No Make-Up Conferences When Families Are on Vacation

Family Conferences are one of the many tools we have to boost student success. It’s a chance for us to talk to families holistically about their child—including their curiosity, love of learning, and critical thinking skills. These two days are long and exhausting, but they’re also filled with meaningful conversations, personal connections, and other opportunities to build community.

This year, conferences are scheduled right before Thanksgiving. Some families may not be able to attend due to travel. Our Superintendent made it clear that make-up conferences do not need to be scheduled when families can’t attend because of travel. Instead, they may want to schedule a video-conference, phone call, or email contact during the time period designated for conferences. As educators, we try to be flexible, doing whatever it takes to meet with families, especially those whose work schedules or other obligations make it hard to meet during the designated conference time. Just remember, we don’t need to schedule make-up conferences because families are on vacation. You deserve to enjoy your holidays just as much as your students and their families.

When Do I Cover for an Absent Colleague?

The PAT Office has received numerous questions about whether or not members must cover class for an absent colleague. 

The answer is in Article 8, Section 7 which states:

Every effort will be made to employ substitute teachers to cover classes of absent teachers. Except in true emergency situations and except as otherwise provided in 8.7.2, professional educators shall not be required to substitute for other professional educators.

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Materials and Supplies Stipend

The PAT/PPS contract provides that each professional educator shall receive a materials and supplies stipend of $100 each school year to use to purchase materials. (Article 12.7) This is in addition to materials and supplies budgeted by the school or district. 

Educators are NOT required to submit any receipts or itemized requests for reimbursement to receive this stipend.  Instead, the stipend is provided as an additional $100 on the October pay check.

Dues and PAT PAC Deductions in the October Paycheck

We experienced a few glitches in September deductions.  We have hopefully resolved the problem in the upcoming October check.  Here’s what will happen:

  • For members who had no dues deducted in September but should have: The annual dues amount will be divided into 11 months instead of 12 and will start with this October check.
  • For members who had dues deducted at the 2017-18 dues rate instead of the 2018-19 rate: To make up the difference of what was charged last month versus what should have been charged, an extra nine cents (.09) will be added to each of the remaining 11 months, starting with the October check.
  • For PAT PAC contributors who did not have their voluntarily pledged amount deducted in September:  You will have two (2) deductions made in the October check.  After October, the regular 1-month pledge amount will be deducted.

Please Donate to the Sick Leave Bank

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, but 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 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. Read more about the Sick Leave Bank guidelines here.

Black Lives Matter Week of Action Planning Meeting - November 14th

The Portland Teachers For Black Lives is a sub-committee of the PAT Racial Equity Task Force. This year, we hope to get a head-start on the planning for the 2019 Black Lives Matter Week of Action. Please join us--! We would love to have your voice and passion and creativity as we put together this important event.
Join us on Wednesday, November 14th from 4:30pm to 6:30pm at the PAT Office. All voices are welcome! Dinner and beverages will be served, so RSVP here.

President's Message: Victory with Guaranteed Viable Curriculum

One of the biggest topics of discussion this fall has been the District’s Guaranteed Viable Curriculum—GVC for short. PAT members have made it clear what is and what isn’t working with the GVC, whether by responding to our GVC survey, testifying at the PAT-PPS Instructional and Professional Council, or writing up personal stories.

Our expectation has been simple—PPS needs to comply with our contract, which states in Article 8, section 11:

“…The District shall provide professional educators with related core instructional materials and an opportunity for in-service before requiring implementation of new adoptions, programs or curricula.”

As a direct result of your advocacy, the District has agreed to correct course.

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Make Sure Teachers' Voice is Heard in Politics: Vote by November 6th

DOWNLOAD THE VOTERS' GUIDE!

The Portland Association of Teachers Political Action Committee (PAT PAC) is proud to announce its candidate endorsements for the November 2018 general election. The board considers candidates’ positions on public education, their commitment to union values, their alignment to PAT strategic goals including racial equity, and their electability. PAT PAC funds come from the voluntary contributions of PAT PAC contributors, not dues dollars. To contribute to the PAT PAC, return this form to the PAT office.

