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..

Project ACCEPT proposal passes in the Educational Advisory Council (EAC)

A hugely important step has just been taken by the EAC — an advisory committee made up of faculty, APs, and administrators from around the college. This is the main avenue for faculty members to participate in the governance process.

By a large margin, the members of the EAC voted on 12/9 to adopt the recommendations of the Task force on work place climate for “part-time” instructors. The vote at the EAC meeting was 27 in favor, 3 opposed, 2 abstentions. (Some members are administrators, and they were among the nay and abstain votes.)

The vote was put on hold at the insistence of the administration (and their lawyer) while we were in negotiations for a new contract. But the heroic chair — Sylvia Gray, long-time PT instructor in history before finally getting a FT slot — put the recommendations on the agenda of the EAC, month after month, symbolically letting the college administration know that the concerns were not going away. The report and recommendations are both of exceptionally high quality — well researched, clearly stated, and deeply thoughtful. The process took a long time, and many of the individuals who worked long and hard on the project are no longer with PCC.

The recommendations now go to Sylvia Kelley as interim District President. In a meeting at Cascade, she said she did not think that important initiatives at the college — like moving on the Completion Investment Council — would have to wait until there is a new District President. (1) We can hope that she will see these recommendations as among the important college initiatives.

If you haven’t looked the report, we recommend it as holiday reading. There are three “best practice” examples described there, and they are helping to guide the vision of our Federation bargaining team.

A basic principle of social justice is that as soon as enough people understand that the oppressive conditions that structure their lives are NOT inevitable — that a  better world is possible — the status quo becomes intolerable. Looking at how other, comparable institutions have created ways to overcome the faculty caste system — impeding both the joy in teaching AND fully effective student learning — makes it clear that we do not have to simply adapt to the workplace structures at PCC. We can do better!

(1) as heard by Shirlee Geiger in the CA TLC 12/7/2015

Contract is Ratified

President's MessageColleagues,

I am writing to share results of the vote on the PCC Faculty/AP 2015-2019 contract (collective bargaining agreement). They are as follows:

  • 390 (80.4%) yes (to ratify the contract)
  • 95 (19.6%) no (not to ratify the contract)

The next step is for the PCC board to vote to ratify the contract at their next meeting, which will take place Thursday, November 19. Upon the board’s ratification, the contract will go into effect covering the period from September 1, 2015 – August 31, 2019. The 2015-16 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) will be applied retroactively to September 1, and should appear in your December paycheck. The new college contribution to the monthly health insurance cap will be effective in December.

Thank you for the robust vote turnout! I appreciate all of the interest, questions, and involvement throughout the negotiations process. Let’s also keep in mind that planning for the next contract negotiations begins now! There will be a re-opener in 2017 to focus on economic issues, and we will negotiate a new contract in 2019. The federation is exploring the possibility of creating a Bargaining Committee which would be open to all federation members. Stay tuned for more news on that and other ways you can get involved and make your voice heard on issues that are important to PCC Faculty and APs.

In the meantime, we welcome your constructive feedback, both positive and critical, as we go forward under the new contract. Whether it is through our campus meetings, work group gatherings, or other involvement, please stay in touch, as we will with you.

Have a good rest of fall term and enjoy the upcoming holidays.

Thanks again for your support,

Frank Goulard
PCCFFAP President

Ballots are in the Mail!

from our negotiating team:

Ballots to vote on the Tentative Agreement were mailed on October 28 to your home addresses. Please read the following changes, consider, discuss, and ask questions of me (or the executive council) if you have any. Ballots must be returned with either a yes or no vote by November 12 to be counted.                                                              

A majority “yes” vote would result in the contract being sent to the PCC Board for their administrative vote to ratify at their November 19 meeting.

A majority “no” vote would send the teams back to the bargaining table. If progress is not made at the table, then mediation would be requested from the state Employment Relations Board. A mediator likely would be assigned and available in late winter term 2016.

Here is their summary of the Tentative Agreement reached between the administration and union bargaining teams:

PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals

Summary of Tentative Agreement: September 2015 – August 2019 Contract

Dear Federation Members:

Ballots to vote on the Tentative Agreement were mailed on October 28 to your home addresses. Please read the following changes, consider, discuss, and ask questions of me (or the executive council) if you have any. Ballots must be returned with either a yes or no vote by November 12 to be counted.                                                              

A majority “yes” vote would result in the contract being sent to the PCC Board for their administrative vote to ratify at their November 19 meeting.

A majority “no” vote would send the teams back to the bargaining table. If progress is not made at the table, then mediation would be requested from the state Employment Relations Board. A mediator likely would be assigned and available in late winter term 2016.

INFORMATION THAT RELATES TO ALL JOB CLASSES IN OUR UNION

Salary schedule (cost of living adjustment “COLA”) Increases

FT Faculty and AP

2015-16: 1.5% retroactive to September 2015

2016-17: 1.5%

Includes Appendix D (curriculum development, special projects, and Faculty Dept Chair hrs)

PT Faculty

2015-16: 2% retroactive to September 2015

2016-17: 2%

One time lump-sum stipend for employees at the top step:

FT Faculty and AP

●      3% total

●      split (1.5% yearly) between Fall 2015 and Fall 2016

PT Faculty

●      3% total

●      split (1.5% yearly) between Fall 2015 and Fall 2016

Steps

There are no alterations to steps in the new contract. Those on steps advanced on Oct.1 (FT Faculty and APs) and Oct. 9 (PT Faculty).

