News

2018 Faculty and AP Picnic

Join the FUN at the Faculty & AP Picnic!

Friday, September 28th
5 PM to 7 PM

Willamette Park

(SW Macadam at SW Nebraska)

Please join us at our union’s annual back-to-school picnic this Friday, September 28, from 5-7pm at Willamette Park (near John’s Landing, just south of downtown Portland along the Willamette).

PCCFFAP will provide burgers (incl. veggie options), hot dogs, some sides and drinks, and we ask that last names A-L bring a salad/side dish to share and last names M-Z bring a dessert—a truly collaborative picnic!

Partners, children and friends are all welcome! There’s a playground at the park, and we’re right next to the river for great views and strolls.

Again, welcome back to AY 2018-19. We look forward to seeing you and socializing at our union picnic this Friday!

Questions?  Email Mary Sykora at mary.sykora@pccffap.org
or call 971-722-4722!

PCCFFAP’s Annual Labor Day Picnic 2018

Come one, come all to the annual PCCFFAP Labor Day Picnic, presented by Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC)!
Last names A-L please bring a side dish, last names M-Z please bring a dessert!

Ride bracelets, scrip for BBQ food/beverages & face painting from 10a-4p (partners & children welcome, though we kindly ask to limit group sizes to 5 – additional folks can of course purchase additional ride bracelets at the reduced price. Note that parking fills up fast, so plan accordingly!

Picnic Flyer

Oaks Park Map

Oregon Student Association’s
Vote OR Vote

The Oregon Student Association asked us to pass along this information to all PCC faculty. 

You may have seen emails from the Oregon Student Association  regarding the Vote OR Vote campaign, asking for a few minutes of your class time to help students register to vote and educate them about voting. A lot of you said yes, and thanks to your assistance, we managed to register over 2000 PCC students (and a handful of instructors) on all four campuses, and we provided non-partisan voter education to close to 4300 students before the May 15 primaries.

We couldn’t have done it without faculty support, so on behalf of ASPCC and the Oregon Student Association, many thanks for opening your door to our campaign! Fair warning: you are about to receive more emails from us, as during election years we continue voter registration through the Summer and Fall.

So, why should you let us into your classes?

  1. Because it only takes 5 minutes, and ensures that PCC is in compliance with the institutional requirements set forth in Oregon Senate Bill 951 (2007) and the federal Higher Education Act.
  2. Because only about half of Oregonians aged 18-29 are currently registered to vote, which means our elected officials do not pay attention to issues that matter to students. Rises in tuition, decreases in financial aid available, and the spiraling costs of student debt make it increasingly harder for students to graduate. At OSA we like to say that when students vote, students win –but the truth is that when students vote, all of us working in higher education win.
  3. Because regardless of political affiliation (and ours is strictly a non-partisan campaign), we can all agree that the 2018 midterm elections will be crucial: the choices we’ll make in November will have profound consequences at the local, national and global levels. But democracy doesn’t work if people don’t vote –turnout for the Oregon May primaries was only 33.64%, can you help us do better?

So please, when you get that message from ASPCC students asking for access to your classes, take a minute to answer, hopefully in the positive. We look forward to meeting with you all and visiting your
classes in the Summer and/or in the Fall!

If you have any questions, feel free to email:

Goodbye and Thanks to Linda Blanchette

Linda Blanchette, former Director of Professional and Organizational Development (POD), is no longer employed by PCC. Her position was eliminated in a recent reorganization, and her last day at work was March 28th, 2018. Since this decision was not announced by administration, we thought you’d like to know and also take this opportunity to thank Linda for her many years of service to FFAP members.

Linda started her employment at PCC as an AP and was represented by our Federation. In 2007, she moved into a management position as Director of POD, where she oversaw training and development programs that greatly benefited so many FFAP members. She started the AP Institute, which is the first (and so far only) professional-development experience for all APs. She was a tireless advocate for the development of all employees at PCC, and we will miss her.

If you would like to write a short note of thanks to Linda, please do so below.

We, the members of PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals, thank Linda for her dedication, her hard work, and her service over many years at PCC.

Fair winds and following seas, Linda!

Know Your Rights! Discipline for Faculty and Academic Professionals

For the vast majority of employees at PCC, discipline is an issue that never comes up. But what if you suddenly find yourself under the microscope? What if your supervisor asks you to attend a meeting and you get the feeling you could be “in trouble”?

