipend will be reflected on the check as “Class Overload Stipend” and “Over 3 Prep Stipend.”

Overage pay for the second semester will be calculated on Monday, February 15, 2021. 

If you did not receive the pay you anticipated, please submit those questions and any documentation to PPS immediately and a PPS HR representative will review your information and respond about whether or not they will make any corrections. 

Overage for Educators working under a “4x4” Schedule in High Schools

With respect to overage payment for educators that work in high schools doing a temporary 4x4 schedule under Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL), we have major disagreements with the District’s implementation of our contract language. 

PPS believes that the CBA is clear, and that the language directly states that the payments are based on numbers per-semester. Since it is 160 for semester 1, and 160 for semester 2, PPS believes that they don’t have to pay any overage.

PAT believes that the overages numbers in the contract are directly linked to year-long courses.  Since that is the case, and since the District converted year-long cases to semester-long courses, we believe the 160 number for HS overage must be reduced to 80.  

It is our belief that high school educators working under a 4x4 schedule were not paid the proper overage payments based on a prorated 80-student threshold. PAT already has an “overage” grievance filed last year regarding prorating student overage numbers by the number of courses an educator teaches. That grievance is currently in settlement talks with state mediators scheduled to join the discussion in January. Depending on the outcome of those talks, PAT will apply the new understanding to this year’s 4x4 schedule, or PAT will file a new grievance to correct this violation.

Professional Learning Communities Under CDL

Professional educators in each building now have a voice in what happens in the many PLC meetings that PPS is requiring this year.  

Through negotiations pertaining to working conditions under CDL, your bargaining team was able to get PPS to agree that all PLCs will have half of the agenda for PLCs developed with input from the building administrators and the building’s instructional leadership team (ILT). The other half of the agendas will be determined through mutual agreement with the administration and the professional educators in each PLC meeting.  

If your PLC agendas are still being dictated by your building administrator, refer to the signed agreement and ensure that there is professional-educator voice shaping the work in the meetings.  

Finally, remember that each educator has 950 minutes of individual educator-directed time. PLC meetings do not count as individual teacher time. Check to make sure your building is in compliance, and if not, talk to your principal about changing the schedule, and have your building rep contact the PAT office.  

You can see the TA’d agreement language on our website.

Solidarity with Oregon Nurses- Join ONA Nurses’ Info Picket at OHSU

December 17th starting at noon @ OHSU Hospital

Nurses are on the frontlines of the global pandemic, taking care of people with COVID. ONA nurses are currently advocating for COVID safety protections, including a review of personal protective equipment, worker-voice in safety decisions, and paid leave after high-risk exposures. 

ONA/AURN represents 2,800 nurses throughout OHSU. Nurse union leaders bring the patients' voice to hospital administration by advocating for high standards like contact tracing/testing, safe quarantine, staffing to acuity, and reasonable compensation for their ongoing sacrifice. Currently, OHSU is refusing to commit to essential COVID safety protections. OHSU has over a billion dollars in savings and is the most profitable hospital in the state. Nurses are picketing the hospital for their own, as well as their patients’ and our community’s, safety!

If your schedule permits, please join nurses, labor leaders, and legislators to stand with OHSU nurses, Thursday, December 17th at 12:00 pm. ONA is committed to social distancing, mask wearing, and will provide hand sanitizer.

You can learn more about what OHSU nurses are fighting for, and RSVP here.

Watch “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” A Broadcast Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., Monday, January 18, 2021

PAT is a proud sponsor of the 36th annual Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, JrGreat American Hero and World Citizen, presented by World Arts Foundation Inc. 

This retrospective of Dr. King's legacy will be highlighted with dances, songs, and speeches. It will also spotlight those in our local, national, and global communities and leaders continuing his work. 

Please join us on January 18th, 2021 from 12:00pm-5:00pm for this broadcast.

Responding to the impact of COVID-19, this virtual production has been expanded to multiple platforms and will be available on: www.worldartsfoundation.org, Open Signal, KBOO 90.7 FM, XRAY 107.7 FM, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.

Please see the event's press release and flyer for more information.

Instruction and Professional Development Committee: CDL Survey Update

Based on some helpful feedback on our survey data collection methods, we are rethinking how we are conducting it. To avoid self selection bias, we will be choosing random PAT members and asking these people to complete the (very short) survey once a month. However, in order to assure that we are hearing from a truly representative sample, we will first establish categories (such as K - 5, CTE, or Learning Center) and then choose a random group from there. If you are selected, you will receive an email with more explanation.

