Bargaining Issues for Job-Insecure Faculty

We asked and you answered! PCCFFAP executive council officers sent out surveys to our members, and then held an unprecedented number of campus meetings, inviting ideas for what needs to change at PCC for instructors and academic professionals to effectively meet the new challenges we face in providing quality education for all our students. Members and fair-share participants stepped up, and took time away from busy, busy lives to provide thoughtful responses to our questions. Then our two part-time bargaining team members sorted through the many responses and thought about what had been said  — and then thought and sorted some more — to come up with a prioritized list of bargaining issues. Here is what we have submitted to the administration bargaining representatives. They are sensible, and focused on what is best for our students. Thank you to all who contributed to the process.

Bargaining 2015 Issue 1: Job security Job security is by far the #1 issue for PT faculty at PCC, supported by data from federation surveys, campus membership meetings, f2f and email correspondence. Possible remedies

  • Annual contract for 50% or more of the faculty who teach 50% or more for 3 or 4 terms in an academic calendar.
  • Establishment of a seniority system to prioritize class assignments–possibly in tiers, such as Steps 7-9, Steps 4-6, Steps 1-3.
  • Clarity and consistency across the district about enrollment needed to avoid cancellation.
  • Compensation “kill fee” for cancelled classes in the amount of 10% of the cost of the cancelled class if the class is cancelled the week before the term begins and 25% if the class is cancelled during the first week.
  • When classes must be cancelled, sections assigned to Assignment Rights faculty should be cancelled last.
  • Bumping should be used as a last resort, instead a different formula like a three-term average or annual FTE should be used for FT faculty.
  • If enough classes are not offered by a department to meet the FTE required for Assignment Rights faculty to maintain eligibility for health insurance, the faculty members should be able to use non-instructional assignments to fulfill that requirement.
  • Make assignment rights transferrable district wide, rather than requiring additional time to qualify at a new campus.
  • Stronger language to clarify an actual annual assignment must be offered when an Assignment Rights faculty requests an annual assignment.
  • District wide Assignment Rights for part-time librarians.
  • Replace “assignment rights” and “annual assignment” with less confusing terms.

Issue 2: Career path We acknowledge that some PT faculty are interested in and working toward becoming full time, so they are involved in many activities beyond instruction. The following measures would recognize their efforts and create a clearer path to full-time work with PCC. Possible remedies

  • We need full transparency in the hiring process. Many part time faculty who were rejected for various vacancies reported being given brush offs from Human Resources claiming they were not qualified, while they were on paper.
  • PT faculty should receive credit for non-instructional services like committee work, advising, course development, etc. when being considered for FT positions.
  • Preferential consideration of part-time faculty for full-time positions.
  • Create a clear, consistent, and deliberate process for hiring part-timers across the district, like that used for hiring full-time faculty. This would provide opportunity to improve the diversity of part-time faculty, which would then allow PCC to hire from among current part-time faculty when filling full-time positions.
  • Create more full-time job share positions for current part-timers who don’t wish to work full time but would like to be involved in (compensated) college service.
  • TLC coordinators should become half time faculty positions.

Issue 3: Compensation for non-instructional services PT faculty regularly volunteer or are sought out to perform non-instructional tasks with little to no compensation. We are asking for compensation, according to Appendix D, for PT faculty participating in

  • Committee work
  • Program review
  • SAC projects focused on assessment of student learning
  • Governance
  • Department and SAC meetings
  • Faculty Orientation for new PTs
  • Proctoring accommodated exams when DS services not available
  • Mentoring of newly hired faculty, both PT and FT

Create a pay scale for compensation for non-instructional service to the college, so that more experienced instructors receive more compensation for their participation. This could be based on our current step system.

Issue 4: Compensation for teaching Many part-time faculty find that if they log the hours they spend on their teaching-related duties, including preparation, grading, and student contact, they are earning little more than (and sometimes less than) minimum wage. Possible remedies

  • Additional steps for part-time faculty to be aligned with the 17 steps for FT faculty and APs. Why fewer steps than full-time faculty?
  • Move part-time faculty closer to equity with full-time faculty in their pay per class.
  • Compensate instructors for developing new courses that are hybrid and face-to-face.
  • Compensation for faculty who have to accommodate several students with disabilities in a given term

Issue 4.5: Improvement of benefits The current benefits offered to part-time faculty seem to reinforce the faculty caste system, often with no apparent logical reason for the difference. Possible remedies

  • Part-time faculty participation in Health Savings Accounts
  • Incentive for part-time faculty who are eligible for health insurance but opt out–the same percentage of the waiver incentive for full-time faculty as the percentage part-timers receive of the cap for full-time health insurance. Every PT faculty opting out of healthcare coverage is a savings to the college just like any FT faculty or AP.
  • Part-timers should be able to accrue sick leave as they were several contracts ago.
  • Part-timers should be able to donate sick leave to colleagues.
  • Subsidy for dental insurance.
  • Ability to accrue tuition waiver to use at a later time.

