Bargaining Continues: Budget Updates and August Meeting Dates

Will Mahoney-Watson, Acting VP of Communications, guest-writes this bargaining update.

Dear Colleagues:

Your FFAP/FCE bargaining team met with the administration team this week on Thursday, July 6th at the CLIMB Center. There were no new items on the agenda. New meeting dates were agreed upon for August 4th, 9am-noon, Aug. 11th, 12-3pm and Aug 22nd, 9am-noon.

The administration team presented revised cost estimates of the Federation proposals. Although we can quibble about the numbers, this fact remains: Admin and the Federations are far apart at this point. Admin claims that the Federations’ proposed costs are far higher than their budget will allow.

The final budget figures from the state will soon be released, and then the real negotiations can begin. The PCC Board will also decide if it’s going to roll back the proposed 2018-19 tuition increase it had previously approved.

Admin is asking us to prioritize our requests and our priority is to maximize the impact of the available dollars, while still supporting as many of the proposals as we can. The team will be meeting prior to the next session to evaluate, maximize and prioritize the impact of the proposals prior to the next negotiation session.

Your FFAP/FCE bargaining team has put four main proposals on the bargaining table:

  1. A 4% cost-of-living allowance (COLA) per year for all employee classes;
  2. New top step for all employee classes (and eliminate the bottom step);
  3. Increase the number of steps (from 9 to 17) for PT faculty and increase the equivalent pay rate to 80% of FT faculty.
  4. Various reductions to out-of-pocket health insurance costs.

There are also other minor (cost-wise) proposals which we anticipate will have a high dollar to impact ratio, including expanding and extending Classified early retirement.

The Federations commended the Admin team’s decision to allow a few observers to attend the meeting, even though the number of observers had not been properly submitted in advance due to the holiday weekend.

The Administration also needs to prioritize its budget spending. It needs to remember that students come to PCC for the people, not the facilities or the managers. The instructors, advisers, counselors, public-safety officers, custodians, food service staff and many other employees are the face of PCC to the students. We need support and incentives to do our jobs well to ensure student success.

Our next negotiation session is Tuesday, July 18th at 9am at CLIMB. We need as many observers as possible to put some pressure on the Admin team!

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Sign up to attend the next bargaining session! (The deadline to sign up for the July 18th meeting is Wed. July 12th)
  2. Please Button up!
  3. Spread the word to your colleagues!

Yours in solidarity,

Will Mahoney-Watson
Acting VP of Communications, on behalf of your bargaining team
(Frank Goulard, Allison Gross, Peter Seaman, Michael Cannarella, Shirlee Geiger, Jeff Grider, Cherie Maas-Anderson, Elisabeth Garcia Davidson)

 

Bargaining continues: Admin team Presents Cost Estimates

President's Message

Dear Colleagues:

Peter Seaman, AP rep on the bargaining team, guest-writes this bargaining update.

Your FFAP/FCE bargaining team met with the administration team this week on Tuesday, June 13th, at the CLIMB Center. There were two big developments at this meeting:

  1. The administration team presented cost estimates.

  2. Federation members turned out in force to support the bargaining team!

You may recall from the last bargaining update that your FFAP/FCE bargaining team had put three main proposals on the bargaining table:

  1. A 4% cost-of-living allowance (COLA) for all employee classes;

  2. New top step for all employee classes and eliminate the bottom step;

  3. Increase the number of steps for PT faculty from 9 to 17, to match FT faculty.

At the June 13th bargaining session, the administration team presented their estimate of the cost of each of these proposals, along with cost estimates for a few other proposals we had put forward (health-care cap, PT health-care fund, and classified early retirement). The admin estimates seemed high, but after some questioning they offered to share all of their spreadsheets so we can examine the formulas and data.

The administration team also shared (actually re-shared) their picture of the 2017-19 budget. What they seem to be telling us is that there is no money to fund the proposals we have put forward, but we continue to believe that the money can be found. For example, the budget shows $1.5 million for the district president’s priorities (as yet undefined) and $2 million to maintain college buildings – *above* what has been spent in the past. We believe that your pay and benefits are at least as important as the priorities that are being put forth – especially in the booming Portland economy, where the cost of living continues to skyrocket.

The most wonderful thing about bargaining on June 13th – and that word “wonderful” doesn’t often appear in the same sentence as “bargaining” – was seeing over 30 FFAP and FCE members who turned out and sat behind our team during bargaining! I know it made an impression on the admin team, who couldn’t help but noticing our strength and our resolve. I can’t tell you how much stronger I felt during bargaining, just knowing that so many colleagues were literally backing me up.

