Get Counted: 2020 Census

The final deadline for the 2020 United States Census is September 30th. You can still participate and ensure you are counted. Please visit to complete the questionnaire and be counted.

Participation in the Census is safe, important, and necessary. The Census affects $800 billion in public education funding, and we want to make sure our community is counted and will receive its fair share of federal and state funding for schools and other critical services.

Please educate your students about the Census, and encourage them to talk to their families about the importance of getting counted. For resources and ideas, visit

Join a PAT Committee

Part of what makes PAT such a strong and powerful union is the strength of our committees.  PAT committees give members a way to get involved with issues that matter to them.  Many of our committees are open to all members.

Learn more about our committees  and let us know you want to get involved.  Your voice will make a difference.

“How to Be an Anti-Racist” Book Group

Start a Book Discussion Group with your Colleagues

This summer the PAT Executive Board and Committees Chairs committed to reading and discussing Ibram X Kendi’s book,  How to be an Anti-racist. Educators from Bridlemile, DART, and Gray MS organized discussion groups for members there as well. 

We invite you to organize an Anti-Racist book study with your colleagues as well. Here are some easy steps to get you started: 

  • Invite your colleagues to join you
  • Acquire the Book: You can download the audio or e-book version of How to be an Anti-racist by Ibram X. Kendi from the Multnomah County Library with no wait, for free!
  • Set the pace: We recommend meeting for 30 minutes, once a week, for 4 weeks, discussing about 4 chapters each week.Set the calendar: Pick a time and create a video-chat link. Pick someone to send out reminders each week.
  • Facilitate the discussion: You can pick someone to facilitate the whole process, or switch facilitators each week. It can be helpful to have discussion questions/homework ahead of time, like
  • What concept or story from this week’s reading is especially applicable to your classroom?
  • What is a sentence or paragraph from this week that really spoke to you and why?
  • What did you learn that you were not aware of before?
  • Or use the official book Book Club Kit questions 

Please let us know if you are interested in organizing an anti-racist book group at your site. If you need support around this, or want to talk it through, e-mail

Event: How to Be an Anti-Racist: An Evening of Art + Conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

PAT is proud to sponsor Human Solutions’ event: “How to Be an Anti-Racist: An Evening of Art + Conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi”. This free on-line event is an invitation to understand and embrace anti-racism. Here are the details:

Join us on Thursday, October 1 at 6:30pm, for a  thought-provoking evening of art & conversation, featuring performing artists, Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of the bestselling book “How To Be An Anti-Racist,” with performing artists curated by BoomArts.

Guests will see relevant performances by local artists, hear a 20-minute presentation by Dr. Kendi and a 20-minute conversation with Dr. Kendi and Commissioner Hardesty, followed by 15 minutes of audience Q & A.

Register today to reserve a space:

HUNGRY? Order dinner from one these Black-owned restaurants:

Event: LERC Workshops

LERC Workshop Series: “The Intersection of Racial Justice and Worker Advocacy” 

This fall the Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) at the University of Oregon is organizing a workshop series “The Intersection of Racial Justice and Worker Advocacy.” All talks are free and open to all. Learn more and sign up on the LERC website.

Please mark your calendar for upcoming sessions:

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You are Invited: Jobs with Justice 2020 Virtual Annual Dinner!

PAT is proud to partner with Jobs with Justice, and we are once again sponsoring the annual fundraising dinner. This year, the event will take place virtually on Thursday September 24, 2020 at 6pm. Since it is virtual, there is room for all to attend! The program will be hosted on Zoom and will feature a keynote address​ from Bobbin Singh,​ ​founding Executive Director of Oregon Justice Resource Center.  Learn more here.

September is Latinx Heritage Month

Join us in celebrating Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month September 15th - October 15th! During this time we commemorate the beauty of our gente, our cultures, and the endless contributions to our society Latinos continue to make today. 

Find lessons on Latino cultures, history, and more on the PAT website. There are also multiple opportunities for our Latinx/Hispanic teachers to connect in affinity spaces. 

Are you doing anything in your classroom to recognize Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month? 

Visit out website for more information. Share pictures with us and use the hashtags #hispanicheritagemonth #LHMPAT on social media so we can all see the ways you are honoring and uplifting Latinx voices at your school! Adelante!

Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month

September 15th is the beginning of Latinx Heritage Month. 