One-time funding for Professional Development ($300,000)

One-time Funding for Compensation of Part-Time Faculty for non-instructional work: ($300,000)

Funding for new FT Faculty positions ($300,000).  This funding will be ongoing.

Benefits

“Cap” is the monthly amount PCC contributes to an individual’s health insurance premium.

2015-16 Cap: Increases 4%; Self $702, Self+Spouse/DomesticPartner $1,286, Self+Child(ren) $1,196,

Family $1,516. The PT faculty cap is 65% of $702, or $456.30.

2016-17 Cap: Increases 4%

Health Insurance Trust Fund

Increases from $34,800/yr to $36,000/yr. (Article 16)

Parental Leave

Historically, PCC has not provided paid parental leave. With this new contract, the college will provide up to two weeks parental leave with pay to match up to two weeks employee sick leave with pay.

The remainder of the document is broken up by job classes: AP, All Faculty, PT Faculty, and FT Faculty. Contract language which has been deleted is in brackets and italicized. New language is bold.

  1. ACADEMIC PROFESSIONALS

A number of changes will be made for Academic Professionals, which are summarized in this document. Items include the definition of APs, interview rights for APs on layoff status, and career/professional development.

  1. ALL FACULTY

Professional Duties (Article 5)

5.31     Be responsible for guiding assigned students in meeting their respective educational goals, exercising professional judgment based upon [adequate professional] the instructor’s knowledge of the subject matter, needs of the individual students, teaching [strategy] strategies of the instructional modality, inter-personal relationships and teaching theory.

ARTICLE 7 – Faculty and Academic Professional Assessment

7.13 (new) For instructors teaching in both online and face-to-face modalities, assessment will include both.

Student Evaluations (Article 7.5)

General.  The purposes of student evaluations are to provide the faculty member with constructive feedback concerning job performance; and to assure excellence in the delivery of service.  Accordingly, employees will have access to student evaluations of their sections taught.

7.51     All Full-time and Part-time Faculty will conduct student evaluations for each section taught using a College-approved evaluation tool.  The results of the student evaluations will be available to the Faculty member.

7.511   Part-time Faculty.

7.5111   The results of the student evaluations for Part-Time Faculty may be reviewed by the Faculty Department Chair, a designated Faculty member, or the Division Dean/Administrative Supervisor.  Student evaluations may be used as one of multiple methods per Article 7.28.

6.232   Instructional assignments will be made based on student and program needs, [the size of available classrooms,] the qualifications of the Instructor, the teaching modality and, insofar as possible, the interests of the Instructor.  The individual Instructor’s preference shall be taken under advisement in making teaching assignments, provided the Instructor’s timely requests are made in writing to the Division Dean.  Notification of actual teaching assignments will be given two weeks after the class schedule is finalized.  However, this does not preclude changes in the class schedule due to circumstances such as class cancellation and the addition of new classes. If the faculty member is assigned an online course and has not taught online at PCC, the Instructor is required to successfully complete training prior to teaching online.  For part-time faculty, training  compensation will be based on a stipend tied to the special projects rate.  Compensation for full-time faculty will be paid when the training is completed outside of the normal work week.

DISTANCE LEARNING

Language from the Distance Learning MOU on p89-93 of the 2011-2015 contract has been either deleted, condensed, or integrated into the tentative agreement. Included in the deletions was item 8 on p91, the handling of excess enrollment in a DL section. There will no longer be overage pay for enrolling students above the maximum norm for the DL section.

6.243   Course Development or Revisions for Distance Education

[The parties recognize the evolving nature of distance education and technologies which support it.  In order to maintain flexibility as this evolution continues, the parties agree to provide significant latitude to Instructors (whether full-time or part-time), Division Deans and the College Distance Education Department to develop individual agreements which meet the needs of all three.] 

The selection of courses and programs (certificate or degree) for distance delivery is the responsibility of the academic administration of the College in accordance with EAC policy.

Consistent with the EAC policy, the appropriate SAC reviews all proposals for new distance education courses and makes recommendations regarding learning activities, techniques and technologies necessary to ensure that SAC approved course outcomes are met.  The Distance Education Department and the sponsoring department work with the SAC and Faculty assigned to develop the course to ensure that SAC recommendations are met.

Developing a course for distance education may involve a wide range of activities depending on factors such as, the extent of original materials, the Instructor’s prior experience with the distance education modality, the media to be used, the nature of the subject matter and other factors.  Courses which are selected for development as a distance education course offering will be produced under a [letter] Letter of [agreement] Agreement (LOA) between the Instructor, the Division Dean and the College Distance Education Department. The LOA shall include any agreed upon support such as compensation or release time.  When compensation is approved, major revisions will be compensated up to 50% of course pay and new development up to 100% of course pay based on the work to be performed.  Full stipend is tied to the PT faculty step 1 rate for lecture.