Oregon Governor: Kate Brown

Portland City Commissioner Position 3: Jo Ann Hardesty

Metro Council Position 2: Christine Lewis

Oregon House of Representatives

  • HD 33: Mitch Greenlick
  • HD 36: Jennifer Williamson
  • HD 41: Karin Power
  • HD 42: Rob Nosse
  • HD 43: Tawna Sanchez
  • HD 44: Tina Kotek
  • HD 45: Barbara Smith Warner
  • HD 46: Alissa Keny-Guyer

 The Portland Association of Teachers has also taken positions on the following ballot measures:

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Get Out the Vote for Jo Ann Hardesty, PAT Candidates, and Ballot Initiatives

The November election is incredibly important in Oregon, with a historic city council race, and control of the Governor’s seat in question. We also have numerous ballot initiatives which could either move our state forward with new funding for affordable housing, jobs, and clean energy, or send us backward with more tax loopholes for the rich, racial profiling, and limits to women’s reproductive rights.

We are partnering with the Jo Ann Hardesty campaign to run a Get Out the Vote Canvass on Saturday, November 3, from 10 am to 1 pm, at the PAT office. Come help reach out to Portlanders who have not yet voted.  This is an opportunity to make a real impact on voter turnout, the weekend before ballots are due. RSVP here, and bring along a friend!

Elementary First Quarter Reports

PAT and PPS have extended the MOU on Elementary Report Cards, which means Elementary teachers should use the PPS Parent Teacher Conference Form, and not the grade report card, for the first quarter.

The MOU says, “All Pk-5 and self-contained 6th grade PAT bargaining unit members shall be required to prepare the PPS Parent-Teacher Conference Form instead of grade reports and shall not submit grade reports at the end of the first quarter grading period. These forms will be discussed and presented to parents/guardians at the parent/teacher conference scheduled in November (or in August for Rosa Parks Elementary School).”

Advancing on the Salary Schedule - October 31st Deadline

If you have earned enough credit to advance to another column on the salary schedule, our contract requires the District start paying you at this new level within twenty (20) days of the time you supplied the transcripts or other required verification to the District.  The salary advancements will not be retroactive. However, according to the PAT/PPS contract, credits verified by October 31st will be retroactive to the beginning of the school year. Check to make sure that PPS has received your verification and get an email, a receipt, or some other written confirmation from PPS that they have received the verification.

Salary Placement - New Hires

Salary placement for new hires is based on prior work experience and educational credit, but will only be made after official verification.  Make sure your previous employer(s) and all relevant colleges/universities submit the required verification to PPS Human Resources.  Salary adjustments based on eligible education or experience credit will become effective in the payroll period in which approved. The adjustments will not be retroactive. However, according to the PAT/PPS contract, experience verified within sixty (60) days of the start of your employment will be retroactive to the first day of employment. Get an email, receipt, or some other written confirmation from PPS that it has received the verification.  Review Article 12 of the PAT/PPS contract to see what experience is eligible.

Materials and Supplies Stipend

The PAT/PPS contract provides that each professional educator shall receive a materials and supplies stipend of $100 each school year to use to purchase materials. (Article 12.7) This is in addition to materials and supplies budgeted by the school or district. 

Educators are NOT required to submit any receipts or itemized requests for reimbursement to receive this stipend.  Instead, the stipend is provided as an additional $100 on the October pay check.

Come to the Northwest Teachers for Social Justice Conference!

The Northwest Teachers for Social Justice conference is returning to Portland this year for the 11th Annual Conference. It will be Saturday October 20th, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, at Madison High School.  The Portland Association of Teachers is excited to once again be a sponsor of this amazing event!

This year, the Keynote Speaker will be environmental activist Winona LaDuke. The conference also includes over 60 workshops, many of which are led by teachers. Learn more and register at info@nwtsj.org.

