We Won't Stand for More Cuts!

Yes, it just got worse.

Did you think education funding was at a breaking point before this legislative session? Were you ready to do everything possible to fight for full funding of our schools?

Unfortunately, the crisis just got worse, and we need to do more. Much more.

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Staffing Process Update for the 2019-2020 School Year

On March 19th, PAT representatives met with the District to review unassignments.  Prior to that meeting, PAT analyzed each of the 125 unassignments to ensure they were done in compliance with the contract. 

An unassignment is NOT a layoff.  Instead, the educator will be reassigned to another site for the 2019-2020 school year by applying to available vacant positions. Vacancies will be posted in the Internal transfer process from April 1 – 5, with interviews occurring April 8 – 12.  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.

Unassigned educators may learn more about the process and ask questions at these PPS informational meetings:  Wednesday, March 20th at 5:00 PM (BESC, Wy’East on L1) and Thursday, March 21st at 4:30 PM (BESC, Wy’East on L1).

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the process are here:  FAQ#1 – Unassignments & Transfers and FAQ#2 – Applying & Interviewing for Positions.

Workload Overage Pay

Article 8 in the 2016-2019 PAT Agreement has language that defines workload “thresholds” for class-size, teaching load, caseload, and the number of unique course preparations. This language requires overload pay for educators whose workload exceeds those thresholds. Overage pay for the second semester is based on workload levels on Tuesday, February 19th.

If you are due workload overage pay for second semester, you should expect to receive overage pay in a separate check on March 29th. You should not need to take any action to get your overage pay, as the District determines overage payments based on information in Synergy and with corroboration from building administrators. However, if you do not receive the overage pay you deserve on your March paycheck, you need to fill out this form created by PPS Human Resources.

In case evidence is needed, continue to save screenshots of your class lists and/or course lists on Synergy from February 19th.

Rally for Schools and Students, March 21st, PCC-Cascade

The Joint Committee on Ways and Means is holding a public hearing on their proposed budget in the Moriarty Arts Humanities Building (MAHB) at PCC-Cascade, (705 N. Killingsworth St.). The Ways and Means budget slashes Oregon school funding by an additional $100 million dollars, and under-funds the QEM by over $2 billion in the coming biennium. In crafting this proposal they have ignored their own recommendations and the voices of educators from around the state.

Let's make sure they get the message loud and clear, that enough is enough and they need to fully fund education in Oregon. Join together in front of the student union building with educators, students, and community members as we rally together and share our stories.

The rally starts at 4:15 PM on Thursday, March 21st. Plan to stay for the hearing after the rally!

More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/307866836577829/

April 10th: Take it to the MAX!

Please join us on Wednesday, April 10th for another action to fight for fully funded schools: Take it to the MAX! We are meeting in Pioneer Courthouse Square from 4:45 PM - 5:30 PM. Educators from all over the metro area will be riding the max there to gain visibility, and use that time to write to legislators. Wear Red.

Sign up here.

Join the Bargaining Committee

In preparation for our next round of bargaining with the District, PAT is recruiting members to serve on our Bargaining Committee. The Bargaining Committee will be a larger group than the Bargaining Team, and will likely require less time than serving on the Bargaining Team. Members of the Bargaining Committee can expect to meet regularly, beginning this spring, while PAT is developing bargaining proposals, and throughout the bargaining process.

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PAT PAC Endorsements

This week, the Portland Association of Teachers PAC Board will be completing the process of interviewing and vetting candidates for the Portland School Board, and making endorsements in each Zone. For the PAT PAC, this is our most important race, as School Board decisions directly affect our working conditions, our students’ experiences, and the functionality of the District. There will be four seats up for election this May.

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Music and Arts Grants from California Casualty

The California Casualty Music & Arts Grant was established to provide support for K-12 public schools negatively impacted by reduced budgets. California Casualty understands the importance of music and arts education for children. As a member of the Portland Association of Teachers and our statewide union, the Oregon Education Association, you can apply for a $250 grant award for a music or art need at your school.

