Final Note on Bargaining

President's MessageDear Colleagues:

I wanted to send a quick note to let everyone know that the PCC Board of Directors ratified the Tentative Agreement of our wages and benefits reopener at their September 21 meeting. (For a summary of changes for Fall 2017 to Summer 2019, click here.) While we didn’t get everything we were hoping for, we are confident that we can build on some of the wins in this agreement to continue our push for better pay and working conditions across employee classes. It’s time to start planning for 2019!

I’d like to thank the 100+ people who attended the bargaining sessions. It was somewhat of a new process for the federation, and one that paid off enormously as the administration could see that we were organized, unified, and ready to stand up and fight for a fair and reasonable settlement.

Lastly, keep an eye out for upcoming campus and center meetings. We’ll be meeting at the four campuses, along with Willow Creek, Metro, Downtown Center, and CLIMB, between October 17 and November 3. I hope to see many of you there and to hear from you about the issues most important to you.

Wishing everyone a happy and productive fall term.

In solidarity,

Frank Goulard, PCCFFAP President
frank.goulard@pccffap.org

A Tentative Agreement — with Real Gains

President's MessageColleagues,

After more than five months of negotiating, the PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professional​s (PCCFFAP) and PCC Federation of Classified Employees (PCCFCE) joint bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the PCC Administration team at 8pm on Friday, September 15th.  This agreement is for the two-year reopener for wages and benefits from summer 2017 to summer 2019 for our collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The budgetary challenges were great. The state is funding community colleges at a meager 1.8% annual increase for the upcoming two years​ while PERS employer rates are increasing at double-digit amounts for the upcoming several biennia.

We didn’t get everything we wanted. Yet, with your support–we had over fifty members of the two unions observe negotiating sessions over the summer–and the hard work of our negotiating team, we made important gains towards equity of pay for employees–and towards greater stability for many of our most vulnerable members.  And some of the provisions I detail below truly are stepping stones to accomplish more in the next negotiations in 2019.

The short story: we fought and won

  • a COLA for all employees each year;
  • new top steps for APs and PT Faculty;
  • greater support for PT Faculty participation in the essential work of running the college;
  • increased funding towards health insurance caps.

Again, it’s not everything we want–or everything we deserve. But given the conditions, we believe it’s a fair settlement.

Below, I’ve broken down each of the major changes. For now, I offer a huge thanks to our negotiating team. When you see them or if you wish to email them, please do extend your thanks for their dedicated and passionate work! The FFAP team included Allison Gross, Peter Seaman, Shirlee Geiger, and Frank Goulard. The FCE team included Jeff Grider, Cherie Maas Anderson, and Elisabeth Garcia Davidson. We also thank federation support staff Michael Cannarella, who will be retiring soon. On the administration team were Lisa Bledsoe, Cheryl Belt, Jim Langstraat, Eric Blumenthal, Jessica Howard, and Kurt Simonds.

And again, thank you to our more than fifty members who, for the first time, actively played a part in each session to make this new contract. Their support was truly transformational for our union.

The Changes

COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment):

These adjustments are in addition to the regular step increases for all members who are on steps.

For FT Faculty, AP, and Classified:

  • 1.25% first year (2017-18)
  • 2% second year (2018-19)

For PT Faculty:

  • 2% first year
  • 2% second year

NOTE: With all of the above groups of our employees, along with all administration employees, there is a 1% rollback each year (2017-18, 2018-19) in our salary schedules, for a total of 2% rollback over the next two years.

Why? In PCC’s 2013 negotiations, in addition to our COLAs and steps, we had agreed to accept an additional 1% COLA to our salary schedules for each of the following four years (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17) due to the Oregon Legislature passing into law PERS retiree cuts. Those retiree cuts increased available state dollars to community colleges. We also agreed at the time, that if this legislation was overturned by legal challenges, that we would take a reduction of 1% for the next full biennium. Soon thereafter, the Oregon Supreme Court did rule to overturn the legislation, thereby restoring retiree benefits. Therefore that triggered the aforementioned 1%/year rollback to our salary schedules, slated for the 2017-2019 biennium. So we are now rolling back that additional 1% that we had gained in 2013.

