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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Make Sure to Vote in the PAT Election!

An email containing a link to the Voter’s Pamphlet, Candidate Statements and the electronic ballot were sent to PAT members last week.  If you have not received one, double-check your home or PPS mailboxes.  Ballots must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on February 15, 2019, to be counted.

Setting Overload Pay for the Spring Semester

Our contract now 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.

Of course, the intent was to reduce our workload, not for large numbers of educators to receive overload pay. However, holding the District accountable to paying overload pay this year is a crucial step towards securing real workload reductions in the future.

Any overload pay for second semester will be based on workload on the third Monday of February. Since that is a no-school day, we count overages on Tuesday, February 19. If you have an overage on this date, please make sure you save evidence, by taking screenshots of your class lists and/or course lists on Synergy.

We are still working to resolve disagreements with the district overload pay for first semester, and anticipate filing a number of class-action grievances.

Planning to Retire or Resign Before Next School Year? February 15th Stipend Deadline

Our contract provides a stipend to encourage employees who know they will be resigning or retiring to give notice prior to the Spring unassignment and transfer process, so educators may apply for the vacancy. This maximizes the vacancies available for educators to apply. If you notify the District in writing of your intent to resign or retire no later than February 15th, you will receive a stipend of $700, to be paid in your final paycheck from the District. This does not apply if you are resigning in lieu of termination, non-renewal, or non-extension.

Sick Leave Bank - Donations Still Needed!

Thank you to the many members who have already donated hours this year to the Sick Leave Bank. The PAT Sick Leave Bank helps PAT members who must be absent from work due to an accident or illness, but have already exhausted their accumulated sick leave.

So far this school year, we have helped 19 colleagues who are suffering from cancer, surgeries, injuries, and other medical issues. Without a grant from the PAT Sick Leave Bank, they would have had no salary or insurance while on leave.

The Bank is funded solely by member contributions. We are 1000 hours short of the maximum 4000 hours that we can collect for this year. We already have applications that we cannot fill until we collect additional hours.

We need your help! 

You may contribute 4 – 24 hours of sick leave every year. 

Access the donation form here. Return the signed form to your PAT Building Rep or PONY to the PAT office. Thanks for your solidarity.

Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action

Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action began in Seattle, Washington at John Muir Elementary School in 2016. From there, educators in cities across the nation, began organizing a week to intentionally celebrate the lives of Black students, teachers and families. Cities including Seattle, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore and Portland, Oregon now participate. Black Lives Matter at Schools Week of Action consists of educators teaching lessons about systemic and structural racism, intersectional Black identities and Black history.

PAT's Black Lives Matter Committee has been working to plan community events and locate curriculum resources and lesson plans for educators at all levels. Please check out the resources on our website.

If you missed participating during the week of action, don’t despair! You can celebrate Black Lives in your classroom all year long!

Social Justice Social - Building Sanctuary - February 21st

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 4:30-6:00 at the PAT Office.  RSVP Here

Nationwide, 1 in 14 K-12 students have at least one undocumented parent, 5.9 million children with U.S. citizenship have an undocumented family member, and around 725,000 students are undocumented. As immigration enforcement becomes increasingly aggressive, schools have become an increasingly risky place for undocumented students and families. Educators are in a position to offer support to immigrant students and families and that support is needed more than ever in communities nationwide. Educators across the country are taking action when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids happen in their communities and it IS happening in our community. Join together to build sanctuary kits for schools, share immigration curriculum resources and organize to support children in detention.  

 

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Nurturing Black Children: Black Mothers Speak About Raising and Teaching Black Children in White Spaces

Friday, February 22, 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM at the PAT office 

Featuring Special Guests: Dyan Watson, Natalie Labossiere, and Kara Hinderlie Stroman.

Three Black mothers who are also educators will share their experiences about raising, educating, and supporting Black children in mostly white spaces. Through storytelling and prose, these moms will provide glimpses into the conversations they have with their own children as well as Black students in their care. Participants will leave with more understanding about the dilemmas these moms wrestle with as parent-educators and with insight into how to keep Black lives safe in schools. Participants will have time to discuss, ask questions, and plan for their own classrooms. The highly acclaimed Rethinking Schools book, Teaching for Black Lives, will be for sale at the event.

