Preparing PPS for March 14th

As you may have heard, a National School Walkout has been called for March 14th to honor the lives lost in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14th.

Students, teachers, school administrators, parents, and allies around the country are taking part in a 17-minute remembrance at 10:00 AM across every time zone on March 14, 2018. This remembrance will highlight inaction on the part of federal lawmakers, who are only offering thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.

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My Kindergartners are Going to #Walkout* on March 14th (and I'm Going With Them)

*Or sit-in, make art, write letters, or otherwise make their beautiful voices heard.

I used to believe that my students were too young to understand or process the injustices and problems in the world. After several years of learning about and exploring complex topics together, I see now that my students understand—and are so eager to know—much more than I gave them credit for. It is often my own fear of the messiness of it all—of not having all of the answers, of how families might respond, of saying the “wrong” thing—that holds me back.

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Portland Educators Endorse Candidates for May Election

The Portland Association of Teachers Political Action Committee (PAT PAC) is proud to announce its endorsements for the May 2018 primary 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. We look forward to working with these candidates to improve our schools, and move our state, city, and county to better support our students and families.

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PAT Stands with West Virginia Teachers

On February 22, some 22,000 members of the West Virginia Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia went on strike, closing down every school district in the state. Educators were also joined on the picket lines by school support staff, members of West Virginia School Service Personnel Association.

After 9 days on strike--including daily actions at the state capitol--they forced the state legislature to pass a 5 percent raise for all West Virginia state employees. They also forced the governor to freeze health insurance co-pays and premiums, which were set to increase dramatically next year.

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PAT Supports Oregon Labor Candidate School

Since it began in 2012, OLCS trains and supports union members across the state to run successfully for public office up and down the ticket.  Our labor “bench” across the state includes 110 members prepared to serve in public office.  In the last five years, thirty-one OLCS graduates ran for office and seventeen of them get elected. This year ten alumni will be on the ballot. 

 

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Tax Tip: Did You Know You Can Deduct Your Union Dues?

Thanks to the recent changes in the tax law, 2017 will be the last year you can deduct union dues on your federal income tax return. Approximately 62% of the total of NEA, OEA and Local association dues may be included as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on 2017 tax returns. Note that this is a reduced percentage than in recent years. Starting in 2018, the deduction for miscellaneous itemized deductions has been eliminated. Please consult your pay stub to determine exactly how much you paid in union dues for the 2017 tax year.

Rosa Parks Year-Round Calendar Extended

The Memorandum of Agreement for Rosa Park’s year-round calendar has been extended for the 2018-19 school year.  The MOU did not otherwise change from what is currently in place.

Staffing and Transfers Timelines Extended

The application deadline for unpaid leaves has been extended until Monday, March 12th at 10 am. The start of the internal transfer round shall begin no later than March 21st.

Member Specials

Do you have a house you would like to rent?  Furniture you would like to sell? A side job you would like to promote?  Put an advertisement in our new "Member Specials" page on the PAT website. Please fill out the form with all the necessary information.  We look forward to providing these specials for you! Check back monthly for new specials!

This is another benefit of being a PAT member!

Lets Engage!

PAT has a goal to have 1-on-1 conversations with at least 75% of our members. We know that these face-to-face conversations are key to maintaining union strength and solidarity.

PAT needs YOU to sign up to be a listener! OEA will pay for your sub, and provide training on the mechanics of how to be a listener and the technology we’re using will be provided on site.

All listening will occur on Fridays, so sign up here!

Being a listener is a fun and easy way to be an active and involved union member. As professional educators, we know how valuable face-to-face time with other educators can be. While these conversations only last around five minutes, it provides a critical opportunity for member voices and stories to be heard and valued.

Addressing Hate Speech in PPS

There have been several incidents of hate speech in our schools this year, and the PAT Social Justice Committee wants to ensure these incidents are taken seriously and addressed appropriately by administration. We are trying to better understand the scope of the problem, and how these incidents are being addressed in our schools.

If incidents of hate speech have occurred at your school, please fill out this form and let us know what happened and how it was handled. 

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Do You Have a Student Loan?

Save the date to attend the Student Debt Forgiveness Workshop for PAT members sponsored by PAT and NEA.  Information will be provided to help you understand the various types of federal student loan forgiveness programs (Teacher Loan, Perkins Loan, & the Public Service Loan Programs) and how to apply for relief.  Additionally, a portion of the program will provide information on basic financial essentials and financial planning.   Thursday, March 15, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the PAT Office.  Find additional information and RSVP here

Workshops are only open to current members.

