When does collective bargaining occur at PCC?
The PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals (FFAP) and PCC administration hold full contract negotiations addressing salary, benefits, and working conditions every four years. The next round of full contract negotiations will begin in January, 2019, ramping up during the spring and summer months so that we can reach an agreement by August 31, 2019 when the current contract ends.
During the second year of the four-year contract, the two sides have what is known as a a wages and benefits re-opener, usually referred to simply as a “re-opener.” These are scaled-down negotiations where only salary and benefits (not working conditions) are bargained for the remaining two-years of the contract. This gives both sides some flexibility to address changes in revenue, enrollment, or cost of living. The next re-opener will happen in spring 2021.
Who can collectively bargain?
PCC employees’ rights to collective bargaining are established by The Oregon Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA), which was signed into law in 1973 and gives public employees in Oregon the right to form, join, and participate in labor unions.
Our union, FFAP, includes all faculty as well as salaried professional staff known as Academic Professionals or APs. Classified (or hourly) employees are represented by a separate union, the PCC Federation of Classified Employees (FCE). FFAP and FCE work closely together during bargaining to ensure the process includes gains for all union-represented employees at PCC.
We often receive questions about casual workers at PCC. Because they are a separate employee class (not faculty, academic professional, or classified), they are not represented by either FFAP or FCE, though under PECBA they have the right to establish their own bargaining unit. This is a subject of concern for many of us who work closely with PCC’s casual staff and see the growth in casual positions as a loophole used by administration to avoid paying fair wages and benefits.
It is interesting to note that three states (North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia) prohibit collective bargaining among public employees, and Texas and Georgia do not allow collective bargaining for teachers. The right to collectively bargain is considered a fundamental human right by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Stay tuned for more FAQs. Coming next:
What topics can employees bargain over?
What happens when management and FFAP can’t reach an agreement?