Bargaining Brief, September 9, 2020

PAT Colleagues:


The PAT Bargaining Team met with the PPS team yesterday (Wednesday, September 9).  We know many of you were unable to watch the session because you were engaged in teaching, but you may view it here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

There is good news from today’s bargaining.  We have finally agreed to terms regarding the workday, particularly what has to be part of the educator’s flexible time.  PAT and PPS agreed that:

  • The stipulations are for all professional educators; there are no separate terms for “specials” or particular job descriptions.
  • The schedule must meet statutory requirements for instruction time, and for educator-facilitated instructional time in compliance with the ODE’s guidance set forth in Ready Schools, Safe Learners of August, 2020. 
  • All professional educators will receive an average of no less than three hours and ten minutes per day, or at least 950 minutes per week, of educator-directed time over the course of a full school week of time that shall include the following:
    • Educator-directed planning time;
    • Educator-directed time to communicate with students and families; 
    • Educator-directed time to provide actionable feedback to students;
    • Educator-directed time to assess student performance, and gather, track, and enter data.

Key to all educators is that both teams agreed that “educator-directed time” is flexible time - - educators are required to do the activities, but educators may conduct them when they are able.  This means that if an individual educator needs to take time to care for their child/children or to provide elder care, they may flex the time.  

We also agreed that times in the day where the District has indicated options such as student “support/ office hours,” or “small group instruction/ asynchronous learning/ office hours,” etc. are times where the educator (not the administrator) decides what happens when, and that office hours don’t count as part of the educator-directed time or educator planning time.  

Both sides continue to work to find a solution to addressing DLI and Special Education workload, part-time educator workload, and what may be required of educators in PLC meetings this year.  

We will meet with PPS in a small-group discussion (4 on 4) on Friday the 11th and again in full-team sessions on Thursday the 17th.  


In Solidarity,


Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Chelyn Joseph

PAT Advocacy Cadre Hotline

Got a question about the PAT contract? The new PAT Advocacy Cadre can help! 

We are excited to launch the PAT Advocacy Cadre, a group of 10 member-educators who will work closely with the UniServ Consultants to become experts on our contracts, and to support members who need help navigating the language of our union contracts. 

PAT Advocacy Cadre Hotline Hours

Mondays, 5:00-6:30 pm, starting TODAY, August 31st.

  • Phone: (503) 495-2144 (leave a voicemail and you will get a call back during hotline hours)
  • Zoom Drop-In (open 5-6:30pm on Hotline Mondays)
  • Email: [email protected] (send a message and you will get a response during hotline hours)

The Advocacy Cadre will be answering phones and returning emails for all members who have contract-based questions.  Prior to calling the Cadre hotline, members should always speak with their building representatives at their school first, and if your building representative does not have the answer to your question, then you should either call, email, or Zoom with the Cadre members.  The Cadre members will only return calls and emails on Mondays from 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

The Cadre program serves the dual purpose of teaching members about their contractual rights while also strengthening the Cadre members’ technical knowledge of both the Contract-Educator Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Substitute-Educator Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Through this program, we hope to continuously expand our contract advocacy and contract education work so that all members feel empowered to enforce their contractual rights in their buildings.  

Bargaining Brief, August 27th, 2020

Dear PAT Colleagues:


Today, the PPS bargaining team refused to put in writing their verbal agreement that educators should get an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes per day of teacher-directed time for planning, communicating with students and families, and providing meaningful feedback to student work. Instead, the District proposed that we all trust that principals at every school will give all educators the time they need based on the proposed sample schedules provided in bargaining.  

While PPS management insisted that their schedules were clear, we repeatedly reminded them that principals were mis-interpreting Shawn Bird’s directives. As it stands, educators are being forced to educate their administrators about how to interpret work schedules, which is not appropriate.  We know that yellow highlighting on a few example schedules is not sufficient protection for educator workload. To see our precise proposal on the workday, see #6 under Section II of our current MOA

In addition, we still have differences around DLI workload and Special Education Educator workload. While PPS conceded that there is an overwhelming amount of backlogged work, and in response offered to allow all Special Education educators 8 hours to perform “catch up work” without prior approval.  However, PPS would not guarantee that Special Education educators would qualify for additional payment, even if they can demonstrate that they have a legitimate backlog which exceeds the hours in Article 6.5.4.  When we voiced serious concerns with this, management said this was a cost savings measure and they claimed that not all Special Education educators had the same backlog.  