Issue 5: Transparency and accountability of administration Because many of our part-time faculty have endured financial hardship and major inconvenience due to errors beyond their control, it is especially important that records should be transparent, accurate, and reliable. This will allow faculty to proactively monitor pay information and alert the necessary parties if errors are found. Possible remedies

  • Clear and readable paychecks.
  • FAN at beginning of the term should include, in addition to employee’s step and Assignment Rights status, a list of pay dates and amounts of each paycheck.
  • The job information under Earnings in online paycheck info should include the appropriate academic term.
  • Accountability for deans to conduct Assignment Rights assessment, and submit Assignment Rights paperwork to HR in a timely manner.
  • Accountability for HR keeping accurate records of Assignment Rights, with clear information on a faculty member’s status available on the FAN each term and on the MyPCC employee tab.
  • Online timesheets for employees doing multiple jobs.
  • Finding a solution for the 2-3 pay periods when the PT faculty do not get paid.

Issue 6: Parking and transportation PCC relies on part-time faculty to teach most of the classes offered. This system puts a unique transportation burden on part-time faculty, who must travel to and from other jobs, and who must transport with them all their teaching-related materials. Many faculty members struggle to find parking when they arrive on campus, resulting in several negative consequences: being late for class or appointments with students, having to leave during class breaks to move their cars, receiving a parking ticket for illegally parking in order to get to class, and even department chairs having to act as valet parking for part-timers. These burdens are not beneficial to faculty or to students. Possible remedies

  • Equality of parking situation at each campus: SE has no staff parking.
  • Part-time faculty, like all the other employees, should be able to buy pre-tax annual and term parking permits online.
  • Designated parking area for part-time faculty only on each campus to allow for those who must come and go at various times of the day.
  • Subsidized Tri-met passes for employees to decrease parking problems.

Issue 7: Evaluation Part-time faculty perform the same teaching work as full-time faculty yet are evaluated in a different way, which threatens the job security of excellent instructors. Possible remedies

  • Eliminate online evaluations.
  • Eliminate the ability of supervisors to use student evaluations alone (either the results or the completion rate) as a basis for not offering future classes to part-time faculty.
  • Part-time faculty should be evaluated on the same schedule and criteria as full-time faculty.
  • Part-timers employed at more than one campus should not have to be evaluated at each campus.
  • Part time faculty should participate in evaluation of Faculty Department Chairs.

Issue 8: “Primary” job issue Some employees work more than one part-time job at PCC and are then denied the benefits to which their full amount of work entitles them.

  • Employees with two or more part time jobs at PCC should be entitled for benefits from all their jobs.

Issue 9: Work space Although part-time instructors teach most of the classes at PCC, their work space situation is not equivalent to that provided for full-time faculty. This interferes with their ability to provide equal services to students. To allow all faculty to perform their duties, we are asking for

  • Guaranteed assigned office space to allow part-time faculty to work on campus, hold office hours and required conferences.
  • Guaranteed storage space for storing the student work that faculty are required to keep after the term ends.

Issue 10: Professional development Part-time faculty can enhance student learning by continuing to improve their knowledge of best practices. The following will provide these opportunities:

  • Consistent TLC professional development funds available to part-time faculty across the district.
  • Subsidize tuition for work-related courses at other institutions.

Issue 11: 9-week summer session at Cascade is inconsistent with the rest of the district and creates a multitude of issues for both students and faculty. House cleaning

  • Extension of one term workload exception
  • Replace “assignment rights” and “annual assignment” with less confusing terms.
  • IPR template — a dean asked me if we have one.

Notes In the spirit of unity and equity, all new benefits bargained during the new contract should apply to PT faculty as well. Many of the issues listed above have been raised by the Federation in previous negotiations over the years. More recently, Project ACCEPT has developed a comprehensive report on the working conditions of the majority of PCC faculty, which raises many of the same concerns and suggests several of the same remedies as we have found in gathering data from our Federation members and from contracts in force at other institutions. We acknowledge with appreciation the work of our colleagues from Project ACCEPT who brought new attention to these long-term challenges. Information request from HR The percentage of PT faculty who teach greater than or equal to 50% during 3 of the 4 terms in the academic year.

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