Racial Equity Focus: Happy Rosh Hashanah!

Happy Jewish New Year!! Rosh Hashanah (September 30th) is the first day of the Jewish Holy Days! This day embarks on a 10-day journey leading to Yom Kippur (October 9th). As our Jewish friends, students and fellow teachers observe this day (and the days to come), it is a great opportunity to do some searching, reading and learning about its values and significance in the Jewish community.

Again, our ability to teach the events, histories, traditions, faiths, and customs that are different from our own is evidence of our ally-ship and commitment to racial equity and social justice.

October 21st Retirement Seminar—Is It Time to Retire?

Join Ed Foster, NEA Benefits Specialist, for a seminar entitled "Time to Retire?".

Topics include:

  • Understanding the re-employment option with the District for the remainder of the school year (formerly called the “PERS Bubble");
  • Recent PERs legislative changes and their impact;
  • PERS options at retirement and the IAP account;
  • Other financial considerations for the soon-to-be retired.

Date:               Monday, October 21st
Time:               4:30 – 6:30 PM
Location:         PAT office, 345 NE 8th Ave

Please RSVP here.

Protect Your License: 60-Day Notice Required Prior to Resignation

Be aware that resignation from PPS carries potential consequences beyond the obvious loss of salary and benefits.  Oregon law states that the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), the state educator licensing agency, may discipline a licensed educator who resigns their position without first providing a 60-day written notice to their employer school district. (ORS 342.553).

To avoid a potentially negative impact on your teaching license, if you intend to resign from PPS you must give 60-day notice in writing, or have an agreement from PPS that it will waive the 60-day requirement.  You may have to continue working for up to 60 days after giving notice, or until PPS finds someone to fill  your position. Contact your PAT UniServ Consultant before submitting your resignation.

Remember to Turn in Your Educational Credits by October 31st

If you have earned educational credits over the summer, or if you are a new hire and have yet to submit your educational background, you must submit the official documentation to HR no later than October 31st  if you want the credits to count from the start of the year.

The CBA states in Article 12:

“  In order to receive a salary adjustment retroactive to the beginning of the current school year, a professional educator must, by October 31st, provide the Human Resources Department with proof of completion of coursework. Adjustments based upon proof received after October 31st will be made effective the first day of the next pay period.”

If you submit the credits to HR after October 31st, they will move you on the salary schedule but the credits will not be counted retroactively to the start of the school year.

Using Professional Development Funds

The PAT/PPS contract provides funds for professional development as well as tuition reimbursement. The Professional Improvement Fundallows 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.

In our last contract negotiations, we ensured that these funds are also available to temporary teachers whose positions are expected to exist for more than 135 days.

You will need to follow these guidelines to access the Professional Improvement Fund. The District will also reimburse professional educators for tuition cost for up to six (6) non-cumulative hours in a 12-month period for which graduate credit is granted by a college or university. See the PAT/PPS contract for details and the PPS website for how to access your tuition reimbursement.

12th Annual North West Teachers for Social Justice Conference – October 19th

This year's NWTSJ conference is fast approaching! We will be back in Seattle at Chief Sealth International High School, on Saturday October 19th. Register now at nwtsj.org. Just $35 ($10 for students), which includes lunch.

We are thrilled to have Barbara Madeloni as this year's keynote speaker. Madeloni is the Education Coordinator at Labor Notes. From 2014 to 2018, she served as president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association where she played a key role in revitalizing the 116,000-member union and defending teacher rights and quality public schools.

This year's conference has more than 80 workshops. A sampling includes:

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Tenth Annual Teaching with Purpose Conference – October 11th

The Annual Teaching with Purpose Conference (TWPC), educates, inspires and informs teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community organizers about the importance of changing the educational system and teaching to empower the next generation to make a difference. TWPC offers culturally responsive teaching and culturally relevant pedagogy training to:

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Take Advantage of Lower Insurance Rates Through California Casualty

Good news!  California Casualty, our OEA endorsed auto and home insurance program for the past 45 years, just took an Oregon Auto Insurance rate decrease.  Sherry Hanacek is our local California Casualty field manager.  She has a special website for quotes, so click www.readyforquote.com/sherry and see if you can save.