PPS would not agree to pay for DLI educators to translate even core related materials when those materials are not provided by the District.  We were again asked to trust that the District will develop the curriculum needed for all DLI educators.  Amazingly, they seem content to force DLI instructors to create the curriculum that should be provided by the District, without additional pay, apparently because they are concerned that it might be too costly to compensate DLI educators for the work required to do their jobs.

We also proposed that part-time educators should have educator-directed time that is proportional to that of full-time educators. Again, while this sounds like mere logic, the District would not agree.

Here is what PPS has agreed to:

  • All educators have access to their buildings during comprehensive distance learning. 
  • No educator can be required to report to a building to do their work.  
  • Educator-directed time can be flexed so that PAT members could take care of their family members or demands of homelife.  

Despite these areas of agreement, the District’s unwillingness to commit to a firm number of minutes per week of planning time is leaving us frustrated that, as the school year starts for educators, they have not taken seriously our shared interest in an enforceable agreement upon which schedules can be built.  

The District would not commit to another official meeting until September 9th; however, we hope to push the District to move toward agreement in the interim.  

You can watch today’s bargaining session here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.


In Solidarity,


Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Chelyn Joseph

Meet Your Current PAT Leaders

PAT is a democratic union, and we have many elected leaders who share the responsibility for guiding our work as an association. We are fortunate to have such a talented and collaborative team of leaders. Learn more here.

PAT Officers

  • President: Elizabeth Thiel, English teacher, Madison High School
  • Vice President: Gwen Sullivan, Library Media Specialist, Chapman Elementary School
  • Treasurer: Diana Collins, School Climate Specialist, Gray Middle School
  • Secretary: Alisha Chavez, Special Education Teacher, Atkinson Elementary School

Executive Board Directors-at-Large

  • Rachel Hanes, 2nd Grade teacher, Glencoe ES, Liaison to Zone 1
  • Vincent Chirimwami, Special Education teacher, Faubion K-8, Liaison to Zone 2
  • Greg Burrill, Substitute Teacher, Liaison to Zone 3
  • Jacque Dixon, Language Arts Teacher, DART, Liaison to Zone 4
  • Adolfo Garza, Kindergarten, Woodlawn ES, Liaison to Zone 5
  • Erica Schneider, 2nd Grade teacher, Llewellyn K-5, Liaison to Zone 7
  • Tina Lamanna, 2nd Grade teacher, Markham K-5, Liaison to Zone 8
  • Mike Bauer, Social Studies teacher, Cleveland HS, Liaison to Zone 9

OEA Board Directors

  • Russ Peterson, Social Studies teacher, Grant High School
  • Gwen Sullivan, Library Media Specialist, Chapman ES

President's Message: Stronger Than We Started

Dear Educators,

These are unprecedented times. You are returning to work this week to begin a school year like none other, under conditions we never would have chosen. With so little clarity around what is to come, educators and stepping back into the year ready to model the the compassion and creativity required of all of us right now.

For almost everyone, teaching in COVID times has been the most challenging moment in our professional lives. Last spring, we witnessed the profound inequities of online learning firsthand. We saw what worked, and we saw many things that didn’t. We know that in order to find real solutions for our students, educator expertise and first-hand experience should be guiding District decision-making.

In all the upheaval, there is so much at stake and so much possibility when we consider the future of our public schools. For years we have been talking about the need for small class sizes; for better air-quality and sanitation in our buildings; for greater focus on social-emotional supports and personal connection, and less on data-production and standardized tests. Right now, the whole world is recognizing how crucial these issues are, and that the value of public education is far greater than what can be delivered through a screen. As we move through this crisis and into the whatever comes next, we have the opportunity to carry these truths forward.