 The California Casualty Music and Arts Grant program will consider grant requests for public K-12 schools whose music and arts programs are in jeopardy or in great need of funding. Requests will also be considered for individual classrooms wishing to integrate music and/or arts projects within school curriculum.

The deadline is June 30 for grant requests to be considered for the fall of the next school year. All grants will be notified of their status by September 30.

For more information about the California Casualty Music and Arts Grant or to apply online, go to: CalCasMusicArtsGrant.com or email musicartsgrant@calcas.com.

ACTION: Fund our Schools Banner Drop

Help us show Oregon that educators are demanding fully funded schools, and we will not give up until we get the school funding our students need and deserve.

Wednesday, March 13th, 4-6 pm, at highway overpasses across Portland.

Click HERE to sign up for a site.

The March for our Students in Salem on February 18th was a wild success, we had about 5,000 people turn out to raise our voices in Salem. We got a lot of attention but we are still turning up the pressure. The public needs to know that we are seeing unprecedented challenges in our schools and we are doing unprecedented things to put pressure on our elected leaders and decision makers to fund our future and fund our schools. 

Here is what's next-- we have organized a banner drop as a coordinated action across all of Oregon on Wednesday, March 13th after school. We will be displaying messages on major overpasses above rush-hour traffic across the state of Oregon. The overpasses we have selected in Portland have lots of commuter traffic to see our messages, and sidewalks to help keep folks safe. 

We need your help, we need your voice, we need your engagement. There will be a captain there when you arrive to help. Please share with colleagues and friends and have them sign up to join you as well! Bring your sign from the march, bring noisemakers, and be sure to WEAR RED for ED. 

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President's Message: Time to Turn Up the Heat

PAT members have every right to be angry.

We’re all hitting a justifiable breaking point, as PPS continues to pile on new initiatives and demands on our time, all without proper support, thoughtful planning, or adequate input.

Every day it feels as if we have another fight on our hands, whether it’s curriculum changes, additional testing, or the lack of respect for our contract.

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Contract Ratification Process

Last week, the PAT and PPS Bargaining Teams reached a Tentative Agreement on a one-year extension of our contract. The option to extend was written into the 2016–2019 contract, which we settled last year.

To go into effect, this Tentative Agreement must be ratified by the PAT Membership. Members can get their questions answered and find out more information throughout our ratification process:

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Staffing Process for the 2019-2020 School Year

The Spring staffing process is underway.  Educators are being notified of unassignment from their buildings or programs.  An unassignment is NOT a layoff.  Instead, the educator will be reassigned to another site by applying for available vacant positions.

Vacancies will be posted in the Internal transfer process from April 1 – 5, with interviews occurring April 8 – 12.  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.

PPS will host informational meetings for unassigned PAT educators after work on March 20 and March 21 at BESC.   

Review these FAQs For specific information about the process: FAQ#1 – Unassignments & Transfers and FAQ#2 – Applying & Interviewing for Positions.

Racial Equity Task Force - Spring Social Mixer: Thursday March 7th

On March 7th, PAT's Racial Equity Task Force is hosting another safe space for educators who identify as a person of color.  We will have our Spring Social Mixer. Come eat dinner, network, and learn about other events we will be working on.  Please RSVP and invite other Educators of Color.

When:             March 7th, 4:30 – 7:00 PM
Who:               All PAT Members who identify as a person of color
Where:            PAT Office, 345 NE 8th Ave.
What:              Eat dinner, network, and learn about other events

Retirement Seminar: Thursday, March 14th

Join us for a retirement seminar with a special focus on members hired after 2003.

Topics Include:

  • I have a pension? What's that look like?
  • How does my IAP account fit into that?
  • What is a TSA/403b? How does it work? Do I need one?
  • IRAs compared to TSA/403b
  • Roth versus Traditional. What's the difference?
  • Are TSAs/403b portable? When can I get money out of it?  