Disciplinary procedures are governed by Article 22 of our contract. There are three key provisions in Article 22:

  1. “Just cause” is the only reason for discipline to be imposed;
  2. Discipline must be progressive, meaning that (depending on the severity of the conduct) an employee gets a chance to correct behaviors before more severe sanctions are imposed;
  3. Discipline is limited to FOUR, and only four, sanctions upon the employee:
    1. Written warning;
    2. Disciplinary probation (doesn’t apply to PT faculty);
    3. Suspension without pay (doesn’t apply to PT faculty without assignment rights);
    4. Dismissal.

You have a right, under a provision in law known as Weingarten rights, to have a union representative present whenever any aspect of the discussion could lead to discipline. A standard reply you can give under Weingarten is:

“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer, or steward be present at this meeting. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion.”

The PCC administration maintains that a manager, in consultation with HR, can decide independently whether any action, such as an MOE, is disciplinary, and as long as that action is not specifically called out in Article 22, then you have no right to representation during any conversation about your employment or working conditions. We disagree!

Note that the scope of your Weingarten rights is broad: you have a right to have a union rep present if the conversation could in any way lead to discipline OR lead to a change in your working conditions.

What we’ve noticed over the years is that HR seems to be running a shadow disciplinary system which relies on the MOE. As long as it’s “just an MOE,” they are effectively saying, then “whatever we do is NOT disciplinary and the union has no right to be involved.” But if you’ve ever been subjected to the MOE process at PCC, you’ve probably felt it was pretty punitive. And if an MOE says that it could serve as the basis for future discipline, then that MOE, we contend, *is* disciplinary, in which case you have a right to union representation during any part of the process.

Here are some rules of thumb:

  • If you have a good relationship with your supervisor and you feel comfortable talking about your work, then you probably have nothing to worry about.
  • But if you are having a conversation with a supervisor and you feel the conversation is starting to stray into uncomfortable territory—especially about things you are doing that are unsatisfactory (or you are NOT doing what you’re supposed to be doing) and what might happen if you don’t correct your behavior—then you should stop the conversation and say you’ll resume the conversation once your union rep is present.
  • Your supervisor can always spell out expectations, but when things start to feel “formal,” consider invoking your Weingarten rights—especially if the magic words “Memorandum of Expectations” are communicated at any point.
  • You CANNOT be disciplined for invoking your Weingarten rights or any union rights. These rights are protected under the law, and the employer will get in serious trouble for stopping you from exercising them.

One reason we’re so concerned about the MOE “shadow disciplinary process” at PCC is that MOEs have been used in place of the disciplinary process that the PCC administration agreed to follow, and just because an employee was given an MOE, this did NOT stop the employee from being dismissed (fired). We have a case going to arbitration soon that will make this very point—that PCC administration did NOT follow the disciplinary process; they moved from an MOE directly to dismissal, without establishing just cause and without following progressive discipline.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact anyone on your Executive Council or give your Federation office a call at x4178 or x4180.

Update on Janus v. AFSCME

President's MessageDear Colleagues:

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Janus v. AFSCME case. The Court will likely find that unions such as ours need to represent all employees whether or not they pay for that representation. If the Court finds against us, we will continue to negotiate contracts (like the re-opener that added two new steps for part-time faculty in September 2017), organize events (like our recent trip to the Oregon Food Bank) represent members in grievances (we’ve represented dozens of members in grievances in the last year), or just help answer questions about our contract. But… we’ll do it with less financial support from the nearly 2000 faculty and academic professionals whom we represent.

We’ll keep working and fighting for fair treatment on the job. Unions won gains—like the weekend in 1937 —long before “fair share” dues became part of labor law in 1977. The Janus case will likely completely flip this Abood precedent of fair share dues. But it will mean we need more help from all of you. More help talking to members. More help organizing activities. More help writing emails like this one—which is drafted by ten members of our union in their “free” time.

For now, what can you do to help? Confirm your membershipIf you would like to activate, or just confirm, your membership, you can fill out a membership organization form online here. Keep engaged—you can read AFT’s amicus brief or check out news coverage. Let your colleagues know why you value being part of a union.