Rather than simply survive this pandemic, we want to ensure our schools and communities come out the other side stronger. To do that, we are going to need hold tight to our values and demand the things that our community has always deserved: for fully-funded schools that give each child the opportunities and attention they need; for Black Lives to Matter in every classroom, every neighborhood, and every policy that governs us; for every member of our community to have access to housing, healthcare, and hope for the future. We must remember that these are reasonable and achievable demands.

These are stressful times, so let’s also remember the power we have as to lift one another up and support each other. Thank you for all that you’re prepared to do this fall to support your students and colleagues, and please make sure to take equally good care of yourself and your loved ones.

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Thiel
PAT President

Thank You to PAT's Outgoing Leaders

As a member-led union, PAT’s leadership shift every year, as new leaders are elected to step into new roles. Typically, at our End-of-Year Celebration, we thank our PAT leaders who are moving on. We didn’t get to celebrate last June, but we are still deeply grateful to the following leaders who gave their time and energy to make our union stronger, and are moving on to new roles:

Suzanne Cohen—After serving 2 terms as PAT President, Suzanne is now teaching Health at Roosevelt High School. She continues to serve on behalf of PAT as a Trustee on the Health and Welfare Trust.

Al Rabchuk—Our PAT Treasurer and long-time Advocacy Committee chair (as well as former OEA Board director, and most anything else that needed doing) has retired and plans to go fishing.

Madeleine Allen—Madeleine served as a Director-at-Large on the PAT Executive Board, as well as our Legislative Committee Chair, and as a member of the PAT PAC Board. She has accepted the position of Vice-Principal at George Middle School.

Nichole Watson—Nichole served as an OEA Board Director, and as the co-chair of our Racial Equity committee and our Social Justice Committee. She is now the Principal at Prescott Elementary School in the Parkrose School District.

Huck Wilken—Huck completed his term as Director-at-Large on the PAT Executive Board, and is taking leave this year to pursue peer mediation with OEA.

RaeAnn Thompson—RaeAnn completed her term as Director-at-Large on the PAT Executive Board, and continues to teach Health and Jefferson High School.

Chelyn Joseph—Chelyn has been a core member of our Bargaining Team since 2012. She will be on a leave-of-absence from PPS this year, but will continue to consult the Bargaining Team to the extent she is able.

Deepest thanks to these for your commitment and service to PAT, and congratulations on your transitions!

Building Access Prior to the Start of the School Year

Our contract guarantees members access to the worksite at least one week prior to the start of the school year. Unfortunately, many administrators refused to let educators into their classrooms or offices, so PAT is filing an “Association Grievance” on behalf of PAT members who were denied access between August 20th and August 27th.

If you were denied access to your building by your administration (via email or text or phone call)  during this period, we need your help documenting the extra work this created for you!  First, make sure you a copy of the email/text where you were denied access. Second, please keep a record of the time you have to spend after work this week doing things that you would have done last week if you had been able to get into your building. 

We will send out a google form the week of September 3rd where you can share your records. We will use that information to formulate our remedy when we file the association grievance. 

Take Action: No Layoffs at the Library!

Recently, Multnomah County announced plans to lay off a large number of library workers. It is important to note that there is NOT a funding shortfall—the Multnomah County Library is funded by a Library Distract Property tax, so they are maintaining stable funding even as the economy tanks.

Library workers are represented by AFSCME 88, and they are asking for our support. I sent the Multnomah Country Commissioners this letter, and encourage you all to join me in writing to the writing the commissioners and asking them to REVERSE THE LAYOFFS.

Below are some talking points you could include in your letter:

  • These layoffs are not driven by a lack of funds or a budget reduction.
  • There is huge  need for library services in a community that is still grappling with this pandemic.
  • The county should be partnering with school districts, and community organizations, particularly in the BIPOC community,  to find creative ways to carry out the library’s mission even if buildings are closed to the public.
  • Layoffs will exacerbate the negative economic impact on our community and endanger working families.

