PAT PAC Endorsements School Board Candidates

2023 School Board Candidate Endorsements:

The Portland Association of Teacher PAC Board is proud to endorse the following candidates for PPS School Board:


Andrew Scott for Zone 1

In his first term on the School Board, Director Scott has built his relationship with PAT and learned to view us as a partner. He is a strong advocate for increased  funding and new funding models for public schools, and is ready to join us in Salem to fight for it. In his endorsement interview he told us, “[The] $9.9 billion [that Governor Kotek is proposing for the state education budget] is not a win, it’s a cut.” This endorsement is a commitment to partner with him to keep that promise moving forward.


Michelle DePass for Zone 2

Director DePass has demonstrated tremendous growth in her four years on the School Board. She regularly reaches out to PAT for feedback, both about issues teachers are dealing with and for constructive criticism about her own leadership. We appreciate that openness and look forward to continuing to work with her in her second term.


Eddie Wang for Zone 7

Eddie was a teacher for 20 years, including at Benson Polytechnic High School 

in PPS. He knows what it’s like in the trenches and is ready to center teacher voices. Eddie has a deep understanding of the importance of academic freedom, authentic community engagement, and holding district leadership accountable.  We look forward to working with him to build great public schools for all students.

President's Message: Spring has Sprung!

Hello Educators,

As we near the end of the year, where Spring Break is just around the corner, take a deep breath. Congratulations to everyone for making it to the last quarter of the year!

Many of you are experiencing the difficult choice of deciding where to work next year (some by choice, others by unassignment), and I wish you all the best of luck. I know our union and bargaining team will continue to fight for the conditions that will keep you in our district serving our students. Thank you to all educators who filled out the personnel survey and spoke your truth. Thank you to all educators who wake up and come to work every day.

It is also a time for our Union advocacy work to ramp up. Shout out to all educators, union partners and community members who attended the PPS School Board meeting at McDaniel HS on Tuesday March 7th! 

We will continue to take actions to show management that the path we are going down is the wrong one. As I stated during my testimony, there are things profoundly wrong with our district and how those with power acknowledge and treat us. Unless we change our direction and culture, we will continue to fail our students, community and educators. We have said this before, but I want to make sure we make it clear: Educators want to feel like the work they do is sustainable, equitable, and stabilizing. We want to feel like the work is actually possible. Educators want to love working for PPS. 

Solidarity Forever

The beauty in our struggle is that we are not alone. Right now, we have several locals in the state and across the country going on strike or taking action in support of a strong contract and safe, equitable and sustainable public schools. We stand in solidarity with our Union Siblings in Silver Falls (SFEA) and Woodburn (WEA), who are also fighting for class size and caseload relief. We take great inspiration from their struggle and recognize their success is part of our bargaining struggle. We are appalled that the Woodburn administration would give themselves a 16 percent raise and offer teachers 3 percent. Shame on them! 

I just want to say: Don't stop until you win. When the time comes to stand with your community on the picket line for the schools your students deserve, Portland Teachers will be with you! Together, we can win the future we know is possible for our schools, students, and educators.

Keep an eye out for more PAT actions coming up, including the Bargaining Campaign Petitions we have sent to each school site. Please encourage your colleagues and non educator friends to sign on and show the district we have support behind us!

Take Care,
Angela Bonilla
PAT President

La Casa Comun Solidarity Event Sunday, March 26th

The El Rancho Residents' Committee has been fighting for their rights for a year and now several residents have received unfair eviction notices.

This Sunday, March 26th, 2:00-5:00 PM, come hear their stories, join their struggle, and put pressure on the owner to stop the evictions!

El Rancho Mobile Home Park, 7265 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, 97218.

OEA Webinar, March 29th: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-- A Benefit for OEA Members

For years, NEA members have advocated together in favor of canceling college debt to help fix the educator shortage. Now, student loans taken out by millions of borrowers are being substantially reduced, forgiven, or even canceled outright due to recent changes in loan forgiveness programs.

However, the fight is not over, and NEA remains committed to helping you take advantage of these opportunities. Join OEA to learn more about how recent changes may impact your student debt, and resources available through your NEA Member Benefits to help you navigate the system.

Register today to reserve your place. Click the image to see our flier.