But because we know that many of you have important things to say, we will continue to send out a separate survey to our general membership. This survey will be exactly the same but will be linked to a different form/spreadsheet.

Supporting Our English Language Learners

We have heard serious concerns from ELL educators about exiting students from services since the physical closure of schools. Since the spring, our ELL students have been unable to take the English Proficiency Assessment (ELPA), which under ODE rules, is the only way students are able to move to the next level or exit out.

This has huge repercussions for students and educators. As an example, one educator reported having 43 students on their caseload who should have been exited. Instead, they were added to the new students that that educator has this year. As a result, their caseloads were off the charts and the students who were not able to exit were required to take an ESL class instead of Art, Band, Tech Ed, etc.

The ELPA testing window is January through March. It is our understanding that the Oregon Department of Education is recommending that educators should give the assessment to students in person and to socially distance, following the ODE’s guidance on “limited in-person instruction.” Our educators were clear that this is not possible or respectful of the students or their families. COVID infection rates are much higher in communities of color compared to their white counterparts. Why would the state even ask to put our students and educators in harm’s way?

At the recent PAT/PPS Instructional Program Council (IPC), the District agreed that this is very problematic. The District and PAT educators are forming a group to present a better solution to ODE that best meets our students’ needs. Stay tuned…

State Testing During CDL? Oregon is Seeking a Waiver and Wants Your Input

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) plans to apply for a stateside waiver from giving the Smarter Balanced Assessment for the 2020-21 school year.  We look forward to working with the Biden administration to change many of these ludicrous decisions.  

The Oregon Education Association (OEA) has been strongly advocating on our behalf. In a letter to ODE, OEA President John Larson wrote: 

“We can do better by Oregon students and use this opportunity to truly take steps to end the systemic inequity that has long been present in education. The pandemic, the racial and social unrest in the country, and the economic upheaval hitting vulnerable families has shone a bright spotlight on those inequities. Now is the time to take action at the root of these inequities. It is not the time to continue to simply measure the outcomes of those inequities, as statewide summative tests have done for the past 20 years.” You can read the full letter here.

As it prepares to submit the application for this waiver, ODE has requested input from the education community. You can submit letters of support to ODE before December 15th. You can use both the OEA Letter of Support and the attached talking points as tools to help you in drafting these letters. Submit your feedback to WaiverFeedback@ode.state.or.us.

Grants for Students in Need: Support the OEA Foundation and Access Funds for Students

When Oregon students wake up and head to school, things look different this year. But one thing hasn’t changed: our students living in shelters, struggling with poverty, navigating the foster care system or parental illness come to school with a few less resources than other students. That’s where the OEA Foundation can step in. A new winter jacket, waterproof boots, personal hygiene products – these are the types of basic and essential needs our students have that the Foundation covers. If you have a student who needs extra support to cover the basics, consult the complete OEA Foundation guidelines today and apply with the easy online application.  

If you are able, we invite every OEA member to give through payroll deduction, even just $1 per month to the Foundation – 100% of every dollar donated goes to support Oregon public school students. 

Your End of Year Pay Stub Helps When You File Your Taxes

Please save your last paycheck of the year to track your deductions. This year, you can deduct up to $300 in charitable donations from your taxes, even if you do not itemize your taxes. If you have not already donated $300 this year to non-profits, please consider doing so by December 31st! 

Your final pay stub of the year will show you the year-to-date deductions in your deductions column. It will show your charitable contributions if you donate to the OEA Foundation or other charitable organizations.

It will also show your annual total for any political contributions to the PAT-PAC or OEA-PAC. Political contributions in Oregon are eligible for a state tax credit of up to $50 per individual return or $100 per joint return. 

Unfortunately, under the Trump tax reform bill, you can no longer deduct your union dues unless you are a small business owner.

Donate to The PAT Sick-Leave Bank

Donate up to 40 hours of your sick-leave to help a colleague in need.

Last school year, PAT members helped dozens of colleagues in need thanks to contributions to the PAT Sick Leave Bank. These colleagues had exhausted their accumulated leave balances, and were unable to work due to extended or recurring personal illness. With the help of the Sick Leave Bank, they avoided the additional hardships of lost salary and lost insurance coverage.

Thanks to your generosity, last year we met our goal of collecting the maximum number of voluntarily donated hours allowed under our contract. Recent improvements in our contract (CBA Article 17.2.1.2.F) mean that we can now fulfill almost all applications for assistance prior to running out of Sick Leave Bank hours. This shows the District that PAT members act on their belief that an injury to one is an injury to all.

