President's Message: Back in the Swing of Things


Hello Educators,

PAT held our Annual (except during the pandemic) Representative and Organizer Retreat in Newport, OR on October 1st-2nd. We had almost 100 members and staff show up and get training on the fundamentals of representation, using grievances to build power, and how to win a strong contract through organizing. We finished up the weekend with sessions on organizing parents and communities and the role of our union in promoting racial justice. We also spent time connecting and decompressing at the coast, hopefully rejuvenating our spirits in preparation for the work ahead of us. 

Finally, I hope that if you are feeling overwhelmed you can have some compassion for yourself. Remember, educators are constantly told to carry broken systems on their backs. One Special Educator here at PPS has this as her email signature: “I will not run myself ragged, to fit into raggedy systems” and I find myself quoting this a lot. 

You are enough, you have the capacity to grow, you are doing the best you can with what you’ve been given. We are here for you.

Take care,


President, Portland Association of Teachers

New Year, New PAT

We are finally fully staffed! I want to introduce you to our two new Uniserv staff, Ryan Olds and Jessica Nuti!

Jessica Nuti comes to us from San Francisco by way of Germany. She was an organizer and representative at both SEIU Local 521 and SAG-AFTRA. There she worked with thousands of workers as well as over 80 worksites. Jessica just finished her Masters studies of Labor Policies and Globalization through the Global Labor University at the Berlin School of Economics and Law in Germany. Her passion, work experience, and education are in line with our PAT union values. We look forward to her work representing members and as the liaison to the Racial Equity Committee, Social Justice and Community Outreach Committee, Legislative Committee, and our External Organizers. Welcome Jessica!

Ryan Olds has worked for OEA since 2019 as a Uniserv Consultant in Klamath Falls where he has organized and bargained a strong contract for the Certified educators and Education Support Professionals (ESPs). He comes with a background in law and a strong organizing, bargaining, and union member training experience. We are excited to have Ryan working on our Bargaining Team and with our Bargaining committee, Nominations and Elections Committee, and Advocacy Committees. Welcome Ryan!

Ryan and Jessica’s addition will complete our UniServ Consultant team for PAT. John Berkey and Kathi Koenig are working on a limited basis until the end of October until our staff is onboarded. Your building reps will receive a communication around which staff will support which schools in the coming days.

KYC: Overage Pay Determination

The 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 17th

All professional educators should save a copy of their Synergy class lists, and of their course preparation lists, on Friday, October 14th, and then keep a copy of that record.  

PPS will make overage payments in the November check. 

If any professional educator does not receive payment for an overage, claims can be submitted to PPS in December, by filling out a form that will be sent by PPS.

KYC: Complete Your Required Training by October 31st

Don’t forget, Article 7.10.3 of the PAT/PPS contract states that “Professional educators will be responsible for completing four (4) hours of District mandatory on line training outside of scheduled staff meeting time. There will be no staff meetings on at least two (2) Tuesdays between the start of the school year and the due date of the mandatory online training.”

The due date for completion is OCTOBER 31st! 

All educators will be automatically assigned the 2022-23 courses under “My Current Courses” in Pepper, the District’s Professional Learning Management System. You can access Pepper at

KYC: Submit Educational Credits by October 31st

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 from the start of the year.

The PAT/PPS Contract states in Article  “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 counted retroactively to the start of the school year.

Tuesday Blue-sday

Don’t forget to wear blue on Tuesdays! It doesn’t have to be a PAT blue shirt: You can rock a blue scarf, a blue pin, a blue sticker, a blue sweater or anything else you can imagine. But why, maestra? What’s the point? Well, the Tuesday Blue-sday tradition helps us show each other our union solidarity and reminds PPS leaders that our power is in our numbers and unity. Remember, campaigns are not built on one action but many escalating actions. This is just the beginning!

October 11th- Union Solidarity Action RE: COVID Leave 

PAT members, please show support for our union coalition members by signing this petition asking PPS to honor their promise to allow those with COVID-19 to use quarantine leave. This ensures that members will not have to make the choice between exposing co-workers to COVID-19 and exhausting their sick leave bank. See the petition link.

From the petition: "COVID leave allows staff the dignity to rest and recover without having to choose between meeting financial obligations and exposing students, co-workers, teachers, and parents to this virus."

In addition, a wide coalition of PPS employee unions is organizing to turn out members for the October 11th board meeting to raise our voices on this important safety issue. Please come to the Dr. Matthew Prophet Education Service Center (formerly BESC) at 6:00pm on Tuesday, October 11th.  Wear your PAT Blue proud, stay for public comment, and then head home. For those who would like more information or would like to testify on this issue during public comment, please email [email protected] for more information.  

Join the PAT Flying Squad

PAT Flying Squad members, you will be getting a text reminder about the October 11th action.

Want to join the squad? Use the QR code to sign up!

October 15th- PAT Community Drive-thru Event and Mutual Aid

All community members are invited to COME 

ON THRU to show support for our Portland educators and pick up fun "we love our teachers" SWAG! As families drive (or bike / scooter / walk) thru, we will have a few different fun stations. Please get the word out through your networks, especially school PTAs! (see link below for requesting PTA support)

For more information about the Drive Thru event:

Facebook Event Link   Instagram Event Link

Sign Up to Volunteer    PTA Support Request Doc

In conjunction with the Drive Thru event, our PAT Mutual Aid Team will kick-off our first day of action on October 15th starting at the Drive Thru event

Fellow Educators will come together to provide needed supplies to houseless neighbors near our union hall and also pick up trash to help with the upkeep of our collective neighborhood. Please arrive at the PAT office at 11:30 am on the 15th for basic safety protocols and be prepared to go out with a team from 12-1:30, returning to the PAT office to debrief with fellow educators. Due to the safety protocols, this mutual aid project cannot include children or pets. 

Know for sure you will join us? Email [email protected] and/or just show up! The first 14 people to show up will be on the 2 streets teams for October 15th. 

To support the PAT Mutual Aid Street Team, people can bring the following to the PAT union hall on October 15th during the drive-through:

Warm winter socks, Fresh men's and women's underwear (sizes medium and large), Rain jackets/gear, Antibiotic ointment, Bandaids, Hydration (bottled water, Gatorade, iced tea, lemonade...)

Upcoming SJCO and External Organizer Meetings

If you’ve never come to a meeting, or it’s been awhile, we hope you’ll come check us out next month. SJCO is a fulfilling way to connect with our larger PPS community and to participate in concrete actions. Below is our tentative agenda …and don’t forget, dinner is included! 


  • Union partners: hear updates and work together to deepen solidarity
  • Heritage/Affinity Month Planning: updates on work release day successes and determine current needs for Native American and Indigenous People Heritage Month resources/events. Begin planning for Black Lives Matter Week of Action and Black History Month (in collaboration with the Racial Equity Committee), since our next quarterly meeting isn’t until February 9.
  • External Organizing: plan the next steps to connect with community partners in meaningful ways to fight for schools our students deserve and to improve our teaching and learning environment.
  • Focus GroupELEMENTARY SPECIALISTS! Come together to share what is going well & where there are gaps in support, curriculum, funding, planning time, etc. Elevate needs, systems of inequity & common frustrations. How can the current contract support you, and how might the future bargain improve teaching and learning for specialists?
  • Other PAT business to support the Executive Board, to be announced.

How are YOU weaving social justice and anti-racism into your work? 

Email [email protected] a photo and/or a short blurb describing a meaningful lesson, conversation, or practice that illuminated or cultured an opportunity to deepen anti-racist and social justice work in our PAT community. We would love to share your experience in a future edition of The Advocate to inspire others to center race and justice in all that we do.