Date and Time: Wednesday, March 29 from 4:30-6:00 p.m.
: Members $0, free as a benefit of membership. This is a members-only event.


Fully Fund Special Education: March 27th Public Hearing on HB 2895

Here is an amazing opportunity to influence state funding for special education! 

House Bill 2895 proposes to remove the cap on state funding for special education. 

What: Public Hearing on House Bill 2895

When: Monday, March 27th @ 3:00 PM

Where: Capitol Building, 900 Court St NE, Salem, OR 97301, Hearing Room D, Salem

If passed, this could be the first time special education has been fully funded in Oregon.

March 29th, OEA Student Loan Forgiveness Seminar Register Today!

Join OEA to learn more about how recent changes may impact your student debt, and resources available through your NEA Member Benefits to help you navigate the system.

Register today to reserve your place. See our flyer below.

Date and Time: Wednesday, March 29 from 4:30-6:00 p.m., on Zoom

Cost: Members $0, free as a benefit of OEA membership. This is a members-only event.

Next PAT/PPS Bargaining Sessions

  • April 4th, 2023 11am-7pm @ PAT office

  • April 13th, 2023 11am-7pm @ PESC office

Set your reminders to watch and show your solidarity! Wear your buttons, Blues, and a cap with a bargaining button on it!

On Tuesday, April 4th, Take a photo with staff before or after school (or during lunch) and send to [email protected]

Wear any cap- put a bargaining button on it! Let’s show that we’re united for smaller class sizes.

Post your own photos & selfies:  Tag us @PDXteachers on Facebook, instagram, Twitter and TikTok

When posting: Use hashtags #PPSClassSizeMatters #PATbargaining #BluesdayPPS #BluesdayPAT

Professional Development by OHS and JAMO

Join the Oregon Historical Society and the Japanese American Museum of Oregon to learn about classroom-ready curriculum and other resources to teach about the experiences of Japanese Americans in Oregon. Click here to register.

Saturday, April 15th

  • Educator Workshop 12:30-2:00 PM
  • Public roundtable discussion with Yasui family members and historians 2:00-4:00 PM

Columbia Center for the Arts: 215 Cascade Ave, Hood River, OR 97031

PDU credits available

OHS is offering $150 stipends to a limited number of teachers who register for and attend the entire event.

Save the Date! Thursday, April 27th, An Evening with Nichole Watson

Join us at the PAT office for a discussion on where we’ve been and where we are going with racial equity.  More details to come.




Labor Notes Troublemakers School, May 6th!

The Labor Notes Troublemakers School is coming back to Portland! PAT is co-sponsoring this event 9:00 AM-4:00 PM Saturday, May 6th at McDaniel High School. This is FREE for PAT members! Come learn from other labor activists and members about organizing, representation, direct action, and contract campaigns. PAT will be heavily featured and we look forward to our members coming to learn and teach. Register today.

Upcoming PAT Committee Meetings/Events

RSVP Today

  • Substitute Committee, Tuesday, April 4th, 4:30-6:30 PM 
  • Advocacy Committee*, Wednesday, April 5th, 4:30-6:30 PM 
  • ELD Sub-Committee, Wednesday, April 5th, 4:30-6:30 PM (register HERE for Zoom link)
  • Internal Organizing, Monday, April 10th, 4:30-6:30 PM
  • Legislative Committee & PAT PAC, Tuesday, April 11th, 4:30-6:30 PM 
  • Bargaining, IPD, Racial Equity+ Committees, Wednesday, April 12th, 4:30-6:30 PM
  • External Organizing & SJCO CommitteeRSVP (New form to include parents/guardians) Thursday, April 13th, 4:30-6:30 PM

*Marks closed committees +Marks affinity space for BIPOC educators 

For all upcoming events, please see the PAT calendar and OEA calendar.

The PAT office will be closed for Spring Break, March 27th-31st.

Know Your Contract: Contract Exceptions- due May 12th

PAT has a process for contract exceptions to allow professional educators at a worksite to apply for an exception to the terms and conditions of the Agreement (Article 1.9).  

Contract exceptions are due Friday, May 12th, 2023 and must be approved by the PAT Advocacy Committee and the District, prior to implementation. 

A contract exception is valid only for the school year for which it was approved. 

The Contract Exception Form and FAQ’s can be found at "Know Your Contract" page.