It’s a new school year, with new needs, and a new Bank to fill. We can accept up to 4,000 hours and have a long way to go to reach that goal. 

This year, it is easier than ever to donate hours: you can donate hours by filling out this online form! You will need to log in with your PPS email account and include your PPS employee ID number on the form.

For more information, and to apply to the sick-leave bank, go to our website: http://www.pdxteachers.org/pat_forms 

Thank you for being part of this crucial program that allows us to support our colleagues through our union.

NEA Student Debt Virtual Clinic

NEA is hosting a virtual student debt support drop-in clinic on Saturday, December 12, from 9am - 1pm PST. The clinic will feature experts from NEA, NEAMB, and the Savi team, who will moderate an open Zoom meeting for educators to answer their student debt questions, share recent updates on the student loan payment suspension, and discuss the current state of the student debt crisis.

Participants can feel free to join at any point during the clinic: you are welcome to drop by any time and to stay only as long as you want! 

Educators can RSVP here and you will be sent a Zoom link that will allow you to join the student debt clinic anytime during the window.

California Casualty Quote Fest

On December 17th, from 4:30 - 6:00pm, please join a session with California Casualty, which offers PAT members quotes on auto, home, and renters insurance. Members will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card for each auto insurance quote. Please RSVP here.

California Casualty has great rates and has been supporting OEA and PAT members with discounts on insurance policy since 1974.

ODE Listening Sessions on Re-Opening Schools for In-Person Instruction

We hope you’ll join one of the upcoming webinars. 

  • Session 1: Monday, December 7, 2020 at 5:00-6:00pm - Registration 
  • Session 2: Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 7:00-8:00am - Registration 
  • Session 3: Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 11:00am-12:00pm - Registration 
  • Session 4: Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 5:00-6:00pm - Registration 
  • Session 5: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 7:00-8:00am - Registration 

 

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California Casualty QuoteFest Event December 17th

A PAT MEMBER BENEFIT!

California Casualty QuoteFest

Thursday, December 17th

Get your PAT Members Auto/Home/Renters Insurance Quotes. RSVP now!

Get a $25 Amazon Gift Card for a new Auto Insurance Quote!

Bonus: Two Fred Meyer Gift Cards will be given away during each session.

Save on PAT/OEA/NEA sponsored personal auto and home insurance provided by California Casualty.

Join us on Thursday, December 17th. The event is available in three sessions, 4:30, 5:00, or 5:30PM. 

RSVP Here for the ZOOM meeting details and to select a time most convenient for you.

Teresa Muench NEA MB Affiliate Relations Specialist

4532 SW Henderson St. Seattle, WA 98136

1-800-708-4632

Sherry Hanacek |Sr. Field Marketing Manager| Partner Relations
California Casualty Management Company
p: 971.226.8966    e: shanacek@calcas.com
Want to see the rates?: www.ReadyForQuote.com/sherry

Watch “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” A Broadcast Tribute to Martin Luther January 18 King, Jr., Monday, January 18, 2021

PAT is a proud sponsor of the 36th annual Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, JrGreat American Hero and World Citizen, presented by World Arts Foundation Inc. 

This retrospective of Dr. King's legacy will be highlighted with dances, songs, and speeches. It will also spotlight those in our local, national, and global communities and leaders continuing his work. 

Please join us on January 18th, 2021 from 12:00pm-5:00pm for this broadcast.

Responding to the impact of COVID-19, this virtual production has been expanded to multiple platforms and will be available on: www.worldartsfoundation.org, Open Signal, KBOO 90.7 FM, XRAY 107.7 FM, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.

Please see the event's press release and flyer for more information.

Retirement Planning Seminar 11/8 - Please RSVP

The PAT will be holding a Financial Planning / Retirement Seminar at 4:30 PM on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 4:30 PM at the PAT office (345 NE 8th Ave., Portland, OR 97232. 

This seminar is another benefit for Active PAT Members.

The theme is "In The Home Stretch:  Retiring in 1 to 5 Years"  (This is for people nearing retirement and thinking about doing the PERS Bubble.)

Please register here
or call the PAT office at (503) 233-5018 to register.

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Saving for the Future While Paying Off the Past

Do You Have a Student Loan or Debt?

Are You Saving for Retirement?

PAT members are invited to attend a virtual Saving for the Future while Paying Off the Past Workshop on Thursday, December 3rd, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

RSVP here for the Zoom link.

Topics Include:

  • Brief overview of your retirement plan.
  • Why save for retirement?
  • How much should you save for your retirement?
  • How can you save for your retirement if you have debt?
  • Interest rates, time horizons, and other considerations.
  • Good debt and bad debt.
  • How a 403b/TSA can help.