If you’re not sure if you’re a member—or why you’re a member, write back. Ask an Executive Council member on your campus. We want to talk to you—not just about what we’ve done, but what we can do now and in the future.

In other news, please check out the PCCFFAP website for a guest blog from a part-time faculty member and other updates. And don’t forget to sign up or nominate a colleague to attend the annual AFT-Oregon Convention. Click here for more details.

In solidarity,

Frank Goulard, PCCFFAP President

Join Us at the AFT-Oregon Annual Convention!

We are looking for interested PCCFFAP members to participate in our upcoming state AFT-Oregon annual convention. This event is a great opportunity to learn more about the work of our union, help define our union priorities, and meet union supporters from around the state.
AFT-Oregon Annual Convention
May 4, 5:00pm – May 6, 3:00pm
Downtown Portland Hilton
If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to become more involved in the work of our federation, please consider attending. We plan to send a large delegation of 20-30 members. Following convention, all delegates will be asked to briefly report what they learned and action items that may be taken by our local.
Please email heidi.edwards@pccffap.org no later than March 11th if you are interested or have questions.

Yes to Equitable Student Success — Guest Post

PCC’s mission is accomplished at the edges of the organization, when students succeed in classes. 62% of class sections are taught by PTF across our primary campuses.

PCC’s foremost opportunity to positively impact equity in student success comes where students spend the most time; in classes taught by part-time faculty. Part-time faculty, whose contributions to equitable student learning opportunities and experiences seem unrecognized in the district.

This group has a primary set of responsibilities in delivering on PCC’s mission. They are underpaid, under-supported, under-recognized, under-benefited, and have limited mobility and advancement opportunities. They are not treated equitably.

Yet, the successful path to equitable student success goes right through the classroom, though the current campaign seems to be starting elsewhere.

These are the recognitions I’m hopeful of in negotiations:

1) The mission of PCC is realized at the edges, where educational opportunity lives, where students and instructors meet.

2) Part-time faculty teach most class hours. Most of students’ educational experience at PCC experience is with PTF.

3) Part-time faculty are in less-equitable employment circumstances than any other class of employees. Our pay is low, our employment is at risk, and most of us don’t receive benefits. Earning below a living wage and income insecurity is a difficult situation for many.

4) When better supported and motivated, part-time faculty can have the biggest impact in improving on the delivery of PCC’s mission.

PCC seems to regard PTF as a regulated workforce to be administered and negotiated to preserve the financial status quo. The administration doesn’t seem to see that PTFs’ concerns for equitable employment reflect the greatest opportunity for PCC’s success.

Part-time faculty: Inequitable employment. PCC’s best resource and opportunity to positively influence equitable student success.

The author has been a part-time instructor for 15+ years

 

Is there a topic you’d like to see covered on the PCCFFAP website? Are you interested in submitting a guest blog post? Contact VP for Communications Michelle DuBarry at michelle.dubarry@pccffap.org.

Black History Month Special Event

Race and Labor: Building a More Just Economy

Presentation and Discussion with Bill Fletcher, Jr.

When: February 20, 2018 6pm to 8:30pm
Where: 70 NW Couch St, White Stag Building Room 142/144

Bill Fletcher, Jr. has been at the forefront of both the labor and anti-racist movements for four decades. Fletcher has served as Education Director for the national AFL-CIO and as senior staff for a number of national labor unions.  He has also served as president of TransAfrica Forum, as Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, and as an editorial board member of BlackCommentator.com.  He is author or co-author of multiple books, including Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path Toward Social Justice (University of California press, 2009).

See the LERC website at lerc.uoregon.edu for more information and to sign-up for this FREE PUBLIC event

PCCFFAP members pack potatoes at the Oregon Food Bank

On February 10, members of PCCFFAP and PCCFCE came together to volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank.

We learned a lot about food insecurity in Oregon and how we can make a difference in our community through volunteer efforts. Along with packing potatoes, many of us participated in Oregon Food Bank’s postcard campaign by signing postcards that will be sent to our congressional representatives to advocate for continued funding for SNAP benefits.

At final count, we learned that we sorted and packed 27,219 pounds of potatoes, which equated to 220 meals per volunteer. While it sounds like a lot, it’s not enough. Oregon Food Bank needs our continued support! (Click here for information about how you can support their efforts.)

It was great to see union members showing solidarity and helping to fight hunger and food insecurity in our community.