The Advocacy Committee will host a virtual meet to offer support with the process in April, date TBA.

Know Your Contract: 2nd Semester Overage Pay Determination

PAT/PPS contract states, “Student loads will be calculated on the third Monday in October and the third Monday in February.” (Article

This year, the third Monday in February was Monday, 2/20. Since that was a non-school day, overages were calculated on Tuesday, 2/21.

PPS will make overage payments in the March check.

If any professional educator does not receive payment for an overage on their March paycheck, claims should be submitted to PPS in April. State your case in detail and include evidence on the form from PPS. Make statements, rather than asking for overage pay. 

Keep using the PPS form until you get an answer. Contact your Building Rep for help.

Committee Updates: Internal Organizing

Our fight for safe, sustainable and equitable schools will not be silenced! That was the message educators and the coalition of workers who keep PPS schools running sent loud and clear at the PPS School Board meeting on Tuesday, March 7th. It was a joy to see so many of you at McDaniel High School. 

However, it is also evident that PPS management is not taking our vision for what strong public schools can – and should – be seriously. It’s time we show PPS Management that we are united behind a more hopeful, just, and joyful vision for our schools.

The past few weeks, educators across the District have been signing onto our Bargaining Platform Petition. Building reps or organizers should have picked up a petition to bring back to your building to sign. If not - no worries! It’s not too late. In fact, now is the time to act.

If your worksite does not yet have a bargaining petition, please write to Erika or Matt ([email protected]).

Committee Updates: External Organizing

Please sign this petition in support of this vision for SAFE, SUSTAINABLE, AND EQUITABLE SCHOOLS! 

The pandemic turned our lives—and our schools—upside down. Our students, and our communities, are grappling with more urgent, unmet needs than ever before.

As classroom educators, we see these problems every day. And the past three years have made it abundantly clear that if we want safe, stable, and equitable communities, public schools are the linchpin. But we can’t simply go back to the way schools were before COVID. Our students need—and deserve—so much more. Over the past few months, thousands of teachers, parents, and Portland residents have shared their vision for great public schools with our union.

Together with our community partners, we will be fighting for this vision in our upcoming contract negotiations. Can you please take a moment to sign (and share the petition with 5 others!) in support of PPS teachers and parents advocating for safe, sustainable, equitable schools?

Committee Updates: Racial Equity

PAT Scholarships for Aspiring Educators of Color

Scholarship applications are live on our website and will be accepted through April 19th, 2023. Please see the links below to download an application with instructions to apply.

Scholarship Selection Committee

PAT members of color are invited to join this important committee to decide scholarship recipients. Register here.

Thursday, April 20th, @ PAT Office, time TBD. Release time and a substitute will be provided for union work.

PAT PAC School Board Candidate Endorsements

School Board Candidate Endorsements:

The Portland Association of Teacher PAC Board is proud to endorse the following candidates for PPS School Board:

PAT PAC Endorsements are chosen by the elected PAT PAC Board after researching and interviewing all candidates.  Any PAT member who contributes at least $10 per year to PAT PAC may vote for the PAC Board members who represent them in this process. PAC funds are entirely separate from your dues dollars, which may never be used to help candidates. 

Please visit our PATPAC page for more information on our endorsement process and previous 

Continue reading

Committee Updates: Substitute Committee

Make sure you ASK every Substitute Educator you see to join PAT

  • Stress the importance to all members at your school of asking Substitutes to join PAT, if they are not already members
  • Review the Top Reasons to be a PAT Member for Substitutes and Elements of a Good Ask with members during your 10 minute meeting

Committee Updates: Legislative

Postcards to Your State Legislator

For this month’s PAT 10 minute meeting we are all writing postcards to our State Legislators. Please connect with your building rep about this organizing action. Write your legislator a friendly and personal message on the postcard. Here are some topics:

  • Your support for HB 3221 which would keep more bond money in PPS
  • Your support for HB 2703 which would make class size a mandatory part of bargaining for ALL schools
  • An example of your school’s lack of resources and ask them to keep it in mind when passing the state budget

Find your legislator's name and formal mailing address here

Find your legislator's name and formal mailing address here

Interested in Going to Salem to Lobby?