Below is the contact information for the Multnomah County Commissioners:

  • Deborah Kafoury, County Chair, 503-988-3308 (phone), 503-988-3093 (fax), [email protected]
  • Sharon Meieran, District 1, 503-988-5220 (phone), 503-988-5440 (fax), [email protected]
  • Susheela Jayapal, District 2, 503-988-5219 (phone), 503-988-5440 (fax), [email protected]
  • Jessica Vega Pederson, District 3, 503- 988-5217 (phone), 503-988-5262 (fax), [email protected]
  • Lori Stegmann, District 4, 503-988-5213 (phone), 503-988-5262 (fax), [email protected]

Families Marching for Black Lives: Sunday August 30th, 12:30PM

Join us for family-friendly marches for Black lives this Sunday, starting at 12:30 at the Salmon Street Fountain. For more information see Families Marching for Black Lives event page.

Please wear a mask and respect social distancing. 

Many of you have asked about BLM PAT shirts. Our Racial Equity & Social Justice Committees will be at this event with PAT BLM shirts for members and sign-making materials. 

If you would like to volunteer to help with the PAT table at one of these events in the future, please e-mail Jacque Dixon and Alisha Chavez  [email protected] [email protected].

We would love to see PAT educators show up and support the communities that we are serving. Hope to see you there!

Join a PAT Committee!

PAT is known around the state and country for being a strong and powerful union.  Part of what makes this possible is the strength of our committees within the union.  Our committees give members a way to be involved based on their own interests.  Most of our committees are open to all members. Learn more about our committees and let us know you want to get involved.   Your voice will make a difference. 

(Note that committees with a “**” are not open committees)

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Major Gains from our Substitute Educator ULP

Dear PAT Colleagues:


The Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) that PAT filed against PPS has resulted in a series of major benefits for PAT Substitute Educators and all regularly employed professional educators. This resolution means that substitute educators WILL be able to work this fall, and other educators will be able to REQUEST a substitute educator.


PAT was able to gain the following benefits:


  1. The number of days worked in the 2019-2020 year for substitute educators to be eligible for substitute educator health insurance in 2020-2021 has been reduced from a required 70 days to at least 52 days (any combination of half and full days, adding up to at least 52).
  2. If a substitute educator had earned health insurance benefits in seven of the last ten years, but did not get 52 days of work last year, that educator will be eligible for insurance if they worked 37 days (combo of half and full days).
  3. To benefit all PAT members, PPS will resume the AESOP substitute finder system by September 14th when student instruction begins.
  4. All substitute educators will have required training on district approved distance learning platforms so that each educator will be able to properly substitute during Comprehensive Distance Learning.
  5. There will be an additional day of voluntary paid training for all substitute educators covering PPS curriculum delivery and other key educational issues.                                           NOTE: The required and voluntary training add up to three days of paid time, which counts towards insurance for the 2021-2022 school year.  
  6. All PAT employees and PPS administrators will receive notice that AESOP has been resumed and how to request a substitute.  


We deeply regret that we had to go to such lengths to secure insurance and work for our substitute educators as well as workload relief for the rest of the PAT membership.  Nonetheless, these efforts once again show the efficacy of collective action.  


In Solidarity,

Portland Association of Teachers

Bargaining Brief- August 21, 2020

Dear PAT Colleagues,


Your PAT Team met with PPS again yesterday (Friday, August 21) from 9am - 1pm, and we are happy to report that we have common understandings that will become signed Tentative Agreements (TAs) regarding the amount of educator-directed time in a workday.  The proposed schedules allow for a greater amount of flexibility in the schedule so that PAT educators can care for their families.  Additionally, educators will be allowed to work from their classrooms at school to ensure adequate access to the internet and materials; however, no member will be required to work on-site.  


In terms of the amount of educator-directed time, professional educators will have approximately three hours and 15 minutes a day to plan lessons, assess student work and provide feedback, and support and connect with families and students.  Although the amount of time varies on some days, and varies from elementary to secondary settings, the three hour and 15 minute average is very close to our original proposal of three hours and thirty minutes, and far exceeds the original district proposal.  


Of equal importance is the agreement that when an educator has scheduled “educator-directed time” the educator may flex that schedule so that they can address their family’s needs.  Having this flexibility should go a long way to making teaching under a Comprehensive Distance Learning Model possible for the approximately 42 percent of PAT membership who have children at home.  It also recognizes that many students and families will likewise require flexibility to be successful under distance learning.   


Finally, we agreed to exchange proposals on what should be part of PLCs (regardless of grade level) so that the time spent in those meetings becomes as meaningful as possible.  