Let’s continue to turn out and put pressure on the administration for a fair settlement!

We need even more members to turn out for the next bargaining session, which will be on June 30th at 9am at CLIMB. Here are three things you can do:

  1. Please Button up!

  2. Sign up to attend the next bargaining session!

  3. Spread the word to your colleagues!

Yours in solidarity,

Peter Seaman, on behalf of your bargaining team (Frank Goulard, Allison Gross, Peter Seaman, Michael Cannarella, Shirlee Geiger, Jeff Grider, Cherie Maas-Anderson, Elisabeth Davidson)

PCC Admin Proposes Pay Reductions, COLA Freeze

President's Message

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing with an update from the recent wage and benefits contract-reopener meeting. Last Friday, PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals (PCCFFAP), along with our counterparts in the Federation of Classified Employees (PCCFCE) presented three proposals, including:

  • A 4% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for all employee classes (FT Faculty, PT Faculty, AP and Classified) in each of the next two years (2017-18 and 2018-19) This would help members who are struggling with the skyrocketing cost of housing in our district, among other things.

  • Add a new top step for all employee classes, and delete the bottom step. Approximately 25% of our members are at the top step and are no longer eligible for annual step increases. A new top step would reward these members for their many years of service.

  • Increase the number of steps for PT Faculty from nine to 17. This would increase parity for PT faculty who perform the same instructional work but are paid far less than their FT faculty counterparts. Our proposal would increase the number of hours between steps (from 400 to 500) but it would also make it possible for PT faculty who have accumulated at least 8000 contact hours at the proposed top step 17, to earn $1,500 per lecture hour. The current pay scale tops out at $970 per lecture hour..

Administration came back with a proposal of their own:

  • No COLA for any employee class; instead a 1% salary reduction.

  • The normal annual step increases for those on steps.

  • Individuals at the top step, who do not move a step anymore, would therefore receive a 1% pay reduction.

Obviously, the two sides are far apart! This is why it’s more important than ever for YOU – our members – to get active! Button up! Attend an open bargaining session! Spread the word to your colleagues! We need you to show solidarity with the bargaining team who is on the front line fighting against these unreasonable salary reductions.

Lastly, I’d like to thank the members who came to observe the bargaining session last Friday. We appreciated your thoughtful input and your presence sends a strong message to administration that we demand nothing less than a fair and reasonable contract.

Please reach out if you have any questions.

In solidarity,

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

PCC’s Recent Budget Update

President's MessageDear Colleagues:

As PCC faces challenges to balance its 2017-19 budget, you should know that your Federation bargaining team is fighting on your behalf to preserve – and improve – your existing workplace pay, benefits, and conditions. It’s worth noting that without a strong union, PCC administrators could impose budget restrictions however they chose.

As I said in my last message, we believe there are budgetary funds for a fair and reasonable settlement on pay and benefits. Please keep this position in mind if you choose to attend a budget forum.

The more active members we have, the stronger our position. So if you haven’t signed your membership card, please activate it now. And sign up to attend an open bargaining session so that you can have a front row seat to negotiations. The next bargaining session is this Friday, May 26 from 9am-noon at CLIMB. The tentative agenda is as follows:

  • Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)
  • Health Insurance
  • Top Step
  • PT Faculty Pay Equity

You can sign up here to attend. I hope to see some of you there.

Together we are stronger!

In solidarity,

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

Bargaining Update

President's Message

Dear Colleagues:

Last Friday, your federation bargaining team met with administration for the second negotiating session of the contract reopener. We put forward several proposals, including:

  • Increasing stipends for PT faculty non-instructional work

  • Changes to the compensation formula for Faculty Department Chairs in counseling and CTE

  • Increasing the health insurance trust for PT faculty

It is early in the process, so no agreements have been reached on these issues, although we did agree to ground rules that safeguard the free speech rights of our members. Larger topics such as COLA will be discussed at future meetings. As a reminder, you can click here to sign up to observe a bargaining session! The next sessions are planned for:

  • May 26   9am-12pm

  • June 13 1pm-4pm

  • June 30 9am-3pm

  • July 6 9am-12pm

  • July 18 9am-12pm

  • July 27 9am-3pm

As always, please reach out with any questions.

In solidarity,

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

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)
  • Monday, September 11 9am-2pm
  • Wednesday, September 13 9am-pm
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.)