Please RSVP here.

Date: Thursday, March 14th
Time: 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Where: PAT Office

Special Education Social: Thursday March 21st

Back by popular demand, the PAT Social Justice and Community Outreach Committee will be hosting another Special Education Social, dedicated to members on the special education team!

This event is open to any educator who works as a special education educator, whether in a self-contained learning center, as an SLP, or as a school psychologist. Come network with other special educators, find ways to support each other, and build community. Let’s get organized! The social will be Thursday, March 21st from 4:30 – 6:30 PM at the PAT office.

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE IN DATE!

Please RSVP here

Date: Thursday, March 21st 
Time: 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Where: PAT Office

Get the Facts About PERS!

PERS is the retirement system for Oregon teachers, firefighters, nurses and other public employees. We work hard and are proud of our public service. Even though many of us earn less than we would in the private sector, we believe in serving our communities.

Unfortunately, some lawmakers and special interest groups continue to blame teachers and firefighters for Oregon’s budget problems. They are pushing cuts to PERS, despite the fact that current employees are not cause of the state’s financial woes, and further reductions to our pension benefits will do nothing to solve the problem. The Portland Association of Teachers, and our statewide union, the Oregon Education Association, will continue to stand up for our members and defend against these unfair attacks.

It’s important for educators to get the facts about PERS. Download and share this PERS factsheet from the Oregon Education Association.

Music and Arts Grant from California Casualty

The California Casualty Music & Arts Grant was established to provide support for K-12 public schools negatively impacted by reduced budgets. California Casualty understands the importance of music and arts education for children. As a member of the Portland Association of Teachers and our statewide union, the Oregon Education Association, you can apply for a $250 grant award for a music or art need at your school.

 The California Casualty Music and Arts Grant program will consider grant requests for public K-12 schools whose music and arts programs are in jeopardy or in great need of funding. Requests will also be considered for individual classrooms wishing to integrate music and/or arts projects within school curriculum.

The deadline is June 30 for grant requests to be considered for the fall of the next school year. All grants will be notified of their status by September 30.

For more information about the California Casualty Music and Arts Grant or to apply online, go to: CalCasMusicArtsGrant.com or email musicartsgrant@calcas.com.

Help Your Classroom Program- California Casualty

When members call in to get a in quote in the OEA California Casualty insurance program (877-626-2871), they automatically get entered to win $200 for school supplies in  “The Help Your Classroom” drawing. There are six winners every month!

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PAT Retirement Seminar

PAT Retirement Seminar - March 14, 2019, 4:30 PM at the PAT Office.  Please RSVP here.

Saving for Retirement with a Special Focus on OPSRP! (Members Hired After 2003)
Topics Include:

  • I have a pension? What's that look like?
  • How does my IAP account fit into that?
  • What is a TSA/403b? How does it work? Do I need one?
  • IRAs compared to TSA/403b
  • Roth versus Traditional. What's the difference?
  • Are TSAs/403b portable? When can I get money out of it?  

Racial Equity Task Force- Spring Social Mixer

PAT's Racial Equity Task Force is hosting another safe space for educators who identify as a person of color.  We will have our Spring Social Mixer. Come eat dinner, network, and learn about other events we will be working on.  Please RSVP and invite other Educators of Color.

Who: All PAT Members who identify as a person of color

When: March 7th 4:30pm-7pm

Where: PAT Office, 345 NE 8th Ave.

What: Eat dinner, network, and learn about other events

 

Are Our Students Worth Four Billion Dollars?

The results are in. After talking with parents, students, and educators around the state for the past year, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Student Success just released their final report.

Four billion dollars.

That is how much money Oregon needs to invest if we want to guarantee essential educational services for our schools and all our students. In their report, the bipartisan committee outlines how they arrived at this number, and what 4 billion dollars could do for our schools. Here are just a few examples:

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