You can also call toll free:  1-877-626-2871, Monday – Friday, 6 AM to 6 PM, or Saturday, 6 AM to Noon, for an immediate quote.

November 7th Workshop: Responding to Hate and Antisemitism

With the increase of hate crimes in our country, community, and schools, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is facilitating a workshop “Preventing and Responding to Incidents of Hate and Antisemitism” on November 7th  from 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM. This FREE workshop examines the intersectional approach of how white nationalism manifests in our communities and discusses tools and best practices of how educators can address hate and anti-Semitic incidents in their schools.

Limited subsidies to offset the cost of substitute teachers are available. 6 PDUs for attendance. Registration form (due November 1st) and subsidy application (due October 15th) can be found here. Email education@ojmche.org with any questions.

Latinx and/or Hispanic Heritage Month Resources

Don’t forget it is still Latinx and/or Hispanic Heritage Month. This heritage month began on September 15 and runs until October 15th. During this month, we celebrate the cultures and contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx communities. First recognized in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th, the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries: Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua. During this period, Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence!

There’s still time to lean into culturally responsive teaching by engaging students with lessons that center Latinx and/or Hispanic culture and traditions.  This is a learning opportunity for those who do not share this ancestry. Be brave. Lean in. “Replace judgement with curiosity” and dare to go where you may not have gone before in your practice! 

Here are curriculum resources for your planning.










Have fun and let us know how it goes!!  


Better Understand Your Contract

Please join us for a Rep Training Workshop, "Better Understand  your Contract," on Monday, October 7 or Wednesday, Oct 9, 4:30-6:30 at PAT. We will provide dinner. Both sessions will offer the same content, so choose the one that works best for you. 


The PAT contract has undergone many changes over the last few years.  We have included key provisions of the length of the workday, work year, work load, compensation, professional development, and safety, and renumbered the articles.  As building reps it is essential that you are familiar with these changes.

Come join your fellow Building Rep in discussion to build a deeper understanding of our contract!

Putting New Funding Where It's Needed

For years, one of PAT’s highest priorities has been reversing the thirty-year disinvestment in PPS and across the state. Securing more funding—exponentially more funding—is the only way we can truly deliver on our promise to our students and their families.

And the Student Success Act is an important down-payment on the schools our students deserve.

This fall we have the opportunity to shape the District’s priorities for Student Success Act funding. In October and November, PAT will convene a series of discussions—both among educators and with our community partners—to really sift through what PPS should do with the additional revenue, and make sure this money is going to address what our students really need.

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Bargaining Update

Our contract for certified educators expires June 2020 and we have agreed to exchange proposals with PPS starting in January. Your Bargaining Committee is meeting on September 18th to finalize our 1st bargaining survey. It will be electronic and you can expect to receive it by the end of September. Please take the time to make sure your voice is heard.

As a democratic union, it’s a goal and core value of the PAT that we have input from our full membership regarding our bargaining priorities. Your Bargaining Team needs this input in order to properly advocate for everyone. To achieve that goal, our PAT Bylaws call for a Bargaining Team and a Bargaining Committee.

The Bargaining Team


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Renew the Portland Teacher Levy: Yes for Teachers, Yes for Kids!

This November, Portland Voters will be asked once again to renew the Teacher Levy. The Levy renews the current rate that has funded an average of 825 teaching positions a year in Portland Public Schools. It is crucial for our students and our schools that the Levy passes, and as educators, we are its best spokespeople. Here is some information to help you talk to community members about the Levy.

Levy Facts:

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Advancing on the Salary Schedule

Did you take course work for salary credit this summer?

If you completed coursework necessary to advance to another level on the salary schedule, proof of completion must be submitted to Human Resources (HR) by October 31st for salary adjustment retroactive to the beginning of the current school year. (Article 12.3.3).

If you miss this deadline, the salary adjustment will be effective the first day of the next pay period after verification is received by PPS HR. Contact Human Resources to confirm what verification is required and confirm verification of your coursework has been received by the HR Department.

