President's Message: Victory with Guaranteed Viable Curriculum

One of the biggest topics of discussion this fall has been the District’s Guaranteed Viable Curriculum—GVC for short. PAT members have made it clear what is and what isn’t working with the GVC, whether by responding to our GVC survey, testifying at the PAT-PPS Instructional and Professional Council, or writing up personal stories.

Our expectation has been simple—PPS needs to comply with our contract, which states in Article 8, section 11:

“…The District shall provide professional educators with related core instructional materials and an opportunity for in-service before requiring implementation of new adoptions, programs or curricula.”

As a direct result of your advocacy, the District has agreed to correct course.

Continue reading

Make Sure Teachers' Voice is Heard in Politics: Vote by November 6th


The Portland Association of Teachers Political Action Committee (PAT PAC) is proud to announce its candidate endorsements for the November 2018 general 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. PAT PAC funds come from the voluntary contributions of PAT PAC contributors, not dues dollars. To contribute to the PAT PAC, return this form to the PAT office.

Oregon Governor: Kate Brown

Portland City Commissioner Position 3: Jo Ann Hardesty

Metro Council Position 2: Christine Lewis

Oregon House of Representatives

  • HD 33: Mitch Greenlick
  • HD 36: Jennifer Williamson
  • HD 41: Karin Power
  • HD 42: Rob Nosse
  • HD 43: Tawna Sanchez
  • HD 44: Tina Kotek
  • HD 45: Barbara Smith Warner
  • HD 46: Alissa Keny-Guyer

 The Portland Association of Teachers has also taken positions on the following ballot measures:

Continue reading

Get Out the Vote for Jo Ann Hardesty, PAT Candidates, and Ballot Initiatives

The November election is incredibly important in Oregon, with a historic city council race, and control of the Governor’s seat in question. We also have numerous ballot initiatives which could either move our state forward with new funding for affordable housing, jobs, and clean energy, or send us backward with more tax loopholes for the rich, racial profiling, and limits to women’s reproductive rights.

We are partnering with the Jo Ann Hardesty campaign to run a Get Out the Vote Canvass on Saturday, November 3, from 10 am to 1 pm, at the PAT office. Come help reach out to Portlanders who have not yet voted.  This is an opportunity to make a real impact on voter turnout, the weekend before ballots are due. RSVP here, and bring along a friend!

Elementary First Quarter Reports

PAT and PPS have extended the MOU on Elementary Report Cards, which means Elementary teachers should use the PPS Parent Teacher Conference Form, and not the grade report card, for the first quarter.

The MOU says, “All Pk-5 and self-contained 6th grade PAT bargaining unit members shall be required to prepare the PPS Parent-Teacher Conference Form instead of grade reports and shall not submit grade reports at the end of the first quarter grading period. These forms will be discussed and presented to parents/guardians at the parent/teacher conference scheduled in November (or in August for Rosa Parks Elementary School).”

Advancing on the Salary Schedule - October 31st Deadline

If you have earned enough credit to advance to another column on the salary schedule, our contract requires the District start paying you at this new level within twenty (20) days of the time you supplied the transcripts or other required verification to the District.  The salary advancements will not be retroactive. However, according to the PAT/PPS contract, credits verified by October 31st will be retroactive to the beginning of the school year. Check to make sure that PPS has received your verification and get an email, a receipt, or some other written confirmation from PPS that they have received the verification.

Salary Placement - New Hires

Salary placement for new hires is based on prior work experience and educational credit, but will only be made after official verification.  Make sure your previous employer(s) and all relevant colleges/universities submit the required verification to PPS Human Resources.  Salary adjustments based on eligible education or experience credit will become effective in the payroll period in which approved. The adjustments will not be retroactive. However, according to the PAT/PPS contract, experience verified within sixty (60) days of the start of your employment will be retroactive to the first day of employment. Get an email, receipt, or some other written confirmation from PPS that it has received the verification.  Review Article 12 of the PAT/PPS contract to see what experience is eligible.

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. (Article 12.7) 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 pay check.

Come to the Northwest Teachers for Social Justice Conference!

The Northwest Teachers for Social Justice conference is returning to Portland this year for the 11th Annual Conference. It will be Saturday October 20th, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, at Madison High School.  The Portland Association of Teachers is excited to once again be a sponsor of this amazing event!

This year, the Keynote Speaker will be environmental activist Winona LaDuke. The conference also includes over 60 workshops, many of which are led by teachers. Learn more and register at [email protected].

What Are You Doing Next Friday? Help PAT Engage!

The goal of the Engage! project is to have a face-to-face, one-on-one conversation with every one of our members to learn what‘s working in our schools, and what’s getting in the way of teaching and learning.

This fall, we need enough volunteers to get to every school site we didn't visit last year. We need your help to make this possible! 

Please volunteer on an upcoming Friday to take a day away from your classroom to talk to teachers in another school. OEA will pay for your sub, and volunteers have described their experience as being “invigorating and enlightening.”

You can see where we plan to be each week when you click on the link: Sign up here!