The PAT Racial Equity Committee has pulled together a wide variety of resources including:

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Bargaining Brief, September 9, 2020

PAT Colleagues:


The PAT Bargaining Team met with the PPS team yesterday (Wednesday, September 9).  We know many of you were unable to watch the session because you were engaged in teaching, but you may view it here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

There is good news from today’s bargaining.  We have finally agreed to terms regarding the workday, particularly what has to be part of the educator’s flexible time.  PAT and PPS agreed that:

  • The stipulations are for all professional educators; there are no separate terms for “specials” or particular job descriptions.
  • The schedule must meet statutory requirements for instruction time, and for educator-facilitated instructional time in compliance with the ODE’s guidance set forth in Ready Schools, Safe Learners of August, 2020. 
  • All professional educators will receive an average of no less than three hours and ten minutes per day, or at least 950 minutes per week, of educator-directed time over the course of a full school week of time that shall include the following:
    • Educator-directed planning time;
    • Educator-directed time to communicate with students and families; 
    • Educator-directed time to provide actionable feedback to students;
    • Educator-directed time to assess student performance, and gather, track, and enter data.

Key to all educators is that both teams agreed that “educator-directed time” is flexible time - - educators are required to do the activities, but educators may conduct them when they are able.  This means that if an individual educator needs to take time to care for their child/children or to provide elder care, they may flex the time.  

We also agreed that times in the day where the District has indicated options such as student “support/ office hours,” or “small group instruction/ asynchronous learning/ office hours,” etc. are times where the educator (not the administrator) decides what happens when, and that office hours don’t count as part of the educator-directed time or educator planning time.  

Both sides continue to work to find a solution to addressing DLI and Special Education workload, part-time educator workload, and what may be required of educators in PLC meetings this year.  

We will meet with PPS in a small-group discussion (4 on 4) on Friday the 11th and again in full-team sessions on Thursday the 17th.  


In Solidarity,


Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Chelyn Joseph

PAT Advocacy Cadre Hotline

Got a question about the PAT contract? The new PAT Advocacy Cadre can help! 

We are excited to launch the PAT Advocacy Cadre, a group of 10 member-educators who will work closely with the UniServ Consultants to become experts on our contracts, and to support members who need help navigating the language of our union contracts. 

PAT Advocacy Cadre Hotline Hours

Mondays, 5:00-6:30 pm, starting TODAY, August 31st.

  • Phone: (503) 495-2144 (leave a voicemail and you will get a call back during hotline hours)
  • Zoom Drop-In (open 5-6:30pm on Hotline Mondays)
  • Email: (send a message and you will get a response during hotline hours)

The Advocacy Cadre will be answering phones and returning emails for all members who have contract-based questions.  Prior to calling the Cadre hotline, members should always speak with their building representatives at their school first, and if your building representative does not have the answer to your question, then you should either call, email, or Zoom with the Cadre members.  The Cadre members will only return calls and emails on Mondays from 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

The Cadre program serves the dual purpose of teaching members about their contractual rights while also strengthening the Cadre members’ technical knowledge of both the Contract-Educator Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Substitute-Educator Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Through this program, we hope to continuously expand our contract advocacy and contract education work so that all members feel empowered to enforce their contractual rights in their buildings.  

Bargaining Brief, August 27th, 2020

Dear PAT Colleagues:


Today, the PPS bargaining team refused to put in writing their verbal agreement that educators should get an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes per day of teacher-directed time for planning, communicating with students and families, and providing meaningful feedback to student work. Instead, the District proposed that we all trust that principals at every school will give all educators the time they need based on the proposed sample schedules provided in bargaining.  

While PPS management insisted that their schedules were clear, we repeatedly reminded them that principals were mis-interpreting Shawn Bird’s directives. As it stands, educators are being forced to educate their administrators about how to interpret work schedules, which is not appropriate.  We know that yellow highlighting on a few example schedules is not sufficient protection for educator workload. To see our precise proposal on the workday, see #6 under Section II of our current MOA

In addition, we still have differences around DLI workload and Special Education Educator workload. While PPS conceded that there is an overwhelming amount of backlogged work, and in response offered to allow all Special Education educators 8 hours to perform “catch up work” without prior approval.  However, PPS would not guarantee that Special Education educators would qualify for additional payment, even if they can demonstrate that they have a legitimate backlog which exceeds the hours in Article 6.5.4.  When we voiced serious concerns with this, management said this was a cost savings measure and they claimed that not all Special Education educators had the same backlog.  

