Show your Support during Bargaining!

President's MessageDear Colleagues:

I am writing with a reminder that this Friday, at 9am, the Federation invites members to attend an open bargaining session at CLIMB. Our agenda includes issues pertinent to both FT and PT faculty, although APs are always welcome to observe as well. Please click here to sign up.

If you are not able to make it to the bargaining session, you can still show your support by buttoning up! Displaying supportive messages on your clothing, bag, or in your workspace will let the administration know that we will not settle for anything less than a fair and reasonable contract.

If you don’t have your buttons yet, stop by the Federation office or reply to this email.

Lastly, the PCCFFAP website has undergone a renovation, and we’ll be posting bargaining updates here as well as member testimonials. I encourage you to read PCC Reference Librarian and PCCFFAP Executive Council member Sara Robertson’s moving account about how union benefits protected her during a health crisis. It’s a good reminder to be grateful for the rights we have won, and to remain vigilant in the face of threats to our livelihoods.

Thank you for all you do. I hope to see you at a bargaining session.

Sincerely,

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

Support your Federation Bargaining Team by “Buttoning Up!”

ffap fce buttonsSupport your Federation bargaining team by “Buttoning Up!” on bargaining days! Buttons can be picked up at the Federation office, SY ST 01, or at any one of the upcoming Membership Meetings being held across PCC in the coming weeks. We can also send you a button via Campus Mail.
Wear your button to show solidarity and support for a fair contract on the following days:
  • Fri, 12. May, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
  • Fri, 26. May, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
  • Tues, 13. June, 1-4p (CLIMB)
  • Fri, 30. June, 9a-3p (CLIMB)
  • Thurs, 06. July, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
  • Tues, 18. July, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
  • Thurs, 27. July, 9a-3p (CLIMB)
  • Fri, 04. Aug, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
  • Fri, 11. Aug, 12-5p (CLIMB)  CANCELLED!!
  • Tues, 22. Aug, 9a-3p (CLIMB)
  • Thurs, 24. Aug, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
In addition to “Buttoning Up!”, you can also show your support by attending any one of the above-named bargaining sessions. Please just let us know ahead of time by RSVP’ing here that you will be attending.

Bridge the Divides in 2017: Take a Colleague to Coffee!

PCCFFAP is excited to announce a new Federation initiative: Take a Colleague to Coffee.

PCC is a huge institution with many divides–between campuses, types of work, and areas of specialization (among others). One of the most important things we can do as a union is bridge those divides. PCCFFAP represents all faculty (PT and FT) and all of our academic professionals.

The more we know about one another, the stronger we are as a college–and as a union. To bring us closer together, PCCFFAP is inviting you to take a colleague out to coffee, tea, or other refreshment. Use a $10 voucher, provided by PCCFFAP (more below) at any campus food service location, learn a little about a colleague–and share with us a little bit about what you learned.

We hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity, described in detail below. And if you want to go out to coffee with one of our union leaders, please write to one of our Executive Council members. We’d love to have coffee with you.

Here’s a simple way to reach out across the divides:

  1. Get a $10 voucher for PCC food service
  2. Invite a colleague out to coffee. For example:
    • Sylvanians take out a SouthEaster
    • Part-Timers invite an Academic Professional
    • Department Chairs invite a colleague from Workforce Development
  3. Ask these three questions of your co-worker:
    • Tell me about your job; what does a typical week look like for you?
    • What’s the best part of your job?
    • What would you change about PCC if you could?
  4. Share a short summary with your federation leaders
  5. Repeat all year and build connections across PCC.

Thanks in advance for reaching out across the divide. We look forward to hearing from you!

Improving on 3-year contracts

The first 3-year contracts were awarded last spring, and the Federation held 8 meetings — 2 on each campus — to gather thoughts and responses on the process from members who either applied or decided not to apply. Representatives from human resources attended at least one meeting on each campus, to listen to what was presented.

Thank you to all who attended, and the many more who emailed in their ideas for inclusion. The following document summarizes what we heard. It was presented in Fall 2016 to administrators in charge of the roll-out of the second set of contracts.