 

This event is free to all PAT members.

Please click here for the event's flyer.

Bargaining Brief, November 24, 2020

Fellow PAT Educators:

Your bargaining team met with PPS on November 13th and November 19th [Part 1,  Part 2, Part 3].  Although there have not been any new tentative agreements to come out of those sessions, both teams did make some significant headway on issues.

On November 13th, the PAT presented a proposal regarding working conditions for Limited In-Person Instruction (LIPI), and then went on a “tour” of Woodmere Elementary School.  PPS wanted to demonstrate the efforts that have been taken to make Woodmere ready for Hybrid instruction.  The result of the tour was interesting to both teams.

To begin with, your PAT team was impressed with the efforts of building administration and PPS Facilities workers to get Woodmere as ready as it could be.  The building was sufficiently clean, marked for proper distance, and administrators were working on protocols so that students might safely function in a building setting.

At the same time, it was apparent that even with those efforts, the building was far, far from ready to have students enter the building safely and engage in meaningful learning.  Issues about the entry of students, access to restrooms, hallway behavior, lunch room capability, etc., clearly demonstrated that students would be forced to function like little machines to be able to keep proper distancing as well as continually wear masks and follow hand-washing protocols.  Even with the efforts of the building staff, the reality of COVID-19 makes it clear that a safe in-person environment does not yet exist.

Most surprising of all was the District’s understandable, but inadequate, response to building air-exchange systems.  When your bargaining team asked representatives from Facilities what the air filtration standards were, we were told that “the standards are what the building heating and cooling system will allow.”  In other words, there are no district-wide standards.  Instead, the standard for each building is to “do the best it can” to provide clean air to a room in a building.  Needless to say, that is not an acceptable or scientific standard for air quality, and your PAT team has made that clear to PPS. 

On November 19th the two teams met again and discussed the District’s counter-proposal to PAT LIPI safety demands.  A clear difference between the two groups is that PPS wants to be able to require a professional educator to work in-person with students (if they can’t find a volunteer), and PAT’s position requires that members work in-person with students on a voluntary-only basis.

Your PAT team has made a few issues clear.  One is that we want educators to be able to choose to work in-person or to remain working in a CDL setting. Secondly, your PAT team has been firm that the environment for voluntary in-person education must be as safe as possible in the face of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.  Finally, we have been clear that it is not yet appropriate to discuss Hybrid models of instruction, let alone full in-person education.  Current health conditions simply make those goals unreasonable. 

We meet again on December 4th to discuss LIPI conditions, safety, and Community-Support language. 

Your team wants to wish all of you a happy, healthy, and safe break from work.  We will continue to do all we can to fight for all of you, and for the good of our students and their families.

 

 

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President’s Message: Now We Start Building Back Better

For many of us, the election results brought a great sense of relief and were a cause for celebration.

It’s now clear that our next President will be Joe Biden, who won the most popular votes in U.S. history.

Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris will smash through the glass ceiling, as she becomes the first woman, first Black woman, and first person of Indian descent to be elected to one of our nation’s highest offices. And our first-family will now include our fellow public school teacher, and longtime NEA member, Dr. Jill Biden.

With Betsy DeVos on her way out, we could have a real public school champion as the next Secretary of Education. In fact, our own NEA past-president, Lily Eskelsen García, is under consideration for the position. 

And despite the pandemic, and a misinformation campaign that threatened to disrupt the very foundation of our democracy, we saw historic levels of voter participation and civic engagement.

States also learned what Oregonians have almost taken for granted, that voting by mail is secure and boosts turnout. Thwarting cynical efforts to discredit the results, the integrity of outcomes in every state has been definitively established.

Closer to home, we also saw important progress on everything from funding for parks and libraries to establishing real police oversight and accountability, along with major breakthroughs like free, high-quality Universal Preschool.

And of course, the community again showed resounding support for our schools by passing the PPS bond.

Now is a time to celebrate the enormity of what we have accomplished, and to acknowledge and reflect on the work ahead of us. 

Despite the clear divisions within the electorate, now is a time to come together in solidarity, as a nation and within our own union. Disappointment and loss continue to spread, as we face an unchecked pandemic, a stalled economy, and the isolation of remote work and social distancing. 

In times like this, it’s essential we come together and support each other

And I am moved, but never surprised, every time I see educators sharing lessons, technology hacks, or other creative solutions with their colleagues. We continue to find ways to bridge the distance and break the isolation—in our classrooms, our school communities, and our union.