PPS would not agree to pay for DLI educators to translate even core related materials when those materials are not provided by the District.  We were again asked to trust that the District will develop the curriculum needed for all DLI educators.  Amazingly, they seem content to force DLI instructors to create the curriculum that should be provided by the District, without additional pay, apparently because they are concerned that it might be too costly to compensate DLI educators for the work required to do their jobs.

We also proposed that part-time educators should have educator-directed time that is proportional to that of full-time educators. Again, while this sounds like mere logic, the District would not agree.

Here is what PPS has agreed to:

  • All educators have access to their buildings during comprehensive distance learning. 
  • No educator can be required to report to a building to do their work.  
  • Educator-directed time can be flexed so that PAT members could take care of their family members or demands of homelife.  

Despite these areas of agreement, the District’s unwillingness to commit to a firm number of minutes per week of planning time is leaving us frustrated that, as the school year starts for educators, they have not taken seriously our shared interest in an enforceable agreement upon which schedules can be built.  

The District would not commit to another official meeting until September 9th; however, we hope to push the District to move toward agreement in the interim.  

You can watch today’s bargaining session here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.


In Solidarity,


Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Chelyn Joseph

President's Message: Stronger Than We Started

Dear Educators,

These are unprecedented times. You are returning to work this week to begin a school year like none other, under conditions we never would have chosen. With so little clarity around what is to come, educators and stepping back into the year ready to model the the compassion and creativity required of all of us right now.

For almost everyone, teaching in COVID times has been the most challenging moment in our professional lives. Last spring, we witnessed the profound inequities of online learning firsthand. We saw what worked, and we saw many things that didn’t. We know that in order to find real solutions for our students, educator expertise and first-hand experience should be guiding District decision-making.

In all the upheaval, there is so much at stake and so much possibility when we consider the future of our public schools. For years we have been talking about the need for small class sizes; for better air-quality and sanitation in our buildings; for greater focus on social-emotional supports and personal connection, and less on data-production and standardized tests. Right now, the whole world is recognizing how crucial these issues are, and that the value of public education is far greater than what can be delivered through a screen. As we move through this crisis and into the whatever comes next, we have the opportunity to carry these truths forward.

Rather than simply survive this pandemic, we want to ensure our schools and communities come out the other side stronger. To do that, we are going to need hold tight to our values and demand the things that our community has always deserved: for fully-funded schools that give each child the opportunities and attention they need; for Black Lives to Matter in every classroom, every neighborhood, and every policy that governs us; for every member of our community to have access to housing, healthcare, and hope for the future. We must remember that these are reasonable and achievable demands.

These are stressful times, so let’s also remember the power we have as to lift one another up and support each other. Thank you for all that you’re prepared to do this fall to support your students and colleagues, and please make sure to take equally good care of yourself and your loved ones.

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Thiel
PAT President

Meet Your Current PAT Leaders

PAT is a democratic union, and we have many elected leaders who share the responsibility for guiding our work as an association. We are fortunate to have such a talented and collaborative team of leaders. Learn more here.

PAT Officers

  • President: Elizabeth Thiel, English teacher, Madison High School
  • Vice President: Gwen Sullivan, Library Media Specialist, Chapman Elementary School
  • Treasurer: Diana Collins, School Climate Specialist, Gray Middle School
  • Secretary: Alisha Chavez, Special Education Teacher, Atkinson Elementary School

Executive Board Directors-at-Large

  • Rachel Hanes, 2nd Grade teacher, Glencoe ES, Liaison to Zone 1
  • Vincent Chirimwami, Special Education teacher, Faubion K-8, Liaison to Zone 2
  • Greg Burrill, Substitute Teacher, Liaison to Zone 3
  • Jacque Dixon, Language Arts Teacher, DART, Liaison to Zone 4
  • Adolfo Garza, Kindergarten, Woodlawn ES, Liaison to Zone 5
  • Erica Schneider, 2nd Grade teacher, Llewellyn K-5, Liaison to Zone 7
  • Tina Lamanna, 2nd Grade teacher, Markham K-5, Liaison to Zone 8
  • Mike Bauer, Social Studies teacher, Cleveland HS, Liaison to Zone 9

OEA Board Directors

  • Russ Peterson, Social Studies teacher, Grant High School
  • Gwen Sullivan, Library Media Specialist, Chapman ES

Thank You to PAT's Outgoing Leaders

As a member-led union, PAT’s leadership shift every year, as new leaders are elected to step into new roles. Typically, at our End-of-Year Celebration, we thank our PAT leaders who are moving on. We didn’t get to celebrate last June, but we are still deeply grateful to the following leaders who gave their time and energy to make our union stronger, and are moving on to new roles:

Suzanne Cohen—After serving 2 terms as PAT President, Suzanne is now teaching Health at Roosevelt High School. She continues to serve on behalf of PAT as a Trustee on the Health and Welfare Trust.

