President’s Message: The Revolution will not be Televised


The winds of change are blowing. Can you feel it? 

Our union siblings in Woodburn, WEA, have lost 96 teachers since May 2021. They are also fighting for smaller class sizes and caseloads, in addition to increased pay and declared an impasse on March 15th, 2023.  Our union siblings in Silver Falls, SFEA, are fighting for class size caps and declared an impasse. Both WEA and SFEA have voted to authorize a strike

SFEA reached a tentative agreement (TA) Monday night gaining important wins around class sizes and overages. Woodburn reached a tentative agreement around 1am on Thursday morning ensuring almost 18% COLA over 3 years, and hard class size and caseload caps. The management team accepted their last and best offer after arguing earlier they could never agree to such caps.

The proof is in the pudding: Strikes work. In fact, they work so well that just a credible threat of a strike was enough to force the district to provide our educators and students what they deserve.

What our siblings fought for and won in Woodburn and Silver Falls is exactly the fight we are in here in Portland. We want safe, sustainable, and equitable schools. We are fighting for more staff, more interventions, more support so every student can access instruction. We are asking for more instruction and less testing that does not inform our instruction. We are asking for Mental Health Support teams at each site and an acknowledgement of the different but crucial role our counselors, social workers, school psychs, and QMHPs play in our schools. We are asking that schools prepare for the influx of students moving through our system with extra support and forward planning. And we have heard these same demands from sites across the district. We have heard it through the bargaining surveys, hundreds of one on one conversations and site visits by our OEA staff, your PAT Vice President, Jacque Dixon, and I. Thank you to all the reps who have helped coordinate those visits.

Solidarity Forever

As I stated in bargaining, educators are fed up. We are done working for free. We are done being morally injured. We are done holding up a broken system on our backs. That is why we are ramping up our Bargaining Campaign with an All Representative Meeting on May 3rd, 2023 at First United Methodist Church from 12:00pm-4:30pm. We have asked substitutes to make themselves available for that day in order to support the over 300 educators taking a PM half day to collaborate and learn more about our next steps. We are planning on a districtwide Community Art Build this fall and new information about how the kicker impacts our ability to fully fund schools in Oregon.

The winds of change are strong and inevitable. As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I know members are tired. I know you have done so much and have been beaten up by the system you are a part of again, and again, and again. But we will not stop until we have great public schools for each and every student, community and educator. Just hold on, keep your head up, and remember we have each other to lean on. Solidarity means we step up when we can, step back when we must, trusting our union siblings to lift us up and carry on the work.

Join the PAT Flying Squad to find out about events and rallies in support of educators across the state and unionists within Portland!

As always, thank you for waking up and coming to work every day. In case no one told you today, you're awesome and loved.

Take care,

Angela Bonilla
PAT President

Rep Elections

It is time to elect your site’s PAT Building Representatives for next school year!

Each site is entitled to one Representative for every nine members. Our building elections are how we ensure that Reps at each site are trusted, respected leaders. If you’re interested in running to be a Rep, let your current Head Rep know. 

Each site should create a ballot and hold an election at a 10-minute meeting before the May 17th RA. 

For more information and some resources, go to

Know Your Contract: Contract Exceptions - Due May 12!

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 Contract (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.

Run for Interim Eboard Director or Interim Secretary by May 17!

Nominations are now open for two interim elected positions: PAT Executive Board Director and PAT Secretary! Nominations will close at 5:00 PM on May 17th (at the May RA).

Both interim positions are for one year terms (from July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024).

Are you interested in taking a leadership role within your union and having an impact on its direction? If so, please consider running!

To nominate yourself for either of these positions, use this nomination form. Nomination forms must be emailed to Jennifer Dixon (Jennifer.Dixo[email protected]). Candidates who submit their forms by 5:00 pm on May 8, 2023, will have their statements distributed at the May RA. However, nominations can also be made from the floor at the May RA (by 5pm on May 17th).

Any PAT member in good standing may run for these positions. Non-members are not eligible to run for an elected union office. (But you can become a member HERE in order to run.) Learn more about Executive Board Director responsibilities and Secretary responsibilities.

In accordance with our bylaws, the Representative Assembly will elect the interim positions. Voting will occur at the May 17th RA. Only elected reps, who are present during the time of voting, will be permitted to vote. Candidate speeches will be given at the May RA.

For more information, you can refer to the Nomination Letter to All Members (from the PAT Nominations and Elections Committee), or to the PAT Nominations and Elections Handbook.

Internal Organizing-Week of Action


PAT Week of Action for Safe, Sustainable, and Equitable Schools!

What action will you take in order to win safe, sustainable, and equitable schools for students and families? 

During the week of April 24th-28th, educators across PPS will be taking action in our classrooms, at bargaining, and at the PPS Board meeting to show our unity and power. As our President, Angela Bonilla wrote after our April 4th contract negotiations session:

We cannot keep doing what we are doing because it is not working. We will continue to lose educators. I understand the educator shortage is a national trend, and we are not exempt. But educators going on strike is also a national trend… And why is that? It’s because we are done working for free. We are done being morally injured.”

Click HERE to sign up and commit to the actions YOU plan to take during this important week of action.

More details coming soon from your head building representative or internal organizer. If you have questions, please write to our Internal Organizing Leads Erika Schneider ([email protected]) or Matt Reed ([email protected]). 

External Organizing-Next Meeting

Let's keep putting pressure on PPS: Please sign and share this petition in support of our Bargaining Platform!  Text it to 5 people right now! Our current count is around 3,200…

Mark your calendar: Invite 2-3 other parents/organizers to the next External Organizing Meeting (Thursday, May 11, 4:30-6:30 p.m.) The goal is to have at least one person from each site represented. RSVP here.

Racial Equity & Social Justice Committees

The committee co-chairs would like to offer a few words of encouragement during this time when there is so much to be discouraged about: racism is thriving at every level everywhere, trans children’s rights are being attacked vigorously, book bans are picking up steam, and on top of all of that (and more) we are overworked, undervalued, mistrusted, understaffed, and unsupported in our profession. At the Trans Visibility Day march and rally, speaker after speaker gave impassioned calls to stay in community, stay in the fight, and to believe your own worth. They called for and exemplified defiant hope for their trans siblings during this frightening moment of history for trans youth and adults. 

Defiant hope. What does that mean in our PAT community? What does that look like in your building? When you are singled out for your race, gender, or sexuality? When you are micromanaged or left totally unsupported? When you have been laid off, let go, or not called back after the first round of interviews? When your school has been shut down with no warning? We think defiant hope looks like community, love, collaboration, co-conspiracy, brilliant minds seeing through the smoke and mirrors, dreaming, visioning, self-care, community care, simply showing up. We see you and we thank you for all you do to demand racial equity and social justice in our PPS community.  We remind you of what our PAT leadership has said so many times, that WE are PPS, our students are PPS, their families are PPS. Politicians, administrators, top level brass…they come and go, but WE are the heartbeat of today and tomorrow in our PAT and PPS community, and WE collectively are our reason for defiant hope. 

In gratitude- Nedra, Karen, Julie and David.

April 29th, Nihonmachi Clean-Up, Old Town Chinatown 

Saturday, April 29, 8am to noon

Meet up at the Japanese American Museum of Oregon (411 NW Flanders St) and help clean up Portland’s historical Japantown and Chinatown neighborhood. SOLVE will provide trash grabbers, trash bags, work gloves and high-vis vests. Registration and more information.


SJCO is seeking your input to reflect the needs of our members. We realize after a number of years of offering the same kind of planning opportunities and points of access to resources in support of your work with students, that maybe something different should be offered. Will you help us shape our future priorities? Thank you so much for taking a quick 4 minutes to fill out this SJCO survey. We appreciate you and your time!

April 30th, PPS Union Coalition Update: School Board Candidate Forum

SJCO meets monthly with our PPS partner union leadership to build relationships and learn how we can support mutual goals. We compare bargaining notes and action strategies. When we organize together, we win together! We are collaborating to host a PPS School Board Candidate Forum on April 30th, at 2:30 at the PAT office. Check with your building rep for more information!