President's Message: Building a More Just Future

Dear Educators,

This fall, we find ourselves in an ongoing state of disruption and uncertainty, and educators continue to go above and beyond to support our students.

Of course, educators are not alone grappling with the stress of this pandemic. We’ve all witnessed the terrible toll of COVID-19, especially for those most impacted- essential workers, those who have lost jobs, those without housing or enough to eat, those bearing the brunt of systemic racism, and everyone who has lost loved ones to the virus.

The pandemic has put a spotlight on the injustice and inequality permeating our society, and we need to do more than simply survive.

We must ensure Oregon emerges from this pandemic stronger.

This November, we have the opportunity to build toward our vision of a more just world, and this election, particularly the presidential race, is critical. I hope you’re doing everything you can to encourage your friends, family, and acquaintances to fill out their ballots and get them turned in.

But with all the national attention, and national significance, of November 3, please don’t ignore the state and local races, as well as a number of breakthrough ballot measures. There is so much opportunity on the Portland ballot to build toward a more just future.

We have the chance to provide essential supports for our students and their families, including providing Preschool for All, and the restoration of programming through our city Parks.

We have the chance to build much needed infrastructure. The PPS bond will ensure planned building renewals move forward, and will also create new partnerships through the Center for Black Student Excellence. We have the chance to invest in our county library system, including investing in the North Portland and Albina libraries, and a new flagship library in East Portland. And we can take a big step forward for public transportation, pedestrian safety, and accessibility through the Metro bond—including making busy roads like 82nd Avenue safe for students- and putting many more buses, bike paths, and sidewalks into service across the city.

These services and infrastructure do cost money, but they also create living-wage jobs for thousands of workers in our community, strengthening our economy and helping jumpstart our recovery.

Finally, we have the chance to make long-needed policy changes to create more justice and transparency. The Real Police Accountability measure will finally create a fair and transparent process for reviewing police use-of-force incidents. And the Fair and Honest Elections measure will finally amend our Constitution to allow for campaign contribution limits, so that we can curb the outsized influence of corporations and the extremely wealthy in decision-making in our state.

Look for your ballot in the mail by the end of the week!

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Thiel
PAT President

VOTE to Invest in Our Values: PAT-Endorsed Ballot Measures

PAT is proud to endorse the following ballot measures on the November ballot which all play a part in building a more just, sustainable, and supportive city.

  • Preschool for All Measure 26-214 has merged with the Universal Preschool for All campaign. The combined package will tax high earners in order to provide preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds in Multnomah County. The plan will also guarantee a living wage for all preschool teachers and assistants, and gives them the right to unionize.
  • Multnomah County Library Bond Measure 26-211 will expand and modernize the library branches in the neighborhoods that need them most, and build a new flagship library in East County. 
  • Portland Schools Bond: Measure 26-215 will invest in our schools with funds to modernize Jefferson High School, create the new Center for Black Student Excellence, update curriculum resources, and make needed safety and accessibility improvements.
  • Let’s Get Moving: Metro Bond Measure 26-218 will improve 17 of our most dangerous and congested roadways, greatly improve public transit options, address climate and equity priorities, and provide free youth passes for everyone under 18.
  • Portland Parks Levy Measure 26-213 will maintain our parks and natural areas and restore vital recreation services and community center offerings, while maintaining jobs.
  • The Real Police Accountability Measure 26-217 will give our community a voice in police use-of-force incidents, ensuring that police live up to our community values. 

PAT PAC Candidate Endorsements

The PAT PAC (Political Action Committee) is proud to endorse the following candidates in the November General Election:

Oregon State Legislature

  • HD 33: Maxine Dexter 
  • HD 36: Lisa Reynolds
  • HD 46: Khanh Pham
  • SD 21: Kathleen Taylor

Portland City Council Position 4: Chloe Eudaly

Metro Council District 5: Mary Nolan

The OEA PAC is proud to endorse the following candidates for state-wide races:

  • Oregon Secretary of State: Shemia Fagan
  • Oregon State Treasurer: Tobias Reed
  • Oregon Attorney General: Ellen Rosenblum

Contribute to the PAT PAC: Make a Difference in Local Elections

Did you know that PAT has our own Political Action Committee (PAT PAC) that helps get great local candidates elected? Dues dollars can’t be used to donate to candidates, so we rely on members like you to make small monthly PAC contributions that, when we all chip in, add up to the ability to make a big difference in getting people into office who support public education, our community, our members, and our students. 