Three-Year Contract (TYC) / Multi-Year Contract (MYC) Feedback Sessions

May-June 2016

Themes (in rough order of how often similar comments were made)

  • Inconsistency in the application process across the district — especially for the same disciplines — feels very unfair and increases distrust.
  • With or without a standardized application process, we heard people say they would like a common hiring rubric, to be shared in advance, to make the process transparent. Many instructors have learned that providing grading rubrics to students decreases anxiety and increases quality, and believe a hiring rubric would work the same way.
  • The positions should be announced earlier, with a longer period to apply
  • Some departments are willing to hire from other campuses, and others are not; this makes uneven opportunities and could push good teachers out
  • Department chairs and deans should be sure to provide affirmations to valued teachers who DON’T get the 3-year contracts and take this as an opportunity to express appreciation

 

Additional comments:

  • There should be more clarity about the parameters of the contract for both faculty and administrators. Here is a quote: “One interview question was about what other things I would contribute to the dept. if I received a contract, and I was somewhat taken aback as I understand that the contract does not mandate that MYC faculty put in additional time on unpaid projects and meetings except for the addition of the two office hours.” Another instructor was told there were new mandatory meetings, which would be uncompensated, but the hours were covered by the new mandated office hours.
  • Instructors reported being told by deans and department chairs that aspects of the contracts were up to the union, and to ask union representatives — only to be told by union leaders that these same aspects were up to administration.

 

 

Responses to first question: How do you think the 3-year contracts will change your connection to PCC?

  • Now I feel like even more of an outsider to the institution
  • I have started to look elsewhere — dept chair told people that after the three-year contracts are awarded, there will likely not be enough classes left for anyone who didn’t get one.
  • Stressing about the application process compromised “my mojo in the classroom.”
  • I have mixed feelings about applying for job they are currently and have been doing — why aren’t the folder full of good evaluations from students AND dept chairs/deans worth anything?
  • These contracts create even more of a “caste system” just at a time when PCC should be fostering more collaboration among faculty
  • Connection to peers and work friends is now strained or has negative change — I hated competing against colleagues I know and value
  • I am a recipient of 3-Year Contract and I am generally pleased with the contract; no negative change in connection at this point.
  • “Tragic results” for a small department
  • Many questions if 3-year contracts can be rescinded (response: no, not until 2019 contract negotiated)
  • “I don’t know who to trust”, or what I can, cannot, or should not say.
  • I received a 3-year contract, and it is the first term working at PCC I won’t have stomach trouble as I check enrollment to see if my classes will fill.
  • This has not changed connection to PCC even though did not receive 3-year contracts, due to feeling that their dept. have good experienced 3-year contract recipients and they are all professional
  • What happened to “students first?”
  • Some instructors talked about or decided “let’s not apply at all” in an effort not to do harm to others in dept.
  • We wish it was clearer to membership what went on in negotiations — that the original proposal from the Executive Council had seniority as a qualifying condition for eligibility
  • I am job hunting now, since it is not clear I can finish career here (after 17 years)
  • My relationship with my chair is disintegrating, and relationships with peers are now rocky
  • It is hard to keep going with students when you don’t get respect or praise from supervisors
  • If I had a contract, I would speak more freely, be more vocal in complaints
  • I like my job, but I don’t like the conditions under which I teach.
  • How can we get administration to see the value of giving 3-year contracts to long time PT?
  • It feels different at different campuses and departments; I feel appreciated at SYL, but not at SE (although I like the students at SE a lot)
  • It is sad that there is a loss of connection among faculty (teaching since 1982), and a sharp drop in morale
  • Chairs are not advocating for teachers

 

 

Answers to second question: Is there something you think Administrators should know as they think about how to continue the implementation of these contracts?

