Still Fighting for the Schools Portland Students Deserve

Welcome back! This is the second year in a row we’re starting the year without a contract and I know it’s really tough. I hope you were proudly wearing your “2nd Year, No Contract” button when the students arrived last week. This is just one of the many activities we’ve got planned to show the District we’re serious about settling a fair contract.

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Personnel Investigations and Paid Administrative Leave

PPS officials are unfortunately making headlines again, this time for the District’s dysfunctional approach to personnel complaints, investigations, and paid administrative leave. PAT has been pushing the District to fix these problems for years.

Given the frequent media mischaracterizations of the role of our union, its important to stress that only PPS can fire its employees, or initiate and pursue investigations. We believe that it’s in everyone’s interest for the District to conduct timely, thorough, and objective investigations of personnel complaints—something we’ve spelled out repeatedly in bargaining. For example, in our last round of negotiations we secured new language requiring the District to conduct prompt investigations, and to provide a reason for putting any educator on administrative leave for more than 10 days. Unfortunately, PPS has repeatedly ignored these requirements, and just like the lead crisis two years ago, administrators continue sweeping problems under the rug.

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Salary Placement Problems

The past two years we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of members having problems with their placement on the salary schedule.  If you believe you should be on a different step or column on the salary schedule, please let us know by completing this form

PAT will be able to analyze your situation and identify any trends or common causes for these salary placement problems.  Based on our findings, we may file a class-action grievance to address any violations.  

Give Your Schedule a Check-Up

The PAT/PPS contract has language to insure a fair work schedule that allows you to support your students.  Please review the contract and your schedule, and use the Schedule Check worksheet on the PAT website that is appropriate for your assignment (grade level/building and full-time or part-time).

It is important that you do this now.  If changes or corrections need to be made, they must be done now, at the beginning of the year.  If you have concerns about your schedule, talk to your PAT Building Representative.

Whats Up With My Paycheck?

Because our contract is still not settled, we are starting our second year without any increase to the salary schedule. I know just how difficult this is. Both the District and PAT have proposals that include retroactive increases.

 Because our contract is “status quo”, the salary schedule remains the same as last year. However, you do get step increases and credit advancement if you're eligible. Also, due to staffing cuts, we are not working the extra two days we agreed to last year. This means we aren't being paid for those extra two days and your paychecks will reflect this shorter school year on the September 29th paycheck. 

Labor History for Labor Activists

These are hard times for most working people. Although significant organizing efforts are underway within the labor movement, the way forward remains challenging. Portland Rising, a committee of Portland Jobs with Justice, is offering a five-week class starting in October, called Labor History for Labor Activists.  The aim of the class is to help local activists learn from US labor history to become more effective organizers in their own workplaces, unions, and communities.

The class will be held in the Portland Jobs with Justice basement training room (1500 NE Irving Street), for five successive Tuesdays, from 7 to 8:30 pm, starting October 10, 2017.  For more information send an email to [email protected], or register here .

Licensure Updates Workshop - September 23rd

Find out the latest in licensure redesign in Oregon and get valuable information about all aspects of licensure for K-12 educators. You will walk away with answers to your specific licensure questions and materials that are comprehensive and user-friendly.  The workshop is Saturday September 23rd, from 9:30-11:30 AM, at the PAT office. Free for OEA members.  Register online here.

Help Strengthen PAT's Membership!

Are you a people person? Do you like to organize and educate members on why it is important to be a part of the union?  Join the membership committee! Our primary tasks are to recruit and involve new members and organize events such as the Back to School BBQ, retirement recognition, and National Teacher Appreciation.  Please contact Membership Chair Kali Capps at [email protected] to get involved.

National Board Certification Workshop - October 5th

The PAT contract has a $1,500 annual stipend for National Board certified teachers.  We expect this to be increased to $2,500 when our next contract is finalized.  Come learn how you can become national board certified.  Find out about opportunities at the state level to get reimbursed for certification fees and how to waive Oregon licensure fees.  Find out how OEA supports you with a four-day Jump Start Seminar so you start the process on the right foot. The workshop will be held Thursday October 5th, 5:00-6:00 PM at the PAT office. 

Free for OEA members. Register online at: