Last Friday, your Federation bargaining team, along with PCC administration, kicked off the 2017-19 Contract reopener. I am writing to update you about what was discussed, but first, for those of you who signed up to attend a bargaining session on April 14 or April 21, please note that those dates have been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. Here’s a google doc with newly agreed upon dates and times. Please, spread the word! Sign up to attend a session! Our presence at these meetings will ensure that the administration knows we are united in our pursuit of a fair and reasonable contract.
Last Friday’s opening bargaining session had only two items on the agenda: 1) Establishment of the ground rules, a document that both sides agree to prior to the substantive wage and benefits discussion, and 2) An update on the PCC Budget presented by Vice President of Finance Jim Langstraat. It was a good discussion and we expect to come to a resolution on the ground rules prior to the next bargaining meeting on May 3.
Mr. Langstraat and President Mitsui will be taking the budget presentation to all of the PCC campuses in the coming months, and we encourage everyone to attend a session. But keep in mind that the administration frames the budget in a particular way. Here are some facts to keep in mind:
Many of our members are struggling
The cost of living in Portland is increasing at an alarming rate – According to the Bureau of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), housing costs in Portland increased by 21% in the last year alone.
Nationwide, 25% of part-time faculty members at colleges and universities are on some form of public assistance. Anecdotal data from our members reflects this.
The revenue forecast for PCC is positive
The State of Oregon is expected to fund community colleges at the same or slightly higher levels as the prior biennium (We will know for sure in June).
The PCC Board of Directors voted to raise tuition in each of the next two years, resulting in an additional $16 million in revenue for PCC.
A PCC Bond Measure is planned for 2017. If passed, this would fund deferred maintenance and building upgrades across the district.
The administration has priorities that do not reflect our members’ struggles
The administration wants to add $2 million to the college’s reserve fund (basically a “rainy day fund”), which currently stands at $20 million.
The administration wants to increase the amount of funding for administrator salary and benefits by 10% for the biennium (through a combination of salary increases for current administrators and new administrative positions).
Saving money is good; college administrators are important, but…
An across the board Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for everyone in our union is a high priority for our members. For context, a 1% COLA for all faculty, AP, and classified employees would cost the college $3.3 million over two years.
By some estimates, we would need an 8.1% COLA to keep up with the cost of living in Portland!
Part time faculty teach 72% of classes at PCC, but they have only nine steps in their pay scale compared to 17 for full time faculty, APs, and classified, so it takes much longer for them to advance. They deserve an equitable advancement path that is consistent with their full time and AP colleagues.
If you agree with the Federation’s priorities and you want to support the efforts of the bargaining team, please click here! I hope to see you at a Contract Action Team (CAT) meeting or bargaining session in the near future.
Frank Goulard, PCCFFAP President