Agreements for courses being developed for the first time or undergoing major revision will be reviewed in accordance with College standards for online course design prior to being offered. A LOA for multiple terms shall not prevent the College from terminating the agreement in the event of unsatisfactory performance.

[The letter of agreement may cover a period of multiple terms including initial terms of teaching, evaluating and revising the course.

To facilitate agreement and mutual understanding of the variables which need to be considered in reaching the above agreements, the parties have agreed to the Memorandum of Understanding which is reproduced in the back of this Agreement.]

5.6       Counselors, consistent with the requirements and standards of the department and the qualifications of the individual Counselor, shall:

5.61    Be responsible for counseling and guiding any assigned or requesting students and special program students in meeting their respective educational, personal, social and vocational goals, using judgment consistent with standards of the appropriate professional association, licensing board, and state and federal guidelines [American Counseling Association], and based upon adequate knowledge of counseling practices, methods, techniques, interpersonal relationships and community resources.  This may include[s] providing registration, advising and guidance assistance to students.

  1. PART TIME FACULTY

PT Faculty compensation for cancelled classes (Art 18.13)

When Management cancels a class or work assignment, the Faculty shall be paid at the contract rate for all classes that met or days that were worked prior to the cancellation.  If the notice of class cancellation is issued less than five [three] working days before the first class meeting, the part-time Faculty shall be paid for contact hours scheduled for the first class session.

Part-Time Employment in Multiple Positions (new, will be Article 18.62)

A part-time employee who qualifies for health insurance coverage based on employment in another employee category (e.g. Academic Professional) who also qualifies for medical insurance coverage based on part-time faculty employment will receive the flat monthly contribution identified in 18.61(E) in addition to the cap applicable to their other qualifying employment to a maximum of the applicable cap for full-time Academic Professional employees toward the cost of health insurance premiums.

Assignment Rights

4.13    Counselors, Librarians and Tutors: Faculty who have worked six hours or more per week for a full term in nine out of the previous twelve terms for the same department, at the same campus, shall have assignment rights to six hours per week for one term, provided the work is available, in the same department, at the same campus, unless not assigned under one of the exceptions listed under Article 23 – Non-renewal or Article 22 –  Discipline and Dismissal. Earning and application of assignment rights for Librarians employed by the District Library will include all libraries within that department.

4.4         Annual Assignment

4.41 Faculty with assignment rights will be given annual assignments provided sufficient courses for which they are qualified are planned.  Faculty who desire an annual assignment must notify Management in writing by February 1.  They will be notified in writing by the last day of class Spring term of each year of the following year’s assignment.  The notices will include the courses to be taught or work to be done, and will be authorized by the supervisor.  Faculty shall reply in writing to the supervisor within ten business days indicating whether or not they will accept the assignment.  Failure to respond will result in forfeit of the annual assignment [cancellation of assignment rights].

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Part-time Faculty Teaching Limit and Workload Exception

In accordance with Article 4.21, Part-time Faculty will not be assigned to an instructional workload which equals or exceeds .82 FTE college-wide.

As an exception to Article 4.21, Part-time Faculty may be assigned to an instructional workload which equals or exceeds .82 FTE college-wide, provided that the exception does not occur in more than one term per academic year, and does not exceed 1.09 FTE college-wide.

Note: The end date on this PT Faculty Teaching Limit and Workload Exception MOU was extended from August 31, 2015 to now be August 31, 2019.

Multi-Year Contracts (MYCs):

Eligibility:  All current PT faculty who have been employed at least one academic year and have been assessed at least once.

Renewal:  MYC may be renewed or reposted at the discretion of the dean.  Absent performance concerns or changing program needs, the faculty member may expect to be renewed.

Assignment Rights (A/R):  No new A/R while piloting MYC, beginning fall term 2015.  A/R in departments where there are MYCs will continue to be assigned a minimum of one section per term if available. Decisions not to offer one section that are based on performance will follow Article 4.211.  At end of the pilot in 2019: if MYCs continue, they will replace the current A/R system.

Duration:  An MYC is 3 years in duration.

Number:  Minimum of 100 MYCs per year for three years starting in Fall 2016.

Location of MYCs:  Deans and DOIs will develop methodology for determining where MYCs will be placed.  Methodology will be shared for transparency.

Selection Process:  Article 3.64 type process, with a content expert if possible.  Application, assessments, and student feedback considered. Interview and teaching demonstration optional.

Assignments:  MYC is minimum 1.5 FTE per year.  Posted office hours are required (2 hours/week).

Contingency language: An individual MYC may be discontinued at management’s discretion based on budget, enrollment or performance.

Part-time Faculty Assessment

7.23    Second and Third-Year Assessment.  All part-time Faculty members will be assessed during their second and third years of employment.

  1. FULL TIME FACULTY
  • Initial Salary Placement for new full-time hires will change from 1 step for every 3 years full-time experience to 1 step for every 2 years full-time experience (Article 16.12), up to step 3.
  • Joint Labor-Management Committees

We entered into three agreements for Committees, with representatives from the federation and from management, to further study these concerns.

Workload: Ongoing committee to investigate best practices and make recommendations through the CAM to facilitate clarity and consistency throughout the district.  An initial list of issues, including responding to student email, will come out of bargaining.  Thereafter, the work group will receive issues from the CAM.

SAC Best Practices:  Limited duration committee to explore best practices for managing SAC workload.  This group will review practices in place within the high functioning and organized SACs and produce “Best Practices” that can be shared among the SACs.  Once best practices are documented, this work group would cease.

Faculty Department Chair Compensation:  Limited duration committee to review Counselor release time, CTE chair compensation, and the idea of using “number of sections taught by part-time faculty” rather than “number of part-time faculty” in the formula for FDC compensation.  Recommendations will be made to the CAM and once resolved, this work group would cease.

Term of Agreement

4 years (September 1, 2015 – August 31, 2019), with a Reopener in Spring 2017 for the final two years.

Reopener Topics: Wages and Benefits, Parking Fees, AP Classification System (point factor and market based systems)

Sincerely,

Frank Goulard, PCCFFAP President

and the PCCFFAP Negotiation Team: Ed DeGrauw (lead negotiator), Jaime Rodriguez, Corrinne Crawford, Chelsea Kimmett, Minoo Marashi, and Michael Cannarella (Labor Relations Specialist)

October 29, 2015

Negotiations Team Reaches a Tentative Agreement: Dinner on Monday 10/26 for more!!

Posted on Behalf of Frank Goulard:

Faculty and Academic Professional colleagues,
We have a tentative agreement for a four-year contract (2015-2019) with a wages & benefits reopener in 2017! This is contingent on our negotiations team wrapping up with the administration team.

We were able to conclude with quite a few items that will be beneficial for our membership as we go forward. I want to especially thank the members of our bargaining team, who I was alongside with at the table, and very proud of, during this long and intense negotiations process: Ed DeGrauw (lead negotiator), Corrinne Crawford, Minoo Marashi, Jaime Rodriguez, Chelsea Ellertson, and Michael Cannarella (labor relations specialist).

Thank you for your outstanding support and patience during this year! We are still planning our dinner at the Sylvania cafeteria. We will celebrate, provide f2f information, and answer questions. You are still welcome to attend the board meeting and support your team’s efforts, as well as any constructive remarks you may have if you choose to speak to the board.

Thanks again and take care,

Frank Goulard,
President, PCCFFAP

Negotiations Update 10/14 AND CALL TO ACTION

Your negotiations team met with PCC administration on Tuesday, October 13. After we had expressed strong concerns about the last offer, we were hopeful. Yesterday the administration showed us they had the money to settle the contract—accepting our fair proposal—right then and there.

They chose not to.

Administration revealed new data indicating that the college’s anticipated revenue would be $4.5 million more than the amount that was discussed at the last negotiating session – exactly the amount needed to close the gap between the two positions outlined in the table below.

Rather than settle the contract, however, administration proposed adding $3 million to the college’s reserve funds – this on top of the $5 million they have already set aside for the reserve fund in their current proposal. Their only concession on salary and benefits was a small increase in classified employees’ COLA from 1% to 1.5%/yr (at a cost of $500,000), with the remaining $1 million going to faculty and APs to use at our discretion – a one-time lump sum amounting to less than 1% of our combined salaries.

So, despite an additional $4.5 million in anticipated revenue, the administration’s position on faculty and AP COLA remains unchanged at 1%.  No money for professional development, no compensation for PT faculty non-instructional work, no additional steps, and no new FT faculty positions were proposed.

Given the state’s healthier economic condition, the raises we’ve foregone during the recession, and the volume & quality of work performed, we believe our proposal is fair and reasonable, particularly in light of the record biennial dollar increase in the state’s Community College Support Fund (CCSF).

It’s also worth noting that while administration is denying faculty and APs a fair COLA, they have planned and asked the board to increase the salaries of five cabinet-level executives at the college by 24% – to bring them up to market value – over the next five years.

The table below is a revised summary of the federation and administration positions on the issues at stake:

Issue

Federation position

Admin position

Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)

⇧2.5% for FT Faculty & APs

⇧3% for PT

⇧ 1% for FT & PT

Health insurance cap

⇧ 5%

⇧ 5%

Top Step for Faculty and APs

Add new top step for APs, PT, and FT Faculty

No new top step for anyone

Professional Development

$500,000 per year for FT/PT faculty and APs

 $0

Compensation for PT faculty for college work outside of teaching (committees, etc.)

$500,000 per year

$0

New FT faculty positions

100 new FT faculty positions funded as a strategic initiative

0 new FT faculty positions

Estimated total Cost to PCC

$22.5 Million

$18 Million

These two proposals are $4.5 million apart. That is precisely the same number that the administration’s team announced they had found since our last bargaining session. We could be done with this negotiation.

Instead, we were told that this new $4.5 million would mostly be put to other uses. Same with another $5 million which when “put to other uses” adds to PCC’s $17 million ending fund balance. Same with another $4 million when “put to other uses” is for unspecified strategic initiatives. Same with another $29 million, which is in PCC’s PERS bond reserve fund that must be spent by 2027 (at the average rate of $3 million/yr).