This holiday I hope you will find safe ways to reach out to loved ones and connect with friends and family. Remember that your colleagues, just like your students and their families, may be balancing more than you know. 

This Thanksgiving break, I hope you find opportunities for a much-deserved rest, for Covid-safe connections with loved ones, and time to appreciate the things that bring you joy and comfort.  

I also hope you’ll join me and make time to reflect on and honor the history of Indigenous People here in Oregon this month, including the very land we occupy.

Thanks to PAT’s Social Justice Committee, we have a growing list of resources to help educators at all grade levels bring Native American studies into our classrooms. This is a work in progress, so please share your recommendations and let us know what else we should add.

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Thiel
PAT President

November is Native American & Indigenous People's Heritage Month

The PAT Social Justice Committee, in partnership with the PAT Racial Equity Committee, has put together a list of resources for Native American & Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month. This includes lessons you can do with your students, book ideas, and more.

We can all make sure that students recognize that Native American and Indigenous history is American history, and this should be continued to be taught in the classroom all year. Please visit our website to find resources. 

We encourage you to add a land acknowledgement to your school routine. You can use this website to find what ancestral land your school is located on. Making a land acknowledgement is taking time to recognize the tribes that once lived where our schools now sit. Information about land acknowledgements can be found here.  

We also continue to expand our own library of virtual story-time with BIPOC PAT members. If you are an indigenous educator, please consider volunteering for the PAT Racial Equity reading project. Complete this form if you would like to volunteer to read a book (any grade level) for Indigenous Peoples' Heritage Month.

The book must contribute to Indigenous cultural understanding and expand our collective knowledge of the contributions of Indigenous people in our larger society. PAT can even provide the E-Book! Please check out the book lists on our website for ideas of what to read.

Be a PAT Leader!

Run for a Position on the Executive Board, and for the OEA and NEA Representative Assemblies

PAT is a democratic organization, and our leaders are elected by you and all our members. Our elections are held via electronic ballot in February. This year there are open positions for Executive Board Director-at-Large, OEA RA Delegate, and NEA RA Delegate. Any PAT member in good standing may run for elected position. Nominations for these positions are now open, and will close in January.

For more information, you can refer to the PAT Nominations and Elections Handbook and the Letter to Members, found on the PAT website: www.pdxteachers.org/pat_elections 

How to Run for PAT Executive Board

Nominations are now open, and will close on Friday, January 8, 2021, at 5:00 pm. (Note: this is earlier than the other positions to allow time for speeches to be recorded prior to the January RA.)

To nominate yourself for this position, please use this nomination form. Nomination forms must be submitted electronically to Jennifer Dixon (Jennifer.Dixon@oregoned.org) by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 8, 2021.

Learn more about Executive Board Director responsibilities here.

Prior to the January RA, candidates for this position will pre-record their three-minute speech with the N&E Committee on Zoom on one of two dates (Sunday, January 10, 2021 or Monday, January 11, 2021).

Candidates will be contacted by the N&E Committee to arrange this, and will have one opportunity to record their speech. There will not be multiple attempts, unless there is a technical issue. 

Speeches will be presented at the January 13, 2021 Representative Assembly.  

How to Run to be an OEA or NEA RA Delegate

NEA RA Delegates serve a 1- year term. This year’s NEA RA is scheduled for July 2-6, 2021, and will either be held in Denver, Colorado, or will be held virtually. To nominate yourself for this position, please use this nomination form. Nomination forms must be submitted electronically to Jennifer Dixon (Jennifer.Dixon@oregoned.org) by 7 pm on January 13, 2021. 

OEA RA Delegates serve a 3-year term. OEA RA’s are held on a Friday and Saturday in April. (This year’s OEA RA will be on April 16 & 17.) To run to be an OEA RA Delegate, you can simply add your name to this online form or you can also use the general nomination form. General nomination forms must be submitted electronically to Jennifer Dixon (Jennifer.Dixon@oregoned.org), or your name must be submitted on the online form, by 7 pm on January 13, 2021.

Know Your Contract: Tracking Overage Payments

Article 8.3.2.1 requires PPS to calculate each educator’s student loads and unique preparations on the third Monday in October. The payments for loads that exceed the negotiated guidelines in Article 8 will be included in the November paycheck.  

If you believe you did not receive a correct overload payment please enter your concern using the Overload Google form that PPS makes available each year. 

Once you have entered your information into the Google form, staff from PPS and PAT review the entries and determine if the member’s claim is accurate. Keep in mind, we can’t make corrections if you don’t enter the data first.