The subjects of support for DLI and Special Education educators is still being discussed.  The two teams agreed to exchange counter proposals prior to our next negotiation session on August 27th.  


Next Steps:

  • Both sides plan to coordinate between now and our next negotiation session on August 27 to sign Tentative Agreements (TAs) on the issues that we agreed to yesterday pertaining to the workday and educator directed time.
  • After that, PPS can move forward with building schedules, which must comply with these workday agreements.
  • The bargaining team will continue meeting to come to agreement on the rest of the proposals, including Professional Development, Special Education, and Supports for families and students.


You can watch yesterday’s session online here: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3. Our next bargaining session will be Thursday, August 27, and we will live-stream the session again.  


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PAT 2020 Presentation for New Educators

Thank you to the new educators who joined us today to learn more about our union. Please click HERE for a printable copy of our presentation.


Join PAT!

Contact Us

Know Your Contract

Join One of Our Committees

August 20 Email from PAT- re Building Access Prior to Start of School Year

Dear PAT Educator,

Today is the first day that educators can access their building to prepare for the school year, according to our contract.  We have heard from many educators who wish to enter their classrooms to prepare for the year and access materials.

Article 19.5 of the PAT/PPS Collective Bargaining Agreement states, “Professional educators shall have access to their worksites to unpack and organize their rooms as soon as possible but, at minimum, one (1) week prior to their first work day.”  If your administrator has not already announced a schedule to safely re-enter the building, contact your building administrator to schedule a time to re-enter the building.  

If your administrator refuses to admit you into the building, citing Covid procedures, please contact your Uniserv Representative at PAT.  While we want to remain sensitive to PPS’s attempts to implement Covid safe re-entry plans, we believe PPS has had sufficient time to design these re-entry plans, especially considering the deadline to re-enter the building is today. 

Portland Association of Teachers

Bargaining Brief -- August 17, 2020

Dear PAT Colleagues,

Today, your PAT Bargaining Team met with PPS once again.  We began by reasserting that specific safety and equity language are essential to any agreement on returning to school, to which the District maintained the position that they believe that discussing these matters with PAT is largely a waste of time.  After this unfortunate opening of the session, we remained hopeful that we would find common ground with the District on several important return to work clauses from our proposal, where we envisioned tentatively agreeing to several items. 

However, our efforts were thwarted, when management came to negotiations asserting their right to dictate the work week schedule without genuinely consulting professional educators in general education, SpEd educators, teacher librarians, and other “specials.”  As it stands today, the amount of planning time being proposed by the district is essentially the same amount of time as professional educators had between March and June of last school year.  As virtually all of you know from personal experience, that is not enough time to address student needs or educator workload.  We continue to push District leaders to understand how their scheduling models will negatively impact the planning and preparation necessary for educators to effectively connect with and support students in a Distance Learning environment. 

With regard to Special Education, our educators remain disheartened by the overwhelming backlog of evaluations that they must complete, in addition to the crushing workload they will encounter when we return to school this fall.  The District did make a proposal that was intended to address the workload created by the backlog, but their proposal of three evaluation teams is insufficient to address the backlog in a timely fashion. With only three evaluation teams, it would take until at least December to get through the backlog. Evaluating special needs students is time sensitive and is not something that can wait until winter break. 

If you missed it live, the full session (Part 1Part 2, and Part 3) is viewable online. Our next bargaining session will be Friday, August 21st, 9 am to 1 pm. We will live-stream the session again.  

It is crucial that we get to an agreement about our workday by Friday. Stay tuned for next steps if that does not happen. 


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Substitute Update- August 12, 2020

Dear PAT Substitute Educator Colleagues:

COVID-19 has created a great deal of hardships for you and so many others, and your PAT union continues to be here fighting for you.

In May of 2020, when PPS announced that it was refusing to continue to pay substitute educators, PAT began to examine potential legal responses to the unilateral action that PPS had taken.  Working with an OEA attorney, on July 29th, 2020, PAT filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) complaint against Portland Public Schools with Oregon Employment Relations Board (E.R.B).  