Not a PAC member yet? Sign up here! New members who sign up before Nov. 18 (and current members who increase their contributions) will be entered into a drawing to win gift cards. Everyone who gives to the PAC wins the knowledge that they’re helping to make sure the right people are in public office. 

Know Your Contract: Submit Your Transcripts to Advance on the Salary Schedule

If you have earned educational credits over the summer, or if you are a new hire and have yet to submit your educational background, you must submit the official documentation to HR no later than October 31st if you want the credits to count retroactively from the start of the year.

The PAT-PPS Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) states in Article 12:

“  In order to receive a salary adjustment retroactive to the beginning of the current school year, a professional educator must, by October 31st, provide the Human Resources Department with proof of completion of coursework. Adjustments based upon proof received after October 31st will be made effective the first day of the next pay period.”

If you submit the credits to HR after October 31st, they will move you on the salary schedule, but the credits will not be calculated for any retroactive payments going back to the start of the school year

Workload Overage for First Semester

While we are in Comprehensive Distance Learning, our current contract language still stands, except when we agree to different terms through a Memorandum of Agrement (MOA). This means our workload overage language in Article 8 is unchanged.

The current 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 October is Monday, October 19th. All professional educators should save a copy of their Synergy class lists, and of their course preparation lists, on Monday October 19th, and then keep a copy of that record. PPS will make overage payments in the November check. 

Building Representatives should work with their colleagues to troubleshoot overage problems with their building administrators. If a professional educator’s load exceeds the limits in Article 8.3.3, the District will (1) move students to meet the limit, (2) provide a .5 FTE educational assistant for elementary (.5 FTE paraeducator for special education classroom) or (3) issue a stipend payment. 

If any professional educator does not receive payment for an overage, claims can be submitted to PPS in December.    

Getting a Substitute During Distance Learning

Working from home doesn’t mean you should have to work while you are sick.

Educators need to take care of themselves, and nothing has changed about your access to contractual leave in Comprehensive Distance Learning. Remember that you cannot offer the best of yourself to students if you are not able to “be your best” due to illness.

Please utilize substitute educators when you need to take a leave. Doing so ensures that you are able to provide for yourself, your family, and your students. In addition, utilizing substitute educators provides much needed work for our PAT substitute colleagues. 

This summer, PAT defended our substitute educator colleagues through a long and difficult Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) claim. We were able to force PPS to reopen the absence management platform so that classroom educators could access substitutes, and to train all substitute educators in how to access and present material using Google, Canvas, Seesaw, and other platforms. Substitutes have taken this training and are ready to work with your students.


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Update on K-5 Report Cards

Our PAT Instruction and Professional Development Committee (IPD) has been working hard since last fall on getting PPS to update and simplify the K-5 Report Card. We have a commitment from PPS that a significantly shorter and more relevant report card will be adopted in time for 2nd Quarter. For the first quarter this year, K-5 teachers will continue to use the Conference Form that has been used for 1st quarter grades for several years. 

Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference: Saturday, October 17th

PAT is once again excited to sponsor the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference! The annual gathering of conversation, idea-sharing, and inspiration is just a few weeks away.

Join us on Saturday, October 17th online. The cost is just $10 — $5 for students.

Register Now

The keynote presentation this year is Revolutionary Public Education at the Crossroads of Race, Class, and COVID featuring Chenjerai Kumanyika and Demetrius Noble.

In addition, there are more than 25 workshops lined up in 2 sessions. See the full program at

We hope you can make it!

OEA Fall Seminar Series

Beginning on October 17th, the OEA will be hosting an online Fall Seminar Series open to all OEA members. The workshops on offer will be especially useful if you are a new PAT building rep, and will cover such topics as how to communicate and organize with your colleagues virtually, how to effectively influence your administrator, and how to recruit and engage new hires in a digital world. In addition, there are workshops on organizing and how to advance racial equity in contract negotiations. Spots are filling up fast, so please register now.