Creating True Sanctuary in Our Schools and Communities

light-bulb.pngPlease join the PAT Social Justice Committee for a Panel and Discussion about the role of schools in creating sanctuary of our immigrant students and families.  Guests include representatives from IRCO, Milenio, We are the Dreamers, and PAT educators.

Wednesday, March 14, 4:30-6:00, at PAT, 345 NE 8th Ave.

All are invited. Snacks and drinks will be provided.  Please RSVP here.  For more information, please contact the Social Justice Committee Chair, Rachel Hanes hanesian@gmail.com

March 24th - March for Our Lives

Students from across the Portland Metro are asking educators and the broader community to join them in the “March for Our Lives,” part of a nationwide student-led day of action to end gun violence. “Stand with the new generation of activists as we march for our lives.”

WHEN:           Saturday, March 24th at 10 AM

WHERE:         Terry Schrunk Plaza, 432 SW Madison St., Portland, OR 97204

Lessons from the 2011 Wisconsin Uprising

Wednesday, March 14, 7 to 9 PM,  at PAT, 345 NE 8th Avenue

The uprising began on Valentine’s day 2011, in response to Governor Scott Walker’s introduction of a bill designed to destroy public sector unions, an opening salvo in his war to slash public services.  Tens of thousands of union and community members occupied the capitol and tens of thousands more engaged in a series of marches and demonstrations over a four-month period. How did the movement grow so fast? What role did unions play? What were some of the strategic choices made by unions and working people in their struggle against the right in Wisconsin?

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Healthcare for All Oregon: Inner City Blues Festival

PAT is once again sponsoring HCAO’s annual Blues Festival.  Health Care for All-Oregon is an advocacy organization working to bring an equitable, affordable, comprehensive, publicly funded health care system to all Oregonians.  The 7th Annual Inner City Blues Festival, “Healing the Healthcare Blues,” returns April 21st to the North Portland Eagles Lodge, 7611 N. Exeter. (at Lombard). Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and music runs until midnight.  Admission $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

Thoughts and Prayers are Not Enough

I can’t begin to describe the pain I felt on Wednesday, February 14th when 17 lives were taken, and thousands of other lives forever darkened. As a 1994 graduate from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, this shooting hit incredibly close to home for me.

I know you felt that pain too—educators across the city have been reaching out, ready for action.

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PAT Election Results

Thanks to everyone who participated in the PAT election, and congratulations to our newly elected leaders! 

Officers

  • President: Suzanne Cohen
  • Vice-President: Elizabeth Thiel
  • Secretary: Alisha Chavez
  • Treasurer: Al Rabchuk

Executive Board Members 

  • Mike Bauer
  • Greg Burrill
  • Gwen Sullivan
  • RaeAnn Thompson
  • Huck Wilken 

Portland Educators Endorse Candidates for the May Election

The Portland Association of Teachers Political Action Committee (PAT PAC) is proud to announce its endorsements for the May 2018 primary 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. We look forward to working with these candidates to improve our schools, and move our state, city, and county to better support our students and families.

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Performance Evaluations for Probationary Educators

Probationary educators must be evaluated each year during their 3-year probationary period. The process is described in the contract and the Educator Handbook for Professional Growth and Evaluation.  Performance ratings must align with the PPS Performance Evaluation Rubric and ratings must be based on direct evidence included in the written evaluation

 

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Thinking About Taking a Leave? Don't Miss Key Dates!

Don’t forget that you must apply for a full-year unpaid Personal, Exchange, or Career Development leave of absence (whether part-time or full-time) for next school year prior to March 1st. If you miss that deadline, you will not be approved, (except in extenuating circumstances where such leave requests will not be unreasonably denied).  The language covering leaves can be found in the new PAT/PPS Contract, Article 14.D.1. 

Retirement Seminar - March 1st

Are you retiring in 5 years or less? Join us for a seminar addressing what you’ll need to know to prepare for retirement, including: How does my pension work? What can I do to prepare now? What can I do with an I.A.P. account? When can I access my other retirement accounts? Is it too late to start saving for retirement? The seminar will be March 1, 2018, 4:30 - 6:00 pm at the PAT Office. You can RSVP here.

This seminar is only open to current members.