What Are You Doing Next Friday? Help PAT Engage!

The goal of the Engage! project is to have a face-to-face, one-on-one conversation with every one of our members to learn what‘s working in our schools, and what’s getting in the way of teaching and learning.

This fall, we need enough volunteers to get to every school site we didn't visit last year. We need your help to make this possible! 

Please volunteer on an upcoming Friday to take a day away from your classroom to talk to teachers in another school. OEA will pay for your sub, and volunteers have described their experience as being “invigorating and enlightening.”

You can see where we plan to be each week when you click on the link: Sign up here!

President's Message: It's Time to Fully Fund Fund Education in Oregon

Last Thursday, the Joint Committee on Student Success visited Portland. We had many PAT members, as well as other OEA members from other districts, testify in front of this bipartisan group of legislators, sharing what we need as educators in order to achieve student success.

There was also a small group listening session prior to the public hearing with superintendents and school board members from across the metro area, including our Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero and PPS School Board Chair Rita Moore. Our PAT delegation included myself, PAT Vice President Elizabeth Thiel, our Legislative Chair Madeleine Allen (Marysville), and bargaining team member Emy Markewitz (Vernon).

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Documenting Workload Overload for Class-size, Caseload, or Number of Unique Course Preparations

For the first time, our contract has language that defines limits to class-size, teaching load, caseload, and number of unique course preparations. Article 8 in the 2016-2019 PAT Agreement:

  • defines “thresholds” for teaching loads and caseloads and requires overload pay for educators who exceed the thresholds;
  • requires overload pay for departmentalized 6-8, middle school, and high school full-time educators with more than three unique course preparations. (Article 8 of the 2016-19 agreement).
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Second Semester Study Leave Deadline: October 8th

Applications for study leaves of absence for the second semester of the 2018/2019 school year may now be submitted for consideration.  All application forms must be available for review by the Study Leave Committee by the end of day Monday, October 8, 2018.

Study Leave Application forms may be downloaded from the Benefits website [https://www.pps.net/Page/1710].  Click on the PAT Study Leave link.  Up to 1.5 FTE unpaid study leaves, with District provided health and welfare benefits, will be available for the second semester of the 2018/2019 school year.  Email to benefits@pps.net or fax to 503-916-3107 attention Terri Burton.

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Please Donate to the PAT Sick Leave Bank!

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, but 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 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. Read more about the Sick Leave Bank guidelines here.

Please donate here - and thank you!

Advancing on the Salary Schedule - October 31st Deadline

If you have earned enough credit to advance to another column on the salary schedule, our contract requires the District start paying you at this new level within twenty (20) days of the time you supplied the transcripts or other required verification to the District.  The salary advancements will not be retroactive. However, according to the PAT/PPS contract, credits verified by October 31st will be retroactive to the beginning of the school year. Check to make sure that PPS has received your verification and get an email, a receipt, or some other written confirmation from PPS that they have received the verification.

Salary Placement - New Hires

Salary placement for new hires is based on prior work experience and educational credit, but will only be made after official verification.  Make sure your previous employer(s) and all relevant colleges/universities submit the required verification to PPS Human Resources.  Salary adjustments based on eligible education or experience credit will become effective in the payroll period in which approved. The adjustments will not be retroactive. However, according to the PAT/PPS contract, experience verified within sixty (60) days of the start of your employment will be retroactive to the first day of employment. Get an email, receipt, or some other written confirmation from PPS that it has received the verification.  Review Article 12 of the PAT/PPS contract to see what experience is eligible.

Materials and Supplies Stipend

The PAT/PPS contract provides that each professional educator shall receive a materials and supplies stipend of $100 each school year to use to purchase materials. (Article 12.7) This is in addition to materials and supplies budgeted by the school or district. 

Educators are NOT required to submit any receipts or itemized requests for reimbursement to receive this stipend.  Instead, the stipend is provided as an additional $100 on the October pay check.