6th Annual Oregon School Employee Wellness Conference: March 26-28th

Any PAT member who wants to engage school employees in creating healthier school environments that support the physical, social, emotional health and well-being of staff and students should consider attending the Oregon School Employee Wellness Conference being held at the The Riverhouse & Convention Center in Bend, Oregon.

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Bargaining Brief - March 21, 2017

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PAT Salaries Drop in Metro 14

The District has presented data in bargaining that may show that PPS staffing ratios may be lower than many metro area districts. That is directly related to PAT’s Schools Portland Students Deserve campaign that focused on reducing workload and creating more reasonable learning conditions for students. There is much work yet to be done in this area. However, our focus on reducing workload and improving students’ learning conditions has apparently come at a cost to you. PAT members’ starting and top salaries have both fallen in comparison to other Metro 14 locals. PAT starting salaries are dead last in this group! Below are PERS-adjusted salaries for 2016-17 based on the 190-day PPS calendar for beginning and top salaries*: 

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The Leadership We Need for PPS

In the next few months, PPS will have a new superintendent and could have as many as three new school board members. Given these big changes in our District, it’s an important time for us to reflect on our values and work to ensure our future leaders are prepared to deliver the schools Portland students deserve. We also have to make sure they are ready to lead the fight for great public schools for all Oregonians. 

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Building Utilization and the Upcoming Bond

The School Board voted to refer a $790 million bond to voters in May. The bond would continue PPS’ Long Range Facilities Plan, and includes money to rebuild Madison, Benson, and Lincoln High Schools, and Kellogg Middle School, as well as $150 million to address health and safety issues across the District.

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School Board Votes Yes on Contract Changes

On Tuesday March 7th the school board voted to approve both our snow day agreement and the mini-package of tentative agreements. There are several key issues that we continue to work on in Interest-Based Bargaining. However, these changes do have some immediate benefits for PAT members including: increasing hours in the sick leave bank; compensation for classroom moves; improved benefits for temporary educators; improved member protections; and new mother-friendly workplace language. Bargaining continues with the District and we are still hoping to wrap up negotiations in April.

2017 PAT Members Scholarships

The 2017 PAT Members’ Scholarship Application is now available.  If you are a member of the Portland Association of Teachers and you have a high school senior who is planning on attending college in the fall of 2017, they would be eligible to apply.  Six of these scholarships will be awarded in 2017

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Early Notice of Retirement/Resignation Stipend Deadline is March 15th

Our contract includes a stipend if members give early notice of retirement or resignation.  If members give early written notice of retirement/resignation prior to March 15th, the professional educator will receive $700 in the final paycheck. See Article 15, Section B1 on page 45 for more information

Deadline for Requests for Full-Year Unpaid Leave is April 15th

Requests for a full-year personal, exchange or career development leave of absence, whether part-time or full-time for the next school year, must be submitted to the PPS Human Resources prior to April 15th .  Requests submitted after that date will not be approved, except in extenuating circumstances.  See Article 14, D, on page 40.

Read Across America 2017 Grant Winners

Each year the National Education Association, the Oregon Education Association, and the Portland Association of Teachers sponsor Read Across America, an event designed to encourage reading and community involvement in our schools.

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OEA Symposium: Culturally Responsive Teaching, March 18th

Please join us on Saturday, March 18 for the 7th Annual OEA Symposium, Students in the Lead: Culturally Responsive Teaching. This year, we welcome educator and author Zaretta Hammond for a day of provocative dialogue, discussion, and learning.

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Calling All Troublemakers!

On Saturday April 8th join union members, shop stewards, organizers, and community activists from across the Pacific Northwest for a day of skill-building workshops and strategy discussions to create a stronger workers’ movement in our region. The school will be held from 9 am to 4 pm at the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 290 Training Center, 20210 SW Teton Ave in Tualatin, OR.

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6th Annual Oregon School Employee Wellness Conference: March 26th-28th

Any PAT member who wants to engage school employees in creating healthier school environments that support the physical, social, emotional health and well-being of staff and students should consider attending the Oregon School Employee Wellness Conference being held at the The Riverhouse & Convention Center in Bend, Oregon.

Continue reading

Not On Our Backs

With the failure of Measure 97, we must be vigilant in making sure that our state’s budget crisis isn’t solved on our backs. I’m horrified that our elected leaders are looking at changes to our PERS retirement system as their “funding solution”. 

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Educators and Renters Rally for Affordable Housing, February 25th

When investors bought the Normandy Apartments in December, their first act was to double the rent. Now 18 families and over 30 kids in the Normandy Apartments, located close to Rigler Elementary, are now in danger of losing their homes. Similar situations are unfolding all over Portland, with hundreds of families being displaced by rising rents and “no cause” evictions.

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Children, Nature, and Schools Symposium: March 13th

What is the best way of connecting our students with nature? How do we promote hands-on learning and self-directed play in our schools? How do we ensure our school grounds and parks are vibrant landscapes for play and learning? Join parents, educators, and community members for a day-long symposium on these and other topics related to children, nature, and schools. 

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School Safety and Behavior Intervention Survey

The Oregon Education Association Special Education Task Force is interested in hearing your experiences regarding school safety and behavior interventions and supports. The task force is gathering information statewide to help determine the best way OEA can support our members' practice and formulate policies that set up students and educators for success. Please take the short online survey, and thanks in advance for sharing your experiences and stories.

Feel free to share the survey link with others, and please complete this survey by February 25th.

2017 Members' Scholarships

The 2017 PAT Members’ Scholarship Application is now available.  If you are a member of the Portland Association of Teachers and you have a high school senior who is planning on attending college in the fall of 2017, they would be eligible to apply.  Six of these scholarships will be awarded in 2017.

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Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis

Join Rethinking Schools for a day-long workshop on teaching about the climate crisis. The workshop will focus on activities in the Rethinking Schools book, A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis. All participants will receive a free copy of the book. Thanks to a grant from the Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation, people who would like to lead their own follow-up workshops on climate and environmental justice themes will be able to apply for free copies of the book to use with participants. 

The workshop will be Saturday, March 4th from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM at the PAT Office, 345 NE 8th Ave., Portland, OR 97232.

The event is free and lunch is included, but registration is required. Sign up here.

Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Seminar

Do you have outstanding student loan debt? Please mark your calendar for Thursday, April 27, 4:30—7:00 PM at the PAT office, to learn about your options to manage or erase them.

Participants will learn about:

  • Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs (Teacher Loan, Perkins Loan, & the Public Service Loan Programs)
  • Basic financial essentials and financial planning  

This workshop is back by popular demand, and has the same information as was offered in November.

Retirement Planning Seminar

Thinking of retiring in five years or less? Join us March 1, 2017, from 4:30-6:00 PM at PAT. Topics include:

  • How does my pension work?
  • What can I do to prepare now?
  • Is it too late to start saving for retirement?

Refreshments provided. Please RSVP at pdxteachers.org under “For Members” or by filling out this RSVP form

Holding On to What We Have

As educators, we bear the brunt of our underfunded schools, and there’s no way to stay on top of everything we need or want to do for our students. Despite our skills and training, our work is routinely compromised by limited resources.

The recent “snowtastrophes” really demonstrate just how emaciated our school budgets are. We already suffer from a school year so short that we are clamoring to find ways to make up instructional time for our students. And now the District has sacrificed our professional development, time we need to collaborate with colleagues, sharpen our practice, and really foster safe and inclusive environments in our schools.

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