At the end of our last session, we were not far apart: only 1%, of the general fund budget. It is extremely frustrating that administration is not willing to bargain in light of all of the above conditions to reach a fair and reasonable contract settlement as has customarily been the case at PCC. Our employees and our students deserve better.

We need your support now more than ever. If you haven’t already, please mark your calendars for the next PCC Board Meeting: Monday, October 26 at Sylvania CC Conference Rooms A&B. We’ll provide food & drink in the Sylvania Cafeteria starting at 6pm, followed by the 7:30 Board meeting. In the coming days, you will receive more information from us about specific ways you can help us make a strong case to the board. In the meantime, please plan on attending, and bring a colleague or two!

We are close to settling this contract. But we need your support to help us ensure a settlement worthy of our dedicated faculty and APs. We hope to see you all at the Board meeting! Thank you.

Negotiations Update, October 7, 2015

from Ed Degrauw and the negotiations team

In the last nine months, your negotiations team has made some significant changes to help our members. You’ve heard about those in previous updates. But as we moved into discussing the economic package in the last few weeks, we have hit a very serious roadblock.

Last week, the administration negotiating team told us that the board has directed them to give us a “bottom line offer” that is substantially worse than those they have presented to us in previous years.  Our negotiations teams have never sought to “break the bank.” As many of you know, in the worst years of the recession, we took (to give one example) a 0% cost of living increase to keep PCC fiscally sound, despite declines in state funding.

The next PCC Board meeting is on Monday October 26th at 7:30. You’ll want to know that information after you read the next few paragraphs.

This year’s offer?

  • A 1% COLA.
  • No money to support professional development for faculty and APs.
  • No money to support PT Faculty participation in the running of the college.
  • No new FT Faculty positions.
  • No new top step for APs, FT and PT faculty who have served the college the longest.

It’s a pretty shocking offer—especially given the college’s solid budgetary situation. For the 2015-2017 biennium community colleges have received the largest state funding increase ever.  Not only that, but PCC has over $29 million sitting in a reserve fund that must be spent by 2027. And the college’s ending fund balance for this year is at $17 million. The college is in the black by most every measure.

Why such a hardline offer? Over the next two years, the administration would like to increase the ending fund balance by almost $5 million, buy a million dollars worth of large equipment, and also reserve $4 million for some unnamed “strategic initiatives.” We received no answer about what those initiatives might be or whom they might benefit. The only really clear expenditure the administration team mentioned was a slight reduction in next year’s projected tuition. We support that, but really, none of these changes should be made on the back of our hard working faculty and APs.

Compared to their “Bottom Line Offer,” here’s what we believe we deserve, with some explanations below:

Issue Federation position Admin position
Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) ñ2.5% for FT Factuly & APs

ñ3% for PT

ñ 1% for FT & PT
Health insurance cap ñ 5% ñ 5%
Top Step for Faculty and APs Add new top step for APs, PT, and FT Faculty No new top step for anyone
Professional Development $500,000 per year for FT/PT faculty and APs  $0
Compensation for PT faculty for college work outside of teaching (committees, etc.) $500,000 per year $0
New FT faculty positions 100 new FT faculty positions 0 new FT faculty positions
Estimated total Cost to PCC* $21 Million $18 Million

COLA: We asked for a 3% COLA as we have lost ground in our buying power over the last several years. This would be a small move towards regaining some of that lost ground. We asked for 3.5% for PT faculty as an equity issue. This is critical in Portland today as many members see huge increases in rent, taxes, and other basic necessities.

Top Step: We asked for a new top step for our salary schedules, as 40% of our PT faculty, and 26% of our FT faculty and APs, are at the top step. Without a new top step, they would have no increase in salary beyond the COLA and no reward for their loyalty to the institution and our students.

Professional Development for PT Faculty and APs In many ways this helps both our members and our students. This line would cost just over 0.2% of the college’s total budget.

Pay for PT Faculty who perform non-instructional work. This was to allow PT faculty to be fairly compensated for work that many of them feel pressured to do if they ever want to get a FT position. It is also professional development, whether they are applying for FT positions here, and at other institutions.  Again, this would cost .2% of PCC’s budget.

New Positions. We asked for 100 new FT faculty positions so faculty could spend more time with students, which increases student success and retention.  This is a workload issue. As more and more teaching has gone to PT faculty, the remaining departmental and college work has been concentrated on a smaller and smaller percentage of FT faculty. This takes important faculty time away from our students.  Creating new FT faculty positions is also an opportunity for PT faculty who want to see a potential to move into FT positions. The cost? 100 new FT Faculty positions would cost between $1.7 million and $3.1 million a year. When you consider the increased hours for this person to now interact with and help assure student success and retention, this is the best bargain in town.

We think these are compelling arguments. These changes are good for the college and hardly expensive, as the chart shows. So, what can we do? We need your help to improve this “final offer.” Please show support for our students and for your fellow employees by coming to the next PCC Board meeting is on Monday October 26th at 7:30 at Sylvania Campus. There are opportunities to speak or to sit quietly. Either way, your presence will tell the board how you feel about this offer. We need you, your colleagues, your family, your students to show the board and the administration what you value. With your help, we can get this contract done soon.

