Message sent to our membership on March 20, 2020 Download the PDF here
This is certainly not the “have a happy spring break” e-mail we imagined sending you, and yet, we really do want to encourage you to take a break.
When we come back from Spring Break, we will be figuring out what our new working conditions will be. We worked with PPS to develop a survey, which we encourage that you take. We know that we are all in different places in our technological abilities, as well as the amount of time and flexibility we have to work from home.
We have been clear with PPS that many of our educators have called, emailed, texted, and insisted that there are many ways we can continue to work in service to our students. We have encouraged PPS to seek volunteers, because we know there are a lot of you.
We also know that for many of you, working during this time presents many challenges: wifi access, caring for others, and lack of quiet work space. Our intent is to work with PPS to determine how we may all continue to work in a way that is reasonable.
We strongly encourage all substitutes to apply for unemployment insurance via the State’s website: https://www.oregon.gov/employ/Pages/Unemployment-Insurance-Videos.aspx. After discussions with PPS, the District has made a commitment to the PAT that it will not object to unemployment applications submitted by substitutes. In those same discussions with PPS representatives, the PAT proposed that substitutes should be paid their individual monthly average pay for the duration of the closure. Only hours ago, PPS agreed to compensate substitutes during the extended closure based upon an average of work performed. https://www.pps.net/Page/15149.
During this global health crisis, it is important to note that your health insurance coverage will continue. We are strongly advocating that substitutes who would have worked the equivalent of 70 full work days - had it not been for the school closure - should still qualify for health insurance for the 2020-2021 school year. We will provide updates on this issue as they develop.
Your PAT Bargaining Team met (via phone conference) and discussed the options on how to proceed with the planned opening of negotiations. After a lengthy conversation we realized that negotiating at this time is simply not practical.
Once PAT and the District have a better idea of how government leaders plan to handle the COVID-19 crisis, our two teams will discuss how to proceed with both the PAT and the PAT Substitute Teacher negotiations.
Know that your PAT staff and leaders are working continuously to navigate this new territory.
We hope you have a good spring break!
Portland Association of Teachers