  • Need transparency — if people don’t know what makes an applicant attractive, there is no way to prepare for the application process
  • If I was in charge, I would mandate that chairs or division deans schedule meetings with people who applied and didn’t get a 3-year contract, to talk about how PCC can better support them as professionals.
  • Why don’t we apply the same thing to teachers that we all KNOW works to keep students motivated? We know what works… and it isn’t rejection, with no explanation of how to improve.
  • No seniority? Only 1 year teaching at PCC?
  • Each campus, departments had different process, need to have equitable processes
  • Short turn around, details announced via email March 11th, due April 1st (during finals, grading, spring “break”?, prep and start of next term); could be why lots of good teachers didn’t even apply
  • The complicated process is supposed to be so “best teachers are in the classroom” — but without understanding the decision making process, it feels like a kind of favoritism.
  • Took too long to learn of decision
  • Would rather authentic class observations, rather than fake class demos
  • Dismayed that faculty from other campuses were hired
  • “Domino effect” as a result of those hired from other campuses; individuals not getting any classes at their campus now, some essentially “laid off”
  • Say what you want and “stick with the criteria”
  • ***Question in process regarding: “Are you?: Under 40, Over 40, Decline to Answer”*** Important note: Can that question be asked?  Department and campus known.
  • When there is new administration, dean, etc, how does that impact the process, decisions, etc?
  • Transparency: “How many people applied” per dept, campus?
    • Did they all meet the criteria? If so, then how are 3-year contracts decided?  Any consideration to seniority?

 

Process variations:

  • Based only on cover letter and resume/CV
  • Included student or course evaluations
  • No in-person interview, only phone interview + no teaching demo

 

Didn’t apply because:

  • Need the summer off for other work commitments
  • Close to retirement
  • Didn’t want to compete with others
  • Shouldn’t have to do apply for the job they already do

 

Assignment Rights:

  • Dept couldn’t find completed paperwork for assignment rights.

 

Benefits:

  • As 3-year contract recipient, happy to finally have consistent health-care to cover self and family (rather than pay open market health insurance at $5000/yr
    • Would like to have college authorize opportunities that come through the Affordable Care Act for public service and education, such as discount on student loans for self and dependents

 

Quotes:

  • “I should feel good about getting one (3-year contract), but I don’t. I now will likely work 14 hour days (a split shift).
  • 3-year contract recipient felt like “I had to do a dog and pony show” even though committee knows what this specific faculty member does and does it well.
  • “Fallout of this process is tremendous…has led to unintended outcomes.”
  • Sends the message that “some are more valued than others.”
  • “We need to feel hopeful”, but there are not enough 3-year contracts for everyone.
  • Felt like it was about “who can write the best cover letter.”
  • “I am totally committed to teaching. This is what I do.”
  • “Now I need to change hours to allow our new 3-year contract recipient to teach elsewhere at a different college as well.”
  • 3-year contract recipient who is also self-employed: “Administrator asked, ‘How will you handle your multiple jobs?’ Recipient of 3-year contract stated, ‘I’ve been doing it all this time.’”
  • “Is this really addressing the needs and concerns of PT faculty and membership?”
  • “I don’t want to take a class that someone else is good at (or has specialty) in.”

 

(We also asked a question about struggling with demoralization, but will not be sharing those responses with administration.)

PT Ally awards!

Winners of the “part-time” ally awards, 2016

Academic Professional: Heidi Edwards.

Heidi envisioned the first “adjunct awareness week,” designed the 76% buttons, participated in 6 of the 8 TLC meetings to debrief the roll out of the first 100 3-year-contracts, and represented PCC at the international conference of the Coalition for Contingent Academic Labor this summer.

Administrator: Alyson Lighthart

Alyson serves as a division dean at Cascade. While still new in her position, she joined the EAC task force to study the “part-time” faculty experience at PCC, and gave unwavering support as the report slowly moved through PCC process and channels.

Full-time Instructor: Ed DeGrauw

 Ed served as an elected Federation officer until this Spring and as a parting project he took the lead in conversations with administration about their recent enforcement of a cap on tutor hours — an action with horrific impact on many long time “part-time” instructors. Thanks to Ed’s smart and persistent work, the administration agreed to raise the cap by 5 hours. Current officers are continuing his lead, with a focus on the legal basis for the caps.

Winners of the “part-time” ally awards, 2015

Academic Professional: Peter Seaman and Roberto Suarez
Administrator: Kendra Cawley
Full-time Instructor: Michele Marden and Nick Hengen-Fox
Special award: Sylvia Gray and the Project ACCEPT task force

Why the awards?
At PCC, “part-time” (job insecure) instructors experience their “place” in the academic caste system through a myriad of differences in their work lives compared to “full-time” colleagues. For example:

* Some people can speak their minds without concern they will lose their jobs, while others walk on eggshells around colleagues, reasonably anxious about what stray comment could mark the end to their precarious work-life at PCC.