Sincerely,

Ed DeGrauw (Lead Negotiator) and your Negotiations Team

Part-time PCC Instructors: Have you taken the survey on multi-year contracts?

Your federation negotiating team is asking part time instructors to give guidance as they work to craft a response to the latest counter proposal from the administration on multi-year contracts. The request for guidance from members comes in the form of a short survey which was sent out by email during in-service week. (If you did
not receive a link to the survey, please email: minoo.marashi@pccffap.org.)

The idea of a new form of job security for PT instructors has generated lots of conversation. Below please find a table of pros and cons that have emerged from those conversations, organized around the most controversial aspects of the offer. This is offered to help think through the complex issues and formulate your own response. (t is a summary only, and not a complete guide!)

Background: The administration counter-proposal is a far distance from the original vision put on the table. That original proposal was formulated by our negotiating team after extensive campus conversations with part time faculty in winter 2015. (Thank you to everyone who gave of your time to come to one of those meetings!)

But while this latest offer from the administration is far from our original federation plan, it has come closer than the earlier responses from the administration. It is close enough to make it HARD to tell exactly what is best to do. Different PT faculty looking it over have come to different conclusions about it. Is this close enough to meeting our member demands, or is it still too far from what we proposed?

Please remember that whatever our bargaining team decides, the ultimate power is in the hands of our membership. We need to vote to ratify (or to reject) any tentative agreement. But our bargainers need to find (if possible) the general trend in member thinking at this point, to decide what response to make as the negotiations wind down.

Also important: only active members will be able to vote on the contract. (If you are not sure if you are a member OR pay fair-share dues only, please dash off an email to: shirlee.geiger@pccffap.org. I will get right back to you about how your status is listed in PCC’s database.)

ISSUE ONE: How many?

Original Federation Proposal Federation Rationale Latest Administration Counter-proposal
  • 500 multi-year contracts
  • each contract for 3 years
  • guaranteeing annual 1.5 FTE
  • This guarantees health insurance coverage
  • Approximately 500 PT faculty have been assigned at least 1.5 FTE over the past 3 years
  • OUT OF approximately 1100 total PT instructors
  • Making them eligible for health insurance
  • 300 mult-year contracts
  • Each for 3 years
  • A pilot program

Pros:

  • Additional job security for 300 teachers is better than nothing…
  • This is significant movement from the first Administration response (a refusal to discuss it!!)

Cons:

  • 300 is not enough, given the number of PT faculty…
  • As a pilot, what guarantees do we have for PT faculty if we find (disastrous) unexpected consequences? There are no protections written in as this experiment unfolds.

ISSUE TWO: who is eligible to apply?

Original Federation Proposal Federation Rationale Latest Administration Counter-proposal
Contracts open to:

  • PT instructors
  • based on seniority
  • as determined by years teaching or assignment rights or….
Research is clear that instructors  are more effective when:

  • familiar with their college
  • known by their colleagues
  • experienced teaching to a particular student population
  • Only existing PT faculty eligible
  • After one year of  PCC employment
  • This assumes at least one evaluation

Pros:

  • This proposal does a bit to recognize and reward the added value of experience and seniority at the outset
  • Over time, those who initially get the contracts (if not already senior) will develop the experience and relationships that matter to student success

Cons:

  • Long-time instructors are more expensive than new faculty, so departments may have an incentive to hire newer faculty; lack of transparency in hiring decisions makes this risky business…..
  • The hiring process will be like that for temporary Full Time (article 3.64 of the contract) — is that transparent enough, or will administrators use this process to hire friends and favorites?

ISSUE THREE: In addition to or instead of assignment rights?

Original Federation Proposal Federation Rationale Latest Administration Counter-proposal
  • Maintain current assignment rights (ARs)
  • ARs guarantee one class per term
  • About 400 to 450 faculty have been approved for ARs
  • Assignment rights are less valuable—especially in times of declining enrollment.
  • Assignment rights are not sustainable — the enrollment won’t guarantee everyone one class in many departments
  • Assignment rights predate negotiated health insurance (and don’t guarantee access to it)
  • Assignment rights ended for depts with multi-year contracts
  • They remain in departments with no MYCs
  • Proposed: No loss of classes for performance issues (without a performance improvement plan)

Pros:

  • Since Assignment Rights offer a small and diminishing form of job security, it makes sense to “trade them away” for a system with more security
  • It makes sense to tie job security to health insurance benefits

Cons:

  • There is no guarantee that the instructors with assignment rights will be the ones with multi-year contracts
  • Given the lack of transparency in hiring and scheduling, why give away more discretion to hire and fire in the short term — even if it might result in more job security (for some) in the long term?

WILL MULTI-YEAR CONTRACTS INCREASE THE JOB INSECURITY OF THOSE PART-TIMERS WHO DON’T GET THEM?