Our ULP against PPS contends that PPS violated the Oregon Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act when:

  • PPS refused to sign any agreement related to substitute working conditions about the COVID-19 shutdown
  • PPS shut off AESOP, denying substitute educators the possibility to work
  • PPS failed to follow the Governor’s order to continue to pay public school employees

In addition to those violations, PPS has notified us that they will not discuss substitute insurance eligibility for next year, while at the same time contending that the average days worked payments don’t count towards substitute insurance eligibility.

In an attempt to settle the issues as quickly as possible, PAT has agreed to a settlement conference with attorneys hired by PPS.  The date for that settlement meeting should be in the next two weeks, and if a settlement can’t be reached, PAT is requesting an expedited hearing before the Oregon E.R.B.  

We are saddened and shocked that PPS would treat substitute educators so poorly.  PAT consistently points out how important you are to the students who attend PPS and to the educators in the regular PAT unit.  Unfortunately, PPS has decided that substitutes are an expendable commodity, even though there is a substitute shortage in Oregon and Washington; they know full well that Beaverton Public Schools and Vancouver, WA schools are looking to hire substitutes.  In fact, PPS would rather pay an outside legal firm to keep substitutes from insurance and income rather than do what is required by Oregon law, the Governor’s order, and the two PAT contracts.  

What does all of this mean for you?

First, we are unable to tell you how many days will be required for substitute insurance eligibility.  Even though PPS at one time offered 51 days for eligibility, and would not let you work to earn insurance, PPS is currently contending that substitute educators must have worked 70 or more days in 2019-2020.  That unconscionable position is part of the settlement discussion, and we hope to be able to offer good news to all of you in the near future.

Secondly, we know how difficult it was for almost all of you to obtain unemployment benefits and that the cut-off of average pay in June was extremely harmful to our PAT substitute members.  PAT and PPS will discuss substitute pay for June when we are in our settlement meeting.  Like the issue of insurance, we are hoping for a positive outcome.

Finally, we are demanding that PPS reopen the AESOP system and that PPS provide substitute educators training on distance learning technology so that you can properly continue serving the students in PPS, and continue your support of your regularly employed PAT colleagues.  

Yours in Solidarity – 

Portland Association of Teachers

Bargaining Brief- August 10, 2020

Dear PAT Colleagues,

Today, your PAT Bargaining team met with the District again to negotiate an agreement on a safe and equitable return to school. If you missed it live, the full session (Part 1 and Part 2) is viewable online. 

We started by discussing the district’s concepts for the educator work day and the student day. The district presented schedules for Elementary, Middle, and High School to discuss. The PAT team is holding tight to our requirement that at least half the educator work day be dedicated to teacher-directed time for planning, contacting families, and supporting students. While the district’s concept for the elementary schedule came much closer to what PAT is asking for, it was not clear that the high school or middle school schedules would provide enough teacher-directed planning and communication time to allow educators to meet the demands of on-line learning.  

We recognize that the district is obliged to follow ODE Guidelines on instruction time for students under distance learning (see ODE Guidelines and sample schedules for grades K-5 and 6-12). We believe that it is possible to do so while preserving educator planning time, and without asking children to be in front of a screen for most of the day.

The district shared the PPS counterproposal to the PAT proposal from last week. The PPS counterproposal stripped all the language that PAT proposed on equity and support to students and families.  In spite of the difficulties Portland families face during the epidemic, PPS does

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Bargaining Brief, August 3rd, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Today, your PAT Bargaining Team met with the District in our 3rd bargaining session to negotiate an agreement on a safe and equitable return to school. Thank you to the 100+ members who tuned in live to watch. If you missed it, the full session is viewable online. 

During today’s bargain, we presented the District with a comprehensive “Re-opening School Proposal,” which included elements of the workday for professional educators in general education, Special Education & related student services, and Dual Language Instruction. In addition, PAT specifically identified and proposed supports for PPS families, including child care needs while schools remain closed so that no student in the district is excluded from the educational experience. We also proposed that the District provide high quality training and live tech support for parents (in families’ home languages) once distance learning begins.   