* Some people collect regular and predictable paychecks, while others have to figure out how to get through a “paycheck drought” — without e en knowing if the classes scheduled for the next term will  go, to provide an income on the other side of the drought.

* Some people know where their desk will be at a campus they have worked at for years, while others have their desks, phone numbers and mailboxes move around in strange and unpredictable ways.

With these awards, we recognize and express appreciation for the creativity and sensitivity of “full-time” colleagues, Academic Professionals, and administrators who work to make the irrationality and unfairness of this caste system visible, and who contribute to undermining or mitigating the damage it causes.

 

The First 3-Year Contract process — how did it go?

107 “part-time” faculty received the first group of 3-Year Contracts (3YCs). A list  of recipients was sent out via MyPCC email by Federation president, Frank Goulard. These are renewable 3-year contracts, September 2016 – August 2019.
The average length of PCC teaching experience was 11.2 years.
There will be two additional groups of 100 three-year contracts awarded, to be offered in each of the next two springs.
Now that the first 3-year contracts have been awarded, we are interested in hearing  about your experience applying for them. Please come to the TLC to:
  • talk about the experience, and
  • discuss research on workplace demoralization.
Administrators will receive a summary document but will not be invited, so we can speak freely.

All meetings will take place in the TLCs.

SE: Tuesday May 312-3pm, and Wednesday June 12-3pm
SY: Tuesday May 31 11:30-12:30pm, and Thursday June 23:30-4:30pm
CA: Wednesday June 82-3pm, and Thursday June 94-5pm
RC: Wednesday June 811-12Noon, and Thursday June 910-11am

If you are unable to attend, but would like your comments to be included in the summary document, please email Shirlee Geiger at shirlee.geiger@pccffap.org

 

3 year contracts?

During finals week of Winter Quarter 2016, your federation held Q&A sessions at all four PCC campuses to talk about Multi-Year Contracts (MYCs). Below are the questions that came up repeatedly–and some answers. We have posted them here to support PT faculty in considering this new option for job security. But we are also available for more Qs & As. Please contact: PT grievance officer Shirlee Geiger (shirlee.geiger@pccffap.org) or PCCFFAP President Frank Goulard (frank.goulard@pccffap.org) with further questions.

 

Federation FAQs for MYCs

Q: I have assignment rights, but now I am told they are being suspended for the 2015-19 contract. Why did the Federation agree to suspend assignment rights?

A: Assignment Rights are still in effect across the district, with just a few caveats. Assignment rights can only be ended by a majority of our membership voting to ratify a contract that ends them.

Assignment rights date back to 1990, and have been the only kind of job security part-time faculty have had until this contract. They were a great innovation in 1990, but we are moving toward a time when even the minimal kind of guarantee they offer — to be assigned one class each term — will be undermined. Out of the approximately 1100 part-time faculty teaching in 2015-16, over 500 have earned assignment rights. In some departments most or nearly all part-time instructors have earned assignment rights. In a time of declining enrollment, not all assignment rights holders could get as many classes as they had previously, and honoring just the one class minimum was having the unintended effect of making everyone ineligible for health insurance coverage.

The 3-year MYCs guarantee employment at least at the same level as the minimum to become eligible for health insurance– 1.5 fte annually. (The same as 6 four-credit hour lecture classes in 12 months, fall through summer.) In those departments that get 3-year contracts, assignment rights will still guarantee an assignment of at least one class. But the “priority consideration” for assignments in addition will go to the 3-year contract holders. In departments where no 3-year contracts are created, assignment rights will remain in effect, unchanged.

***

Q: Can I apply for assignment Rights now?

A: No new assignment rights will be granted during this pilot. And the agreement was that in the next contract (in 2019), we will decide on one or the other form of job security — a return to assignment rights OR maintaining (and perhaps expanding) 3-year contracts. But administration has made clear that only one system of job security for part-time faculty is acceptable to them.

***

Q: I have really good relations with the other adjuncts who teach in my department. I don’t like the way we will have to compete against each other for the 3-year-contracts. Why jeopardize our good work relationships this way?