Al Rabchuk—Our PAT Treasurer and long-time Advocacy Committee chair (as well as former OEA Board director, and most anything else that needed doing) has retired and plans to go fishing.

Madeleine Allen—Madeleine served as a Director-at-Large on the PAT Executive Board, as well as our Legislative Committee Chair, and as a member of the PAT PAC Board. She has accepted the position of Vice-Principal at George Middle School.

Nichole Watson—Nichole served as an OEA Board Director, and as the co-chair of our Racial Equity committee and our Social Justice Committee. She is now the Principal at Prescott Elementary School in the Parkrose School District.

Huck Wilken—Huck completed his term as Director-at-Large on the PAT Executive Board, and is taking leave this year to pursue peer mediation with OEA.

RaeAnn Thompson—RaeAnn completed her term as Director-at-Large on the PAT Executive Board, and continues to teach Health and Jefferson High School.

Chelyn Joseph—Chelyn has been a core member of our Bargaining Team since 2012. She will be on a leave-of-absence from PPS this year, but will continue to consult the Bargaining Team to the extent she is able.

Deepest thanks to these for your commitment and service to PAT, and congratulations on your transitions!

Building Access Prior to the Start of the School Year

Our contract guarantees members access to the worksite at least one week prior to the start of the school year. Unfortunately, many administrators refused to let educators into their classrooms or offices, so PAT is filing an “Association Grievance” on behalf of PAT members who were denied access between August 20th and August 27th.

If you were denied access to your building by your administration (via email or text or phone call)  during this period, we need your help documenting the extra work this created for you!  First, make sure you a copy of the email/text where you were denied access. Second, please keep a record of the time you have to spend after work this week doing things that you would have done last week if you had been able to get into your building. 

We will send out a google form the week of September 3rd where you can share your records. We will use that information to formulate our remedy when we file the association grievance. 

Take Action: No Layoffs at the Library!

Recently, Multnomah County announced plans to lay off a large number of library workers. It is important to note that there is NOT a funding shortfall—the Multnomah County Library is funded by a Library Distract Property tax, so they are maintaining stable funding even as the economy tanks.

Library workers are represented by AFSCME 88, and they are asking for our support. I sent the Multnomah Country Commissioners this letter, and encourage you all to join me in writing to the writing the commissioners and asking them to REVERSE THE LAYOFFS.

Below are some talking points you could include in your letter:

  • These layoffs are not driven by a lack of funds or a budget reduction.
  • There is huge  need for library services in a community that is still grappling with this pandemic.
  • The county should be partnering with school districts, and community organizations, particularly in the BIPOC community,  to find creative ways to carry out the library’s mission even if buildings are closed to the public.
  • Layoffs will exacerbate the negative economic impact on our community and endanger working families.

Below is the contact information for the Multnomah County Commissioners:

  • Deborah Kafoury, County Chair, 503-988-3308 (phone), 503-988-3093 (fax),
  • Sharon Meieran, District 1, 503-988-5220 (phone), 503-988-5440 (fax),
  • Susheela Jayapal, District 2, 503-988-5219 (phone), 503-988-5440 (fax),
  • Jessica Vega Pederson, District 3, 503- 988-5217 (phone), 503-988-5262 (fax),
  • Lori Stegmann, District 4, 503-988-5213 (phone), 503-988-5262 (fax),

Families Marching for Black Lives: Sunday August 30th, 12:30PM

Join us for family-friendly marches for Black lives this Sunday, starting at 12:30 at the Salmon Street Fountain. For more information see Families Marching for Black Lives event page.

Please wear a mask and respect social distancing. 

Many of you have asked about BLM PAT shirts. Our Racial Equity & Social Justice Committees will be at this event with PAT BLM shirts for members and sign-making materials. 