The District made a presentation that included some partially developed schedules for high school and middle school, as well as an outline of a student day for elementary school.  Unfortunately, the amount of time in the day for planning, assessment of student work, data tracking/grade entry, and family/student contact was significantly less than what PAT has proposed.  Our goal remains the creation of a meaningful educational experience for students and sustainable educator workload and workday.  

Our next bargaining session will be Monday, August 10th from 1:00 to 5:00pm. We will live-stream the session again-- please tune in!

In Solidarity,

Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Chelyn Joseph 

Portland Association of Teachers

Bargaining Brief- July 30, 2020

Dear PAT Educator,

Today, your PAT Bargaining Team met with the District for the second time. The main topic of discussion was the educator work day under Comprehensive Distance Learning. While the District team was not yet ready to share a proposal with us, your PAT team proposed that professional educators will need to have at least half of the day in teacher directed time to perform the tasks necessary to make Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) possible for students in the 2020-21 school year. You can read more about our proposal here.

We also brought forward concerns about workload of Special Education educators. We made clear that the work required of Special Education educators in the March to June initial closure exceeded the number of hours in a contractual workweek. We stressed that PPS must come up with a reasonable plan for Special Education workload, and informed the District that our survey of Special Education members would guide our proposals on this issue.  

Finally, we stressed that our DLI teachers would need specific and meaningful assistance in producing materials for instruction under Comprehensive Distance Learning. 

We apologize for the technical difficulties that did not allow us to live stream our negotiation session today. You can watch recordings of this bargaining session at these two links: Part 1 and Part 2.

Next Steps


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Bargaining Brief, July 23, 2020

PAT Colleagues:

Today, your PAT Bargaining Team met with the District to begin bargaining our Memorandum of  Agreement on safely returning to work.

At this initial meeting, we discussed bargaining ground rules, and our PAT Bargaining Chair, Steve Lancaster, shared this preamble to make PAT’s priorities clear. We exchanged topics, with both sides agreeing that crucial issues to resolve include workday, leaves of absence, building access, and Special Education. Your PAT team also stressed throughout the meeting the importance of better supporting our students and families, including with nutrition, technology, mentoring, engagement, and communications and support in the family’s preferred language.

Notably, both sides agreed to start our negotiation sessions with a focus on Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL), acknowledging that returning to live instruction is not viable under current conditions.

We made clear that the current level of planning/preparation time is woefully inadequate under normal circumstances, and will need to be dramatically expanded for Distance Learning to be effective. We intend to stress the need for embedded time in every work-day for lesson planning, assessment, student feedback, outreach/communication to families, as well as instruction. 

Finally, we indicated that our colleagues in Special Education, School Psychologist, and SLP positions (to name a few) have a “backlog” of work from last year as well as the upcoming year’s new tasks, and that the return to work must take into account those demands.

You can watch recordings of this bargaining session at these two links: Part 1 and Part 2.

Next Steps

We are scheduled to meet with the District team again on July 30th where we expect to address what an educator’s day looks like in a CDL model.  

Thank you for your support as we advocate for the needs of our learning community during this ongoing health crisis.

Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Chelyn Joseph

 Meet Your Bargaining Team:


Have You NOT Received ANY Payments for Work Share or Unemployment Yet?

Dear Educator,

As of last Thursday, July 16th, the majority of members received all of their Unemployment checks and Work Share checks. However, there are still many members who have not received any Work Share or Unemployment checks due to the following reasons:

  1. They are receiving income from a second source. This includes another pension, income from a second job, income from a trust or estate, or income from a small family business.
  2. They just retired.
  3. They incorrectly filled out their two-page Work Share application. (The two page application filled out by members in May.)

PPS is aware of these three categories of individuals who have not yet received any of their payments. PPS HR is slowly working its way through a list of employees and either emailing educators or calling educators to follow up.

If you have emailed PAT since July 13 about having not received any payments yet (either emailed your UniServ Consultant or the PAT general email address), we have your name and are compiling a list to forward to PPS HR. 

However, if you have not received any payments yet, have not contacted your UniServ Consultant or PAT since July 13, and you have not received a call or email from PPS HR recently, please enter your contact info on this form. We want to have a list to forward to PPS HR, and we also want to make sure that everyone receives the payments they are owed.

In Solidarity,

Portland Association of Teachers