Salary Placement for New Hires: Credit for Teaching Experience and Education Level

Newly hired professional educators (including temporary educators) shall be placed on the PPS salary schedule based on their prior work experience and education/training level as provided in Article 12.2 of the PAT/PPS contract.

Proof of completion of coursework or degrees attained must be provided to the PPS Human Resources (HR) Department by October 31st to receive the salary adjustment retroactive to the beginning of the year. If proof is received after October 31st, the adjustment will be effective the first day of the next pay period after receipt by PPS HR.

Previous work experience in a PK-12 setting with responsibility like that of PPS educators may also be credited in placement on the PPS salary schedule. Review contract Article 12.2.2 to see if your prior experience is eligible for credit. Official verification must be submitted to the PPS Human Resources Department. Experience verified within sixty (60) days of the start of employment will be retroactive to the first day of employment.

Give Your Schedule a Check-Up!

Article 7 (Workday) of the PAT/PPS contract includes language to ensure a fair work schedule that allows you to support your students. Using the Schedule Check worksheet below, review the contract and your schedule. Select the worksheet appropriate for your assignment (grade level/building and full-time or part-time). You should also receive a copy of the worksheet from your PAT Building Rep.

An important part of our union’s ongoing work is making sure the terms of the contract are honored. All educators are responsible for checking their schedule to confirm it provides the contract hours, planning time, duty and lunch periods which the contract requires.

If your schedule needs adjustment, raise the issue now. If you have concerns about your schedule, talk to your administrator. Your PAT Building Representative is available to help.

Join a PAT Committee

Much of the union’s work is accomplished by PAT members serving on committees, benefiting all our colleagues and every Portland student. We would love to have you join us on a committee that interests you!

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Global Climate Strike: September 20th

You may have heard about the Global Climate Strike scheduled for Friday, September 20th. In Portland, a rally at City Hall at 10:30 AM, and a march across the Hawthorne Bridge will lead to a Climate Mobilization Festival on the Eastbank Esplanade near OMSI that will include workshops, trainings, and opportunities to connect with community organizations working for climate justice.

In 2019, millions of youth around the world have participated in the now historic “Fridays for Future” student climate strike movement. Last March, Portland students joined the first coordinated global student climate strike, drawing support from leaders that ranged from Portland’s City Council to Oregon’s Governor.

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Don't Forget to Complete Your Mandatory Trainings!

In our last negotiations, PAT and PPS agreed to end the weekly two-hour staff meeting and shift to fewer meetings of only 90 minutes in duration. In Article 7.10, the language in the contract now reads:

“Professional educators may be required on thirty (30) Tuesdays during the school year to attend meetings or training sessions starting at the beginning of the fifteen (15) minute planning time at the end of the day and continuing for up to one hour and fifteen minutes beyond the workday.”

The reduction in the number of meetings and in the length of the meetings was accompanied with PAT members receiving an additional fifteen minutes of planning time at the end of the day on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. On Tuesdays the extra 15 minutes become part of the staff meeting.

Finally, in order to make these improvements the PAT agreed (Article 7.10.3) that:

“Professional educators will be responsible for completing four (4) hours of District mandatory on line training outside of scheduled staff meeting time. There will be no staff meetings on at least two (2) Tuesdays between the start of the school year and the due date of the mandatory online training.”

Please remember that there are three staff meetings in September, and each educator has to complete the online training on his/her own time.

PAT Party in the Park: Friday September 13th

Please join PAT Members and their families at PAT's annual Party in the Park! Food and drinks are provided.

Date: Friday, September 13th
Time: 3:30-6:30 PM
Place: Laurelhurst Park, Area D

The event is kid-friendly, and a great chance to reconnect with colleagues and friends, and meet new educators in PPS.

Kevin's All Stars will be providing music.

Laurelhurst Park is in Southeast Portland, off Cesar Chavez and Ankeny.

President's Message: This Could Change Everything

Welcome to 2019-2020 school year!

I hope you had a great summer break, and are feeling ready for the coming school year.

We have a big year ahead of us. After a major campaign for fully-funded schools, culminating in over 35,000 educators, families, and community allies taking action across the state on May 8th, we won the passage of the Student Success Act. 

This legislation will put over a billion dollars into Oregon’s schools.

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