  1. Go with other members on March 29th during Spring Break (we will give you $$ for gas and lunch)
  2. Go on your own another day in Spring Break (we will still give you $$ for gas and lunch)
  3. Express interest on a Lobbying day the week of April 24th, we will try to get as many interested members release time

Bargaining Brief, March 7th, 2023

Today your PAT Bargaining Team met with PPS management for our 5th bargaining session. PAT has already presented our full package of proposals to PPS management along with several counter-proposals. PPS came to the table today with proposals on Compensation, Retirement, and Extended Responsibility. Although we are still far apart on certain issues, we did make progress today when we tentatively agreed (TA’d) on Article 4: Dues and Payroll Deductions and Article 25: Complaint Procedure. 

PPS Management began the session with a presentation about the fiscal situation at PPS and student to staff ratios to demonstrate PPS’ commitment to using funds to increase staff. The PAT team asked questions about the data and pointed out the concerns we had about the lack of context: Which staff are included in this count? Does this include the district special programs and charter schools? Luckily following our caucuses, they were able to bring more information to clarify the difference between class size and a student to staff ratio, sharing a graph explaining the class size distribution across the district. We believe that transparency is only possible by providing the facts ALONG with context for the facts: Staff to student ratio is NOT equivalent to class size.

We are glad PPS Management finally completed their initial proposal by giving us financials. Unfortunately, the financial proposal is woefully inadequate. PPS Management has proposed a 2.5% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) when inflation is over 6%. In the slideshow they shared, they conflated the increased income that comes with experience with a COLA, reporting that educators not yet at the top of our scale will have their salary increase close to 5.9% each year. The steps on our salary schedule are not, and have never been, part of our COLA.

In contrast to the fiscal overview provided by PPS, the testimony from our PAT educators clearly demonstrated that our schools are in a state of emergency. We want to thank Nina Senaga-Freauff, Moira Finnegan, and Kernan Willis for sharing powerful testimony with PPS management about the lived experiences and conditions in our Special Education programs. The testimony they shared was powerful and brought several of us in the room to tears.  We sincerely hope to see counter proposals from management that demonstrate they are prepared to meaningfully respond to the extreme needs of students and educators that were highlighted in today’s testimonials. 

We know the last two years have been financially challenging for everyone. The District’s unwillingness to recognize that reality with the proposals they made is an insult to our hardworking educators who’ve been so deeply impacted by the increasing cost of living in Portland.

We will be back at the table on April 4th, 2023. You can always watch us live on our YouTube page and catch up with the sessions from today 1, 2, 3.


In Solidarity,

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Francisca Alvarez

Samara Bockelman

Julia Fogg

Thea Keith

Charity Powell

Bargaining Brief, February 22nd

Hello Educators,

Today your PAT Bargaining Team met with PPS management for our 4th bargaining session. PAT has already presented our full package of proposals to PPS management along with several counter-proposals.

Our team was disappointed to learn that, despite promising to bring their financial proposals to our session today, PPS management showed up empty-handed. As such, we are still waiting to hear how PPS management is planning to address some of our member’s biggest issues, including compensation (Article 12) and retirement (Article 15).

We have offered PPS management 19 additional dates for bargaining. They have only agreed to 4 additional dates, 5 if we accept their offer to meet outside of our work year on June 22nd.

These actions demonstrate that PPS management is either unable or unwilling to take these negotiations seriously. Although we were ready to discuss a number of different topics, we ultimately had to walk away from the table owing to PPS management’s lack of preparation.

We understand the dire situation our educators, students and school communities are facing. We support educators demanding safe, sustainable and equitable schools for every student. We cannot achieve this goal if the District is unwilling to meet more than once every 2-3 weeks.

PPS management repeatedly claims we have “shared values.” However, it is hard to believe what they say when we see what they do. 

We have been told there will be about 250 un-assignments this year. That is 250 educators without a defined position for next year. 250 educators waiting to see if this contract will lead to better working and learning conditions. 

Our next full day of bargaining is on Tuesday, March 7th.  We sincerely hope that PPS management will bring their full financial proposal to the table.

In Solidarity,
Your PAT Bargaining Team
Steve Lancaster, Chair
Francisca Alvarez
Samara Bockelman
Julia Fogg
Thea Keith
Charity Powell

Portland Association of Teachers