New Top Steps

For APs and Classified, a new top step (in addition to deleting Step 1). The new top step will be phased in over two years for APs in October 2017 (a half-step 1.75% increase) and October 2018 (the remaining half-step increase of another 1.75%)

For Classified in July 2017 (retroactive, a half-step 1.5% increase) and July 2018 (the remaining half-step increase of another 1.5%).​

For PT faculty, two new top steps. This moves their existing 9-step salary schedule closer to the 17-step FT faculty salary schedule. This is one of the most monumental changes in our contract. Along with these two new steps is an agreement for a joint faculty and administration task force to begin work in Fall 2017 to thoroughly analyze PT faculty work and compensation with an eye towards equity with FT faculty. This will be done in advance of the next contract negotiations, which will start January 2019.

For now, a new step 10 will be in effect in October 2017. Those PT faculty who have taught 3200-3599 hours will be placed on step 10. Then in October 2018, those who have taught at least 3600 hours will be placed at step 11. These steps, like the FT faculty steps, are 3.5% apart.​

Faculty Department Chairs in CTE and Counseling programs will receive additional points in their calculation to determine release and stipend. This should result in most chairs receiving additional release to meet the growing  demands of their programs and students.

PT faculty pay for essential college meetings, including SAC inservice day and other SAC meetings​, will double. They had been paid stipends of $25 for up to two hours, $50 for over 2 hours and up to 4 hours, and $100 for over 4 hours and up to 8 hours. This was roughly $12.50/hr, not even including the preparation or travel time for these meetings–and would soon fall short of Portland minimum wage.

We made the case for our professional PT faculty to be paid at a more professional wage. Now the stipends will be:

  • $50 for up to 2 hours
  • $75 for up to 3 hours
  • $100 for up to 4 hours
  • $150 for up to 6 hours
  • $200 for up to 8 hours
As before, a PT faculty member must make sure with their dean, chair, TLC director, or SAC chair that a particular meeting is pre-approved for this pay.

The college cap contribution towards the health insurance premium for FT employees will increase about 3.5% each year, depending on the choice of self only, self plus spouse/partner, self plus child(ren), or family coverage. That is closely in line with the rise in PCC’s Kaiser and Moda group plan costs.

The college cap contribution towards the health insurance premium for PT faculty remains at 65% of the FT self-only cap. It will likely increase from $474.50/mo to almost $490/mo​. But we were able to garner some extra financial assistance for PT faculty who select self plus spouse/partner (or children), or self plus family. For those two group selections, instead of a $490/mo cap, it will be about a $640 cap and $790 cap, respectively.

There will be an increase to the PCCFFAP Health Insurance Trust from $36,000/yr to $40,000/yr. This is the fund that helps PT faculty who do not qualify for PCC health insurance and pay their own full premiums on the marketplace. This pays out about $100/mo to those eligible PT faculty who apply.

Classified will now have a markedly better PCC early retirement program. The eligible ages will now match the FT faculty and AP ages of 58 to 65. Classified will have a choice between a stipend or support on health insurance premiums, for 4 years or until age 65, whichever comes first. This was a big step for Classified to finally begin to have a similar early retirement program as FT faculty and AP.

Next Steps

Because this is a wage re-opener and not the full contract negotiation, there is no vote by membership necessary. The PCC Board takes the next step of a ratification vote on the reopener this Thursday Sept 21, 7:30pm, at their monthly meeting at Rock Creek. After that approval, the reopener provisions will take effect October 1, 2017, with the CBA’s end date of June 30, 2019 for Classified and August 31, 2019 for Faculty and APs.

As many of you have heard me say before, you start negotiating your next contract the minute your last one is signed. Please, let me–and all of our Executive Council members–know what you think about this settlement. We are already gathering ideas for the next negotiation.

Take care,

Frank

Frank Goulard
President, PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals​

Show Your Support!

President's MessageFederation Members,

Despite the slow and disappointing progress in negotiations last Tuesday, we are more committed than ever to demonstrate our unity. Both unions, Classified and Faculty /AP, are working with our membership to achieve a fair, reasonable, and equitable contract for all PCC employees.

To highlight this unity we are asking you, as a member of our union, to print out the flyers below (from a non-PCC printer) and post them in your car window.  Feel free to make copies to give to others, but remember that posting the flyers on college property (e.g., in one’s cubicle) is not allowed. We will also have copies available if you’d like us to send them to you.  Simply contact the Federation Office at mary.sykora@pccffap.org.

Here are some additional things you can do:

  1. Sign up to attend the next bargaining session! The deadline to sign up for the July 27th meeting is Monday, July 24th.  Observers who cannot stay the whole day are welcome to break at lunch or during caucus time.
  2. Please Button up!
  3. Mark the PCC Board Meeting on August 17th and September 21st on your calendar.
  4. Spread the word to your colleagues!

Your attendance as we move forward with negotiations, and your show of unity, is greatly appreciated.

In unity,

Frank Goulard
President, PCCFFAP

Flyers

Fair Pay Flyer

Solidarity Flyer

 

PCC Admin Proposes Pay Reductions, COLA Freeze

President's Message

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing with an update from the recent wage and benefits contract-reopener meeting. Last Friday, PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals (PCCFFAP), along with our counterparts in the Federation of Classified Employees (PCCFCE) presented three proposals, including:

  • A 4% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for all employee classes (FT Faculty, PT Faculty, AP and Classified) in each of the next two years (2017-18 and 2018-19) This would help members who are struggling with the skyrocketing cost of housing in our district, among other things.

  • Add a new top step for all employee classes, and delete the bottom step. Approximately 25% of our members are at the top step and are no longer eligible for annual step increases. A new top step would reward these members for their many years of service.

  • Increase the number of steps for PT Faculty from nine to 17. This would increase parity for PT faculty who perform the same instructional work but are paid far less than their FT faculty counterparts. Our proposal would increase the number of hours between steps (from 400 to 500) but it would also make it possible for PT faculty who have accumulated at least 8000 contact hours at the proposed top step 17, to earn $1,500 per lecture hour. The current pay scale tops out at $970 per lecture hour..

Administration came back with a proposal of their own:

  • No COLA for any employee class; instead a 1% salary reduction.

  • The normal annual step increases for those on steps.

  • Individuals at the top step, who do not move a step anymore, would therefore receive a 1% pay reduction.

Obviously, the two sides are far apart! This is why it’s more important than ever for YOU – our members – to get active! Button up! Attend an open bargaining session! Spread the word to your colleagues! We need you to show solidarity with the bargaining team who is on the front line fighting against these unreasonable salary reductions.

Lastly, I’d like to thank the members who came to observe the bargaining session last Friday. We appreciated your thoughtful input and your presence sends a strong message to administration that we demand nothing less than a fair and reasonable contract.

Please reach out if you have any questions.

In solidarity,

Frank Goulard, PCCFFAP President
frank.goulard@pccffap.org

PCC’s Recent Budget Update

President's MessageDear Colleagues:

As PCC faces challenges to balance its 2017-19 budget, you should know that your Federation bargaining team is fighting on your behalf to preserve – and improve – your existing workplace pay, benefits, and conditions. It’s worth noting that without a strong union, PCC administrators could impose budget restrictions however they chose.

As I said in my last message, we believe there are budgetary funds for a fair and reasonable settlement on pay and benefits. Please keep this position in mind if you choose to attend a budget forum.

The more active members we have, the stronger our position. So if you haven’t signed your membership card, please activate it now. And sign up to attend an open bargaining session so that you can have a front row seat to negotiations. The next bargaining session is this Friday, May 26 from 9am-noon at CLIMB. The tentative agenda is as follows:

  • Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)
  • Health Insurance
  • Top Step
  • PT Faculty Pay Equity

You can sign up here to attend. I hope to see some of you there.

Together we are stronger!

In solidarity,

Frank Goulard, PCCFFAP President
frank.goulard@pccffap.org