Bargaining FAQs 2

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?

Bargaining FAQs

As we head into bargaining in 2019, we thought it would be useful to review some key terms and ideas related to collective bargaining at PCC. If you have questions of your own please email any member of the bargaining team (See below for names and contact info.)

What is collective bargaining?

Collective bargaining is the formal process of negotiation between PCC administration and PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals (PCCFFAP). It sets the terms and conditions of our work, including pay and benefits. Collective bargaining results in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), also known as the Faculty and Academic Professional Agreement, frequently referred to simply as “the contract.”

The contract is a legally binding agreement that lays out policies agreed to by PCC administration and PCCFFAP. If you peruse the table of contents, you’ll see that it also includes provisions addressing compensation, benefits, absences and leaves, intellectual property rights, and even parking! The contract also outlines the grievance procedure—a process for resolving disputes between management and PCCFFAP members over interpretation of the contract and in the event of employee discipline or termination.

Why is collective bargaining important for PCCFFAP members?

Most PCC employees do not have the knowledge, skills, or time—let alone the power—to negotiate the terms of their employment beyond the initial salary placement, especially when state legislatures in Oregon and throughout the country are trying to balance their budgets on the backs of public employees. Collective bargaining provides FFAP members with a powerful collective voice to demand fair wages, benefits, and working conditions at PCC, and protection to do so without fear of retaliation.

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.

Coming soon:

What topics can employees bargain over?

What happens when management and FFAP can’t reach an agreement?

PCCFFAP 2019 Bargaining Team
Name Email FFAP Title PCC Title
Frank Goulard frank.goulard@pccffap.org President PT Math Instructor
Matt Stockton matt.stockton@pccffap.org Executive Vice President FT Philosophy Instructor, FDC PHL/PSY @ SY
Heidi Edwards heidi.edwards@pccffap.org AP Grievance Officer Outreach and Orientation Coordinator (AP)
Shirlee Geiger shirlee.geiger@pccffap.org Majority Faculty (PT) Grievance Officer PT Philosophy Instructor
Emiliano Vega emiliano.vega@pccffap.org FT Faculty Grievance Officer FT Math Instructor
Michelle DuBarry michelle.dubarry@pccffap.org Communications VP Grants Officer (AP)
Vincent Blanco vincent.blanco@pccffap.org Labor Relations Specialist N/A

What Do We Want with That Equal Pay?

PCC administration did not completely accept our proposal for equal pay for equal work for PCC faculty in our 2017 wage re-opener — though it was a happy surprise that they were willing to explore it! And they agreed to add two new pay steps, so that “part-time” faculty will have 11 steps in the 2018-19 year (instead of 9.) This compares to 17 pay steps for “full-time” faculty.

Before agreeing to full pay parity, the administration members of the bargaining team suggested we create a joint Administration/Federation committee to study the issues ahead of the next full bargaining in 2019, with the hope we could work out a next phase of movement toward pay parity in those upcoming sessions.

We need your input to help craft a Federation position. Here is a summary of some of the issues we expect to discuss.

  • Using national data as well as results from past PCC surveys, the Federation estimates that 80% of “full-time” faculty work is instructional and 20% is service to the college and community. This is what the Federation has used to determine what “equal pay for equal work” would mean. “Part-time” instructor pay should be based on 80% of “full-time” pay, divided by teaching load. But is this the right ratio? Over the past 10 to 15 years, faculty have been tasked with additional quasi-administrative tasks, including program review and program assessment. While some funds have been made available to pay “part-time” faculty to participate, it has not been much. Members of the administration have explained that these responsibilities are expected to fall into “full-time” faculty job expectations, without additional pay. Has that  practice changed the allocation of time spent on direct instructional labor for “full-timers”, or has it just added to the number of hours in a “full-time” instructor’s work week? What ratio should we use?

 In previous surveys and conversations with “part-time” instructors at PCC, we identified 3 separate categories of concerns:

  1. Unequal pay for equal work!
  2. No clear career paths – no way for a “part-timer” to move up.
  3.  Marginalization of “part-timers” who often are made to feel they are not welcome as equal participants in SAC tasks, are shut out of many opportunities for professional development, have low representation in faculty governance (compared to our numbers), and have incredible skills and experience that remain under-utilized – foolish, given the current pressures on Higher Ed and a need for “all hands on deck” to meet them. This will be exacerbated with the goals of the YESS initiative.

Should we try to address some of these other concerns along with equal pay? So, for example, would we be willing to agree to equal pay if it came with increased requirements for participation in SAC work, or to serve on various committees? These are complex trade-offs, and the Federation will need your input in deciding what to agree to.

  • Currently, full-time faculty tend to complain that there are no uniform expectations for full-timers to participate in non-instructional work across the district. As a result, a few full-timers tend to do LOTS of committee work, and a larger number tend to do very little. This is increasingly felt to be unfair, and an ongoing source of resentment and bitterness. Our contract specifies that committee work (etc.) is to be delegated by the Division Dean. (See article 5.2). If we change any expectations for “part-time” faculty participation, as part of a move to pay parity, the current inconsistent practice for “full-timers” will come under new pressures. What are the benefits and drawbacks of creating more uniform expectations and enforcement for faculty participation in committees, mentorship, governance, etc?

It is heartening that administrators are willing to talk in detail about what pay parity would mean here at PCC. This is an exciting opportunity! We need to engage as many of our bargaining unit members in thinking about what would be best for each of us, our work relationships, and the students we hope to serve. Will you share your thoughts?

You can leave comments on this blog OR email your ideas to shirlee.geiger@pccffap.org OR frank.goulard@pccffap.org.

THANKS for all you do for all our students!