Part of what is alarming is that no one can predict what exactly will happen in the roll out of a new program. However, the federation’s labor relations specialist has the run the numbers, and his opinion is that (apart from the lost sections due to decreased enrollment), new multi-year contracts will not likely cause additional displacement. The average teaching load of the approximately 500 PT teachers eligible for insurance has been over 2.20 fte — much higher than the guarantee of 1.5 annually for the new contracts. But having said that, this will play out differently in different departments and SACs. Have questions? Call or email Michael C in our federation office. (michael.cannarella@pccffap.org or 971-722-4178)

Other considerations:

  • If a pilot for multi-year contracts are included in the contract this year, and it is ratified by the membership, the federation negotiating team intends to work to increase the number offered over time. Of course, there are no guarantees a proposal to increase the number would be accepted, and no way to guarantee that seniority would be considered in awarding those contracts.
  • The federation has also proposed additional funding for professional development, with expanded eligibility for PT faculty, and more money to compensate PTers for service to the college not directly tied to classroom instruction — such as Program Review, SAC assessment projects, and college committee work.  If combined with a multi-year contract, this could make it possible for some “freeway fliers” to stay on a PCC campus, increasing their availability to students and allowing them to build professional relations with colleagues.
  • A separate bargaining item is a number of new FT positions to be added. Historically at PCC, FT positions are filled more often than not by PT instructors, so this is a separate route to job security for current PTers.

September Negotiations Update

At the last scheduled meeting of the full administration and federation bargaining teams, the major focus was on the Multi-Year Contracts for Part time faculty.

The most recent Administration Counter-Proposal:

  • 100 contract positions per year for each of the next three years
  • Total 300 contracted positions
  • 3 year term of contract, with expectation they would be renewed (a change from the earlier position that they would be renewable at the discretion of the Dean)
  • Elimination of assignment rights in those departments with multi-year contracts only — other departments continue to recognize Assignment Rights within restrictions created by declining enrollment.
  • Guarantee of 1.5 FTE to assure eligibility for health insurance.
  • All current PT faculty are eligible to apply after one year, and one complete assessment.

Federation counter to this latest administration counter-proposal:

  • 150 contract positions offered per year for each of  the next three years (total 450 contracted positions).
  • 3 year term of contract, automatically renewable absent any performance issues and the opportunity for improvement.
  • Maintain assignment rights as they currently exist in depts without multi-year contracts; in depts with the new contracts, any instructor at PCC longer than 3 years would be provided a performance improvement plan prior to not being scheduled to teach a class due to performance issues.
  • Guarantee of 1.5 FTE to assure eligibility for health insurance.
  • New faculty would be eligible after completing three years of assessments OR current faculty who have been teaching over three years OR current faculty who have assignment rights.

The conversation continues, but it seems unlikely the two sides can get much closer….. Members of the federation team are still talking about what makes sense as a next step.

Here are some of the points considered at the close of the negotiations meeting on 9/2 by our Federation negotiating team, along with the Federation members who have observed the meetings:

  1. It seems clear that a system with multi-year contracts is better than a system with assignment rights only. However, the administration refusal to add any eligibility criteria regarding seniority means that current long-time PCC PT instructors could be displaced — both because the administration insists on suspending assignment rights immediately in those departments with multi-year contracts AND because the multi-year contracts could go to brand new teachers who have been at PCC only one year.  A major piece of thinking behind the original proposal was that students benefit from faculty members being part of an educational community (knowing what resources are available, who their colleagues are, how to maneuver in the system to get student needs met.) Over time, people with the new contracts will gain that kind of background knowledge, but there is no contractual guarantee that the people who step in to the new positions will already have it.
  2. Administration bargainers appeal over and over to their goal of making sure the best teacher is assigned to each class offered at PCC. It is why they need flexibility, and consistently push away contract language that limits hiring and scheduling discretion of Dept Chairs and Division Deans. Specifically, the need for flexibility is the reason given by the administration negotiation team for rejecting the Federation proposal to restrict the eligibility for multi-year contracts to long-time PCC faculty. Shouldn’t we all be able to safely assume that long-time PCC part-time faculty are highly skilled, competent teachers — especially those who have been through the additional evaluations for assignment rights? No! say the administration bargainers. Just because someone has been here a long time, they said, does NOT mean they are effective instructors.This implies that current PCC hiring and scheduling practices leave ineffective teachers in classrooms year upon year. Hardly what one would expect from an institution that values “the best teacher in each classroom.” (One writer on contingent faculty issues says we should substitute the term “whimsibility” for “flexibility” when used by administrators. Instead of making sure the best teacher is in each classroom, the lack of transparency along with the enormous hiring and scheduling discretion around adjuncts means there is maximal distrust and suspicion in the majority faculty in Higher Ed today.)

It may be that Administration bargainers will accept the aspects of the original proposal that they have so far resisted – honoring assignment rights while we pilot a multi-year contract plan (or at least building in some employment guarantees for those assignment right instructors in departments with multi-year contracts) AND restricting those new contracts in some way via prior PCC service, making sure they go to people with the institutional familiarity that should be recognized and rewarded. At this point, there are no signals they are headed that way. This leaves our bargaining team trying to decide what to do……

Going into a new term without a contract  builds pressure all around. We will keep you posted.