RSVP: Please let us know that you are coming by registering here

For questions, please contact Linda Christensen at lmc@lclark.edu. 

Cosponsored by PAT, Rethinking Schools, and the Oregon Writing Project.

Creating Pathways to Racial Justice: Symposium February 23rd

Join us for a transformative circle involving educators, parents, students, legislators, organizations representing Oregon’s communities of color, state level education partners, higher education advocates, and social justice groups from around the state. On February 23rd the Oregon Education Association is hosting a very special convening centered on transformation, featuring students’ projects that highlight contributions to our schools and their cultural voices.

 

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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 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.

Nurturing Black Children: Black Mothers Speak About Raising & Teaching Black Lives in White Spaces

Friday, February 22 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Portland Association of Teachers (PAT)
345 NE 8th Ave, Portland

Featuring Special Guests: Dyan Watson, Natalie Labossiere, and Kara Hinderlie Stroman.

RSVP here.

Three Black mothers who are also educators will share their experiences about raising, educating, and supporting Black children in mostly white spaces. Through storytelling and prose, these moms will provide glimpses into the conversations they have with their own children as well as Black students in their care. Participants will leave with more understanding about the dilemmas these moms wrestle with as parent educators and with insight into how to keep Black lives safe in schools. Participants will have time to discuss, ask questions, and plan for their own classrooms. The highly acclaimed Rethinking Schools book, Teaching for Black Lives, will be for sale at the event.


For questions, please contact Linda Christensen at lmc@lclark.edu.

Cosponsored by PAT, Rethinking Schools, and the Oregon Writing Project.

Copies of Teaching for Black Lives available for purchase.

 

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Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action

PAT's Black Lives Matter Committee (a sub-committee of the Racial Equity Task Force) invites you to celebrate with us the Black Lives Matter at Schools Week of Action, Monday, February 4, 2019 through Friday, February 8, 2019.

PLEDGE TO PARTICIPATE!

Please visit our website to find all our resources and event: pdxteachers.org/blmwoa

 

Storm the Capitol - February 18th!

Join PAT members in Salem on President’s Day for the biggest education rally yet. Monday, February 18th is our opportunity to show lawmakers that our schools need funding now, and our students can’t wait. Educators from around the state will be joining us wearing red. Please sign up now for this important action. 

New Year's Resolution: Keep the Oregon Legislature Focused on Funding Follow-Through

We are all too aware of the problems that a 30-year disinvestment in education has created. But, right now, we have an opportunity to make significant change.

We know that our students are being short-changed every year. Class sizes are still huge in many schools. Elementary schools need behavioral supports to address disrupted learning. Secondary students need more electives and access to more social and mental health services. We need school buildings with fully-staffed custodial support.

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Get Your PAT RED FOR ED T-Shirt

In time for the 2019 Legislative Session, we are getting new t-shirts. They are red, in keeping with the nation-wide movement to demand adequate funding for public education. Ours will say "Fund our Future; Fund our Schools" on the back, with our PAT logo on the front.

We have shirts available for a suggested donation of $10, to defray the cost and allow us to order as many shirts as we need. We will have shirts in sizes small through 3XL, in both a unisex style and a women’s cut.

To get your T-shirt, you can order one through your Building Rep, or come by PAT to pick one up.

It's time the Oregon Legislature fully funds the Quality Education Model! Plan our wearing Red for Ed every Tuesday until Oregon meets its commitment to our students.

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 while PAT is developing bargaining proposals, and throughout the bargaining process, but Bargaining Committee members will not necessarily be present for bargaining sessions.  The Committee will help research, develop, and vet bargaining proposals, as well as gather input from different parts of our membership. This work will guide the Bargaining Team’s work at the table.

We want to create a diverse and representative Bargaining Committee, including educators from every grade-band and from a variety of different jobs. We want our committee to be diverse in terms of race, gender, and age, and to represent educators from all corners of the city.

If you are interested in being directly involved in our bargaining process, please fill out this interest form. From the set of all who are interested, we will create a committee that is as diverse and balanced as possible.