If you would like to volunteer to help with the PAT table at one of these events in the future, please e-mail Jacque Dixon and Alisha Chavez

We would love to see PAT educators show up and support the communities that we are serving. Hope to see you there!

Join a PAT Committee!

PAT is known around the state and country for being a strong and powerful union.  Part of what makes this possible is the strength of our committees within the union.  Our committees give members a way to be involved based on their own interests.  Most of our committees are open to all members. Learn more about our committees and let us know you want to get involved.   Your voice will make a difference. 

(Note that committees with a “**” are not open committees)

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Major Gains from our Substitute Educator ULP

Dear PAT Colleagues:


The Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) that PAT filed against PPS has resulted in a series of major benefits for PAT Substitute Educators and all regularly employed professional educators. This resolution means that substitute educators WILL be able to work this fall, and other educators will be able to REQUEST a substitute educator.


PAT was able to gain the following benefits:


  1. The number of days worked in the 2019-2020 year for substitute educators to be eligible for substitute educator health insurance in 2020-2021 has been reduced from a required 70 days to at least 52 days (any combination of half and full days, adding up to at least 52).
  2. If a substitute educator had earned health insurance benefits in seven of the last ten years, but did not get 52 days of work last year, that educator will be eligible for insurance if they worked 37 days (combo of half and full days).
  3. To benefit all PAT members, PPS will resume the AESOP substitute finder system by September 14th when student instruction begins.
  4. All substitute educators will have required training on district approved distance learning platforms so that each educator will be able to properly substitute during Comprehensive Distance Learning.
  5. There will be an additional day of voluntary paid training for all substitute educators covering PPS curriculum delivery and other key educational issues.                                           NOTE: The required and voluntary training add up to three days of paid time, which counts towards insurance for the 2021-2022 school year.  
  6. All PAT employees and PPS administrators will receive notice that AESOP has been resumed and how to request a substitute.  


We deeply regret that we had to go to such lengths to secure insurance and work for our substitute educators as well as workload relief for the rest of the PAT membership.  Nonetheless, these efforts once again show the efficacy of collective action.  


In Solidarity,

Portland Association of Teachers

Bargaining Brief- August 21, 2020

Dear PAT Colleagues,


Your PAT Team met with PPS again yesterday (Friday, August 21) from 9am - 1pm, and we are happy to report that we have common understandings that will become signed Tentative Agreements (TAs) regarding the amount of educator-directed time in a workday.  The proposed schedules allow for a greater amount of flexibility in the schedule so that PAT educators can care for their families.  Additionally, educators will be allowed to work from their classrooms at school to ensure adequate access to the internet and materials; however, no member will be required to work on-site.  


In terms of the amount of educator-directed time, professional educators will have approximately three hours and 15 minutes a day to plan lessons, assess student work and provide feedback, and support and connect with families and students.  Although the amount of time varies on some days, and varies from elementary to secondary settings, the three hour and 15 minute average is very close to our original proposal of three hours and thirty minutes, and far exceeds the original district proposal.  


Of equal importance is the agreement that when an educator has scheduled “educator-directed time” the educator may flex that schedule so that they can address their family’s needs.  Having this flexibility should go a long way to making teaching under a Comprehensive Distance Learning Model possible for the approximately 42 percent of PAT membership who have children at home.  It also recognizes that many students and families will likewise require flexibility to be successful under distance learning.   


Finally, we agreed to exchange proposals on what should be part of PLCs (regardless of grade level) so that the time spent in those meetings becomes as meaningful as possible.  


The subjects of support for DLI and Special Education educators is still being discussed.  The two teams agreed to exchange counter proposals prior to our next negotiation session on August 27th.  


Next Steps:

  • Both sides plan to coordinate between now and our next negotiation session on August 27 to sign Tentative Agreements (TAs) on the issues that we agreed to yesterday pertaining to the workday and educator directed time.
  • After that, PPS can move forward with building schedules, which must comply with these workday agreements.
  • The bargaining team will continue meeting to come to agreement on the rest of the proposals, including Professional Development, Special Education, and Supports for families and students.


You can watch yesterday’s session online here: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3. Our next bargaining session will be Thursday, August 27, and we will live-stream the session again.  


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PAT 2020 Presentation for New Educators

Thank you to the new educators who joined us today to learn more about our union. Please click HERE for a printable copy of our presentation.


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