Response to Survey on Our Top PT Bargaining Issue: Job Security

The Federation’s’ major request in bargaining this year for “part-time” instructors is that the work of these faculty members be normalized: those instructors who have been teaching enough to qualify for health insurance in the past three years should be offered a multi-year contract. Their supervisors have found their service to PCC students to be of a high quality, as demonstrated by their assignment to teach year upon year, so this service should not come with such constant and extreme financial anxiety.

The administration bargaining team came back with a counter-proposal, which was summarized earlier on this blog. The PT members of the negotiating team (Minoo Marashi and Corrinne Crawford) needed input from their PT colleagues to know how to proceed. So we sent out a survey– late in summer term. We were uncertain of how much interest or energy it would receive because of this bad timing. But we were delighted and surprised by the responses – 209 PT instructors took the time to give detailed feedback, sharing their experiences at PCC and spelling out their concerns with the counter-proposal.

(The federation represents all FT and PT instructors, along with Academic Professionals. PT faculty make up approximately 55% of the employees represented, but it is the group with the smallest percentage of active membership. So the 209 people who responded comprise approximately 1/3 of the active PT members — a response rate to be envied!!)

Here is some of what was said:

76% said they favored the multi-year contract idea, 15%  were unsure (and as careful academics, most wanted more information), and 9% expressed opposition.

Just under 50% expressed concern with the idea that the contracts could go to candidates not currently teaching at PCC.

An additional 20% listed their top concern as the administration refusal to consider seniority as any part of a formula for determining who gets the position. Put together, that is 70% who are expressing support for the aspect of the original proposal that got lost in the administration counter — that the multi-year contracts be used as a way of normalizing the work lives of people who have been serving PCC students year upon year, but always with the threat over their heads that the employment could just dry up — not because their work was inadequate or sub-standard, but for a host of mysterious, non-transparent, and suspicious reasons.

12% listed their top concern that the multi-year contracts were offered as a replacement for assignment rights. Not surprisingly, several people who listed this as their top concern mentioned the huge amount of energy and running-around they had dedicated to the goal of getting assignment rights. So they were loath to have them just disappear.

Here is a selection of comments from the survey:

  • I feel that with PT there should be seniority the same as FT and that we should be grandfathered into the multi-year contracts and not have to “apply” as many of us have been teaching for several years. I also feel that it should be all of us not a chosen few.
  • I need a clear path to a job secure position. I can’t stay a temp worker forever.
  • [What matters to me is] if my classes do not get enough students. The setting of class sizes at 20 puts a lot of pressure on PT faculty to promote, distribute fliers and contact former students to get people to take your class. The amount of money we gave the former president to leave could fund over 100 empty classes.
  • Although the federation’s initial goal was to provide security to part-time faculty, this counter proposal would in fact weaken my job security. I have taught for PCC for nearly seven years and I went through rigorous review to receive my assignment rights. This needs to be taken into account as they consider multi-year contracts, or else it is simply asking me to start the process all over again.
  • [What matters to me is the] lack of transparency by my administrators about decisions for classes.
  • It seems to me that the administration should have ample evidence what with assessments and student evaluations who on the faculty has proved themselves competent and deserving of a multi-year contract. Their position makes no sense as it would be much more expensive to interview all those potential part timers than to use the people who already teach there and know the students. It appears a very insulting suggestion. Personally, I probably won’t even be eligible for a multi-year contract because I don’t teach enough, but in solidarity I still want them to happen.
  • I’ve been here fifteen years. My seniority should count. I can provide history and experience to my colleagues, and continuity for my students. I’ve grown with them and for them over the years. I don’t want to lose my job to newcomers who look good on paper. I’ve been in the trenches, and I know my students and what’s going on here, on my campus, in my department, in my city.
  • Does a multi-year contract protect me or retain my health insurance if a class does not fill or some other condition that drops me below the FTE?

Minoo shared many of these comments with the full bargaining team, who have crafted a counter-proposal. The next bargaining session is 9/2. It is open, so if you would like to attend, contact Michael C by Monday 9/1 at 8:30 AM at : michael.cannarella@pccffap.org

And, finally, there were a lot of comments like the following:

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you are always doing to help our PT faculty.

We say: thanks for the thanks!!

A personal note from Shirlee:
We all know that PT faculty are treated with an incredible amount of disrespect. Our work is often invisible, we are left out of major initiatives, and most of us can recite a long list of insulting or demeaning comments we have overheard or had delivered to our faces. Minoo and Corrinne not only have to deal with their own, personal bad treatment, but they also hear the tales of distress from many, many PT colleagues. This is appropriate, as they need to know what is happening around the district in order to adequately represent PT interests. Still, I am amazed at their ability to stay positive and focused on the achievable, but small ways to make it possible for PT faculty to be more effective, in the face of the mountain of horror stories of bad treatment. I think all PT faculty at PCC owe a huge debt to those who have bargained over the years. As bad as it can be here, it is even harder to be an effective teacher in a “PT” role in many other institutions. 

It was lovely for me to see how many colleagues took the time to express gratitude to Minoo and Corrinne on this survey.