April 24, 2020 Communication from PAT- re Latest Developments with PPS

Message sent to our membership on April 24th, 2020 

Dear Educator,

On Tuesday, April 21st, PPS met with PAT leadership to discuss budget issues for the academic year 2020-2021. Because Oregon is dependent on income tax revenue, we all understand from prior recessions, that lower income tax revenue means cuts to public sector services. Both PPS and PAT want to find a way to diminish the impact of the loss of revenue to the school district.   

We wanted to let you know that we are exploring with PPS some possibilities for the remainder of this school year. Though we can’t share details yet, and aren’t even sure what is possible- we did agree to explore options. A few things we wanted to make sure you know:

  • PAT cannot, and will not, agree to anything without presenting the details to you, and having members vote on it
  • PAT is exploring options that do not harm members financially this year
  • PAT is working in collaboration with other unions

At this time we have nothing concrete to report. As soon as we find out more about our options we will communicate further.

In Solidarity,

Portland Association of Teachers

April 23, 2020 Communication from PAT- re Ergonomics

Message sent to our membership on April 23rd, 2020 

Dear Educator,

We know that distance teaching and learning is hard, but it shouldn't hurt!

Most of us aren't accustomed to spending so much time sitting in front of screens, especially in work spaces we've had to design ourselves.

PAT worked with The Standard (one of our partners with our Health and Welfare Trust) to get some tips on how to help prevent and alleviate some of the physical aches and pains caused by poor ergonomics.

First, there are some stretching techniques that might help, especially if you've already noticed some strain on your muscles and joints.

Also, we want to make sure that you've set up your home office the best way for your body. Here are a few resources:

Ergonomic Home Office

Ergonomic Zombies Training Video

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April 23, 2020 Communication from PAT- re OEA Relief Fund for Subs

Message sent to our membership on April 23rd, 2020 

Dear Educator,

In recognition that substitute educators have been disproportionately affected by a loss of income due to the COVID-19 school closure, OEA has opened up its Relief Fund to all OEA Union members employed as substitutes who have experienced a loss in salary during this time.

You can find more information about the OEA Relief Fund and complete an application by clicking here.

Each individual applicant will be awarded up to a maximum of $1,000 after the application is processed. To be eligible to receive funds, you must have become an OEA member by March 2nd, 2020.

We appreciate all your work and hope you continue to be well.

In Solidarity,

Portland Association of Teachers

April 13, 2020 Communication from PAT- re Leaves of Absence

Message sent to our membership on April 13th, 2020 

Dear Educator,

We know many of you have questions regarding leaves of absence. Below is a brief overview we’ve put together to give you some more information and to answer some of your questions. If, after reading through this, you still have questions or need assistance with applying for a leave of absence, please email us at [email protected], and don’t forget to include your work location in your email. (To view the below information as a PDF, please click here.)


Covid-19 Related Emergency Leaves of Absence

Last updated 4/13/2020

You are legally entitled to make use of all the new leaves of absence programs that have been created at the Federal level due to Covid-19 closures.  However, PPS has communicated to your PAT leadership, that PPS would prefer that you remain at work (telework). School administrators will work with you to flex your schedule as necessary to ensure that you remain at work (telework) between now and the end of the school year.  


This document will provide you with a brief overview of the new leaves of absence created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), additional details are provided below along with weblinks and additional legal memos to help you understand which leave of absence is right for your situation. 


What type of leave am I eligible for?  


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April 9, 2020 Communication from PAT- re Survey on Distance Learning

Message sent to our membership on April 9th, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator,

The announcement yesterday that we would not meet face-to-face with our colleagues and students for the rest of the year didn’t surprise us, and yet, we all shared in the collective grief. It is the right decision, for everyone’s health and safety. We know how hard everyone has been working, and we hate to trouble you with any more asks, but since distance learning is how we will finish the school year, we would really value your time in taking a short survey so we can better advocate for you and our students.


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April 8, 2020 Communication from PAT- re FAQ's for Subs

Message sent to our membership on April 8th, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator,

PAT has been providing weekly updates since the beginning of the PPS school closure. Each communication has included a combination of updates relevant to contract educators and to substitutes. Now that Governor Brown has announced the closure of Oregon public schools for the rest of the year, we will attempt to frequently update our website to serve as the repository of all recent PAT news. We have created a web page with all of our previously sent COVID-19-related communications, and we will continue to post any future communications on that page. At this time, we also want to ensure that our substitute teachers are not missing any communication emails, so we will be maintaining a summary of Substitute Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) on the PAT website, as well. The links for these two pages are http://www.pdxteachers.org/pat_news and http://www.pdxteachers.org/covid_19_updates.


Frequently Asked Questions for Substitutes (updated 4/7/2020)

Should I apply for unemployment benefits?


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April 7, 2020 COVID-19 Communication from PAT

Message sent to our membership on April 7th, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator, 

PAT and PPS have been working on defining a workday/learning day that prioritizes equity, physical health, and emotional well being, and flexibility for everyone involved. At the same time, we must meet state expectations so that we may continue to work and be paid during this difficult time. We believe the plan put forth by PPS in collaboration with us puts us on this path.  

This document of teacher work expectations is not the same as any contract modification, or a signed MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) that is a legally binding agreement signed by both PAT and the District, which delineates specific issues pertaining to our working conditions during this period. We have a meeting with PPS on Friday to discuss this. This sequence of events is not our first choice, but during these times everyone is doing the best they can.

We do feel comfortable moving forward with this plan, knowing that every day the plan may need to be changed. We also know that the most important thing is connecting with families and supporting immediate needs. You can apply for grants of $100 to assist families you serve with rent, food, bills, etc….


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April 2, 2020 COVID-19 Communication from PAT

Message sent to our membership on April 2nd, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator--

During this time of profound uncertainty and anxiety, Portland educators, like most others across the country, are dealing with a total upheaval of our lives. Since the shutdown of schools, educators have been juggling the task of caring for their own families, supporting children and elders at home, while desperately trying to figure out how best to serve our students.

As we navigate this new terrain, we continue to advocate with district leadership in PPS that the plan moving forward must center equity and students’ emotional needs, and must be responsive to the needs and realities that students, families and educators are facing in this crisis.

First and foremost, we must make sure that the path forward does not widen the inequities in our society that already put some of our students at a disadvantage.


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March 27th COVID-19 Communication from PAT on School Closures

Message sent to our membership on March 27, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator,

We know that uncertain times can leave us feeling anxious. We want you to know that we continue to work on your behalf during these times. 

We have been in regular communication with PPS to make sure we can complete the demands of the Governor's executive order, and give our students the best we can, with reasonable expectations from ourselves- knowing that our new “working conditions” vary greatly, as do our virtual proficiencies. As always, our primary concern is not only our students, but also your health and safety. 

To that end, we have insisted that any plans provide flexibility for educators, and opportunities for us to capitalize on our strengths while we grow some new skills. No one believes that online learning is an adequate substitution for what we do in our schools with our students. We also understand that we must figure out ways to connect with our students. We believe that the plan for the first week back, which gives educators an opportunity to familiarize themselves with online platforms, is an appropriate first step. 

To reiterate what PPS sent out earlier today, the expectation is that the first week back, beginning Monday, March 30, all PAT members who are able to, will work remotely, engaging in online learning and collaboration. The work expected will be flexible and at your own pace. 


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March 20th COVID-19 Spring Break Notice from PAT

Message sent to our membership on March 20, 2020 Download the PDF here

Dear Educator,

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.



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