A: Good working relations among part-time colleagues is one of the things part-time instructors consistently report as a bright spot of their jobs. There are a couple of considerations that suggest the 3-year contracts disruption should be minimal. First, the 3-year contracts can’t go to anyone outside PCC — they can only go to instructors who have been here at least one year and have had an assessment.  They are most likely to go to the most experienced part-time faculty. Looking at the numbers, 684 instructors were offered health insurance in 2015-2106, and the average annual teaching load for those people was 2.24 fte. This means that a guarantee of 1.5 fte to 100 of those instructors should not take classes away from other instructors in those disciplines.

Additionally, the deans of instruction built in another kind of safeguard against wrenching relationships. They decided on the distribution of the first 100 3-year contracts across the district by looking at high-enrollment departments, with a high ratio of part-time to full-time faculty. But they also looked for where they could create a 3-year contract without displacing part-time faculty who do not get one of the new contracts in this round.

***

Q: I understand that I can apply for 3-year-contracts at multiple campuses. But even though there are several jobs open in my discipline, each campus wants something different. Why can’t there be one uniform application process?

A: During negotiations, Deans of Instruction and Division Deans (who are ultimately responsible for hiring) argued that PCC is a really big district, with different needs in different places. In order to get support, they had to safeguard flexibility in the hiring process. A careful match between instructor skills and class needs is also a way of being able to guarantee employment into the future.

***

Q: If someone gets a 3-year contract, and it guarantees employment for (at least) the 1.5 FTE level, what happens if one of the assigned classes doesn’t have adequate enrollment? Will the 3-year-contract instructor have to bump another PT instructor?

A: The current plan is to front-load the class assignments into Fall and Winter terms, so that if a class is cancelled there, it can be made up in Spring or Summer terms. Additionally, there is an agreement to count non-instructional work toward health insurance eligibility, as an additional safeguard. As an absolute last resort, if neither of these options work, the 1.5 minimum fte could be made by bumping another part-time instructor. But the understanding is that department chairs and deans will work to avoid this.

***

Q: I have assignment rights at two campuses. If I accept an MYC at one campus, does that mean I have to give up teaching (and assignment rights) at the other campus?

A:  If someone takes a 3-year contract at one campus, they can still teach at another campus, as long as they stay under the maximum PT Faculty workload limit. If enrollment drops at the 3-year contract campus, the obligation is to first meet Full-time workloads, and then second to meet 3-year contract obligations. Next in line for assignments are Part-time instructors with Assignment Rights (to get one class). Last to be considered would be Part-time instructors without Assignment Rights.

***

Q: You are granted a 3-year contract, and you teach for three years. Then what? Do you have to reapply? Is it like full-time temporary jobs and department chairs who want to share them around?

A: The contracts are designed to be renewed, absent performance issues. The only other reason a 3-year contract would not be renewed is a dramatic shift in enrollment. While these are not the same as tenure/continuous appointment positions, they offer a reason for instructors to stay at PCC, make connections, learn how to navigate the college’s many sub-systems, and continue to learn and grow as professionals. The ultimate beneficiaries of this new kind of administrative respect for and commitment to PCC educators will be our students.

How can we help PCC students achieve their dreams?

Today the American association of Colleges and Universities unveiled a new report compiling discoveries by the institutions who have succeeded with the Achieving the Dream initiative. Not surprisingly, they note that high performing institutions have faculty and staff who understand and are engaged with the component programs of the initiative.

 Tucked into the report as an obstacle to effectiveness is this gem:

The majority of faculty members are in part-time adjunct positions. This often means they have multiple jobs at different colleges and are faced with competing priorities, low pay and workplace support, and no guarantee that they will be hired at the same college the next semester. These conditions not only result in detachment from the college’s vision and priorities, they also prevent those who are eager to get involved from doing so.

Perhaps with the new contract’s $300,000 to pay for “part-time” faculty involvement with college initiatives, along with the new form of job security provided by multi-year contracts, instructors eager to become involved in collaboration around student success at PCC will have fewer blocks to doing so..

The History of our Mixed Local

PCCFFAP is composed of three classes of employees — Academic Professionals, Full-Time (or job-secure) Instructors, and “Part-Time” (or job-insecure) Instructors.

How did people in all three job categories come to be in the same bargaining unit? An interesting story can be told…. To find out, go to: Best Practices for Assuring the Rights of Part-Time Faculty Within Unions.