Holding On to What We Have

As educators, we bear the brunt of our underfunded schools, and there’s no way to stay on top of everything we need or want to do for our students. Despite our skills and training, our work is routinely compromised by limited resources.

The recent “snowtastrophes” really demonstrate just how emaciated our school budgets are. We already suffer from a school year so short that we are clamoring to find ways to make up instructional time for our students. And now the District has sacrificed our professional development, time we need to collaborate with colleagues, sharpen our practice, and really foster safe and inclusive environments in our schools.

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Tell Our Legislators: No Cuts to Public Schools!

Oregon’s proposed budget would mean more cuts to public schools. These cuts could mean larger classes, fewer electives, and the loss of wrap-around services.

It is unacceptable, and our lawmakers need to hear from you what budget cuts would mean for your students. We need to spell out what our schools need in order to ensure every student has the support, tools, and learning time they need to be successful.

The Oregon Legislature's Ways & Means Committee is hosting a public hearing Saturday, February 11, at Portland Community College, Sylvania campus, from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Come tell your story! Sign up here.

Join Us for the OEA Lobby Day

There are major shifts on the horizon for public education, and now more than ever Portland students need your passion and advocacy. Join us for the Legislative Engagement Training & Lobby Day and learn best practices for tapping your experience to support public education.

Monday, February 20, 2017 (President’s Day) @ 9:00 AM
Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial St. SE, Salem, OR 97301

Learn more at OregonEd.org

Register here. Registration deadline is Friday, February 10, 2017 at 5:00 PM. Questions? Email [email protected]

Superintendent Search Update

After a series of conversations with the Portland Public School Board, the Portland Association of Teachers has decided to take part in the Portland Public Schools 2017 Superintendent search. Though we do not feel that the Advisory Committee is the best way to conduct such a search, we saw benefits to participation.

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Ratification Update

PAT members voted yes on our TA mini-package for contract negotiations. The next step is for the School Board to vote. After that, it will immediately become contract language. 

PAT Elections: Check your PPS Email

You should have received an electronic ballot for PAT elections. It was sent to PPS email on Tuesday, February 7 at about 11:30 am, with the subject "2017 PAT Elections."

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Staffing for the 2017-18 School Year

Due to changes in the contract, the staffing process will begin much earlier than in the past. Educators may expect to be notified of unassignments in mid-February.  Informational meetings for members who are unassigned are scheduled for March 1 and 2.  PPS will offer Interview and Resume workshops on March 7 and 15 for any interested educator.

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Sick Leave May be Used in Increments of One Hour

There may be occasions when you need to be absent from work for less than a full day.  Appropriate paid leave may be used to cover such absences.  Examples might include having to leave work an hour early to go to a doctor appointment (sick leave), or needing to be absent for a couple of hours to take your child to the doctor (family illness leave).  Check the contract for the specific requirements for requesting various types of leave.  (See, Article 14).

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Tax Time

Members may be able to deduct their union dues on their 2016 income taxes. This includes NEA, OEA and PAT dues. The deduction must meet the limitations on miscellaneous itemized deductions (deductible when "Miscellaneous" itemized deductions exceed two percent of adjusted gross income). To claim union dues as a deduction you must use the long Form 1040.

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Read Across America Grants Available Through PAT

Read Across America is a fun and exciting activity sponsored by the National Education Association to encourage reading and support community involvement in our schools. On Monday, March 2, 2017 we would like for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult.

NEA provides a wealth of materials and ideas for activities. Grant applications are due online to PAT by February 10th by 4:30 p.m. You can find directions and more details here and apply online here.

Teaching In a Time of Trump

The Critical Educators Collective and PAT’s Social Justice Committee invite you to a Saturday Teach-In: "Teaching in a Time of Trump", Saturday, February 11, from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Lincoln HS

Worried about the threats the Trump administration poses to our students and their families? Unsure how to address the root causes of racism, xenophobia, misogyny, economic inequality, and climate change in your classroom? Unsure of how to teach for truth and justice in a “post-facts” world?

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Save the Date: Student Loan Debt Forgiveness and Basic Financial Planning Workshop

Do you have outstanding student loan debt? Please mark your calendar for Thursday, April 27, 4:30—7:00 PM at the PAT office, to learn about your options to manage or erase them.

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Retirement Planning Seminar

Thinking of retiring in five years or less? Join us March 1, 2017, from 4:30-6:00 PM at PAT. Topics include:

  • How does my pension work?
  • What can I do to prepare now?
  • Is it too late to start saving for retirement?

Refreshments provided. Please RSVP at pdxteachers.org under “For Members” or by filling out this RSVP form

President's Message: Gearing Up for 2017

Happy (Belated) New Year!

It’s been such an honor to serve as your PAT President for the past 7 months. We’ve accomplished so much in such a short time, and there’s even more ahead of us in 2017.


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Snow Days and Instructional Time Requirements

Our office has received many calls and emails wondering what the impact of snow days will be on the school calendar. We appreciate the suggestions and we understand the concerns many of you have expressed. However, it's still not clear what PPS is planning and, therefore, what our response will be.  

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PAT 2.0

Over the past few months, you’ve probably noticed a new look and feel for PAT. For starters, our office was completely remodeled, after OEA finally took care of the numerous maintenance, repair, and safety issues with our building. In addition to a host of new technology, the remodel included things like new dishwashers that will help us make “greener” choices. If you haven’t come by the building this year, drop by and check it out.

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Notice of Resignation or Retirement

If you know you will be resigning or retiring from PPS, it pays to let your supervisor know as soon as possible. Article 15.B.1 of the PAT/PPS contract states that if an educator gives written notice of resignation or retirement no later than February 15, the professional educator will receive $1250.  If the professional educator gives written notice no later than March 15th, the professional educator will receive $700.  Notice must be in writing, to the principal or supervising administrator and the payment will be made in the professional educator’s final paycheck.  Note, this provision does not apply if the resignation is made in lieu of termination, non-renewal or non-extension of contract. 

Heads Up - Staffing for 2017-18 School Year to Start Soon

Due to changes in the contract, the staffing process will begin approximately six weeks earlier than it has in the past. The District is now required to post the vacancies for the internal transfer process no later than March 1 of each school year.  You will be informed as dates are set for the specific phases of the process.

OEA Promising Practices Grant Winners

Each Year OEA awards Promising Practices Grants to members to support student learning or professional development.  

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Materials for the November 30 RA

 November RA Agenda