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?

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

PAT Election Results

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


  • 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.

Continue reading

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


Continue reading

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.

Tax Tip: Did You Know You Can Deduct 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.

Disrupted Learning: OEA Needs Your Story

Our OEA staff in Salem are looking for stories to share with lawmakers this legislative session, about teachers’ experiences with disrupted learning in our classrooms.  They plan to hand-deliver a story from one of our members to Oregon legislators every day of the February and March session.  Your stories are a crucial part of the work that the OEA lobby team will accomplish this session. 

How have behavioral challenges and dealing with unmet student needs changed the work you do? What solutions would you suggest to help ensure that all students are able to learn in a safe space? Please take a few minutes to write down your experiences. Our policy makers need to hear from teachers.

Join PAT at the OEA PAC Convention

All OEA PAC contributors are invited to the OEA PAC Convention, the evening of Friday, March 9th, and all day Saturday, March 10th, at the Benson Hotel in downtown Portland. Registration is free, and to participate you must be an OEA PAC contributor.

Please register here.

OEA PAC works to elect pro-public education candidates to public office.  Join us for the 2018 OEA-PAC convention and help decide Oregon's future leaders and the direction of public education.  

Meet the candidates for federal and state offices, including the governor, and discuss your priority issues with them.

If you are not yet an OEA PAC contributor, you can become one now by filling out this form and returning it to the PAT office.

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.

Continue reading

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. 

Continue reading

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.

A Cross-Border Social Justice Conference

Teachers from British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington are coming together to connect across borders and discuss common threats to public education and ways to challenge hate, bigotry and neoliberalism. 

Date: Saturday, April 7, 2018
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Location: Sullivan Heights Secondary School, 6248 144 St., Surrey, British Columbia, Canada


Continue reading

A Reminder of What We're Fighting For

The night we reached our Tentative Agreement with the District we bargained until 4 AM.  I didn’t go to sleep that morning. Instead, I spent my day in a Kindergarten classroom at Woodlawn Elementary with first-year teacher and proud PAT member, Brittney Whitman.

Continue reading

Notice of Resignation or Retirement

Do you plan to resign or retire from PPS this Spring or at the end of this school year? If so, it pays to let your supervisor know as soon as possible. An educator who gives written notice of resignation or retirement no later than February 15th will receive a “notice stipend” of $1250. If the professional educator gives written notice no later than March 15th, the stipend is $700. 

The notice must be in writing, to the principal or supervising administrator, and payment will be made in the educator’s final paycheck. The stipend does not apply if the resignation is made in lieu of termination, non-renewal or non-extension of contract. Please note—the new contract language moves these dates up one month earlier, to coordinate with an earlier staffing process. However, for this year 2017-18, we agreed to keep the February 15th and March 15th dates, to maximize participation. 

Heads Up! Staffing for 2018-19 School Year Starts Soon

The District is now required to post the vacancies for the internal transfer process no later than March 1st of each school year. Within the next week, administrators will be receiving information about their available FTE for next school year. PAT and PPS will meet this week to review the procedures and timelines for the general staffing process, as well as the middle school reconfigurations and changes at Rigler and Scott. We will continue to provide you with additional information and concrete dates as soon as the specific phases of the process are finalized.

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

Continue reading

Correction on Retro Check

We are sorry for any confusion we created on the date for retro checks, but the contract language says the check must be issued within five weeks of ratification by the Board of Education. We expect retro checks to be issued around March 15th (not February 15th).

Correction: PERS Retroactive Contribution

PERS contributions for retired members/inactive PERS members will not be able to be made for our retroactive salary increases. 

We originally thought that we had found a way to do this legally.  Unfortunately, we have discovered that PERS will not accept these contributions after PERS members are retired.  The retro check issued around March 15th for salary and other retroactive compensation will not include employer or employee PERS deductions if the employee is no longer active in the PERS system. 

This does not impact members who are still contributing to the PERS system.