What Does Fighting For the Schools Our Students Deserve Actually Look Like?

It was November 22, 2013, almost three years ago, when thousands of us came together on the Burnside Bridge. We were in the midst of our biggest campaign ever, “Fighting for the Schools Portland Students Deserve.” We knew that by standing together in the midst of horrible contract negotiations we had the opportunity to fight for our students and our city.  And fight we did. We didn’t allow the District to gut our contract and roll back advances we have made for our students around workload.

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Together for Measure 97

We have less than 2 weeks until Election Day, and we are fighting to fund the schools our students deserve by passing Measure 97.


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Make Sure and Vote by November 8th

PAT has put out its Voter’s Guide for the November election. Recommendations come from the PAT PAC, and were made on the basis of the candidate’s record or position on educational issues, responses during the interviews, viability of campaign, PAT’s strategic organizational goals, and electability. In this election cycle, the PAT PAC board interviewed and deliberated over a period of 10 months, for over 44 hours in total, to make recommendations for candidates.

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Get the Latest on Bargaining

Last week, we sent our second bargaining brief to every member’s personal email. If you haven’t already, be sure and check it out online. If you didn’t receive it, that means we don’t have your personal email! Make sure you’re getting the latest updates on our negotiations by sending your personal email to Kelli Williams, [email protected]

PAT Grieves Added Minutes in PK-8 Workday

PAT has filed a grievance on behalf of our members in PK-8 schools after the District unilaterally increased student/teacher contact time for middle school educators. This is a clear violation of the workload language in our contract, and the protocols we have in place for our current Interest-Based Bargaining (IBB) with the District.

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PAT Grieves Salaries Promised (But Not Given) to New Members

PAT has filed a class-action grievance stating that PPS HR representatives promised multiple new members higher salaries than actually received.  In most of these cases the HR specialists ignored salary placement guidelines around receiving a higher degree and/or advanced education hours beyond a bachelor’s degree prior to receiving licensure.  In some cases, HR representatives also ignored information about years of experience.  After members had accepted the position, they were later given a contract with an actual salary that was in many cases several thousand dollars lower. 

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Substitute Given Building Restriction for Heart Condition

A building principal has requested that one of our substitute members receive a building restriction after the member had to leave during the school day because she was experiencing extreme chest pains.  After calling the office for help, the substitute waited over 20 minutes for support to arrive.  After scheduling an emergency appointment with the OHSU cardio clinic, the substitute brought her students to the office and left to go to the cardio clinic.  She later had to seek additional medical treatment for her heart condition.  Unfortunately, human resources processed the request for a building restriction without question.  PAT is demanding that the restriction be dropped, and that the district conduct an investigation into the actions of administration and HR.

Look for Your 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. 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 paycheck.

PAT Is Working to Make PPS Friendly for New Moms

In the last few months, there have been many calls from new mothers who are experiencing difficulties with District administration when it comes to allowing for time and a private location to express milk.  Click the following link to find out more information about legal requirements for expressing milk, and find out how PAT is pushing the District to rectify this situation.