News

Celebrate the Holidays with your Union

President's Message

Join your colleagues–and fellow union members–for an afternoon of holiday cheer. We’ll have sweet treats and activities for you and your families and a chance to connect outside of the usual work routines.

What: PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals  (PCCFFAP) Holiday Party

When: Saturday December 9, 1pm-4pm

Where: Southeast Campus, Community Hall

What: Bring your families to decorate cookies, craft holiday (and new year’s) cards, and check in with your fellow PCCFFAP members–and your Executive Council. A reminder that this year’s celebration will be a lighter affair with afternoon tea, coffee & refreshments, rather than a full meal. Also, instead of Santa bringing presents this year, family members will get to make their own gifts and crafts (cookies, crafts and cards) to take home with them.

We also have info to share about…

Why: Free food, good company, time with your family!

I hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

 

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

PS–Want to help with the event? Email FFAP Organizing Committee Chairs Sara Robertson (sara.robertson@pccffap.org) and/or Nick Hengen Fox (nick.hengenfox@pccffap.org).

Volunteers Needed! Campus Outreach Jan. 16-27

Dear Colleagues:

Do you have an hour to help make our union stronger? Sign up now for campus outreach week at a PCC campus winter term.

What can I expect? Sign up to be matched with an experienced colleague to do outreach to other PCC employees. We will be walking the campus to office locations, as well as calling home phones. (The largest number of non-members are part-time faculty who can be hard to find on campus!)

We will have snacks in the phoning rooms, and a chance to meet campus colleagues you may not see very often.

At the end of the two weeks of campus outreach, we will be organizing on a Saturday to try to reach members at home. These home visits give an opportunity for more extended conversations about the ways union involvement leads to better working conditions and a better education for our students — with widespread benefits to our entire community as a result!

Even a half hour can make a huge difference in strengthening our union. Go to this sign up form to let us know you are willing to be a part of this outreach, and to indicate when you are available.

SY on 1/16 (Tuesday)
CA on 1/17-18 (Wednesday and Thursday)
RC on 1/22-23 (Monday and Tuesday)
SE on 1/24-25 (Wednesday and Thursday)
House visits on 1/27 (Saturday)

Thanks for your help!

Sara Robertson
sara.robertson@pccffap.org

Nick Hengen Fox
nick.hengenfox@pccffap.org

Co-chairs of PCCFFAP’s Organizing Committee

PCC Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM)

President's Message

Dear Colleagues:

Last week, PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals (PCCFFAP) leaders Heidi Edwards and Peter Seaman attended the Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) retreat, along with other members and Jeff Grider, president of the PCC classified employee union.

You’ll be hearing a lot more about SEM in coming months and years. The idea, as President Mitsui said in his opening remarks, is to manage student enrollment more effectively, as 50% of PCC’s budget now comes from tuition (the rest comes from the state support fund at 35% and property taxes at 15%). When we sit down at the bargaining table to negotiate for wages and benefits, tuition will determine to a large extent how much funding is available for these wages and benefits.

SEM will impact our work, in ways that are both seen and unforeseen. Please pay attention when you hear news of SEM, and we in FFAP leadership will likewise do our best to keep members up-to-date. In the meantime, please send any questions to Heidi (heidi.edwards@pccffap.org) or Peter (peter.seaman@pccffap.org). I hope you will look for ways to become involved in the SEM effort.

In solidarity,

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

Know Your Rights!

President's Message

​Dear Colleagues:

Have you ever been treated unfairly by your manager and felt powerless to address it? Have you sought help from administration and been disappointed by their response?

One of the biggest benefits of belonging to the Portland Community College Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals (PCCFFAP) is union representatives working on your behalf in situations like these. Your membership gives you access to experts who know the contract inside and out, are trained in labor laws, and can advocate for you in stressful situations. Most of the time, issues can be resolved with a simple meeting or phone conversation, while others are more complicated and involve the filing of grievances and sometimes arbitration. Situations like these are rare, but critically important in maintaining a balance of power between administration and employees.

Needless to say, administration doesn’t always like the union to get involved because it may limit administration’s ability to act unilaterally in ways that may negatively affect employees. So I’m writing to remind you that if a manager or administrator ever tells you any version of the following:

  • You are not entitled to union representation.

  • “The union rules don’t allow ______”

  • “The contract doesn’t allow _______”

PLEASE contact me or your federation representative. Unlike administration, we work for you and only you. And while we won’t be able to resolve every situation, we’ll make sure that you are heard, that you have representation, and that the contract is honored.

Thank you for all that you do for PCC, and Happy Veterans Day, especially to our members who have served or continue to serve in our armed services and their families.

Sincerely,

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

 

Fall 2017 Membership Meetings

Please join us at the Fall Membership Meetings. All of the meetings are from 12 to 1 PM.

  • 10/17/17 Tuesday Willow Creek #107
  • 10/19/17 Thursday Cascade Student Union 203/204
  • 10/23/17 Monday SE Campus Community Hall
  • 10/24/17 Tuesday Rock Creek TLC Building 7 #116
  • 10/26/17 Thursday Metro Building 2
  • 10/30/17 Monday Sylvania ST 108
  • 11/1/17 Wednesday Downtown Rose Room
  • 11/3/17 Friday CLIMB #306

Agenda

  • Contract Details and Update
  • Faculty/AP and Classified Breakout Sessions
  • Your Questions and Issues
  • Hot Lunch at each meeting

Click the link below for the brochure.

Member Fall 2017 Meetings

Final Note on Bargaining

President's MessageDear Colleagues:

I wanted to send a quick note to let everyone know that the PCC Board of Directors ratified the Tentative Agreement of our wages and benefits reopener at their September 21 meeting. (For a summary of changes for Fall 2017 to Summer 2019, click here.) While we didn’t get everything we were hoping for, we are confident that we can build on some of the wins in this agreement to continue our push for better pay and working conditions across employee classes. It’s time to start planning for 2019!

I’d like to thank the 100+ people who attended the bargaining sessions. It was somewhat of a new process for the federation, and one that paid off enormously as the administration could see that we were organized, unified, and ready to stand up and fight for a fair and reasonable settlement.

Lastly, keep an eye out for upcoming campus and center meetings. We’ll be meeting at the four campuses, along with Willow Creek, Metro, Downtown Center, and CLIMB, between October 17 and November 3. I hope to see many of you there and to hear from you about the issues most important to you.

Wishing everyone a happy and productive fall term.

In solidarity,

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

Michael Canarella Retirement Farewell

Michael CannarellaAfter 15 years working as the Labor Relations Specialist for PCCFFAP and PCCFCE, Michael Canarella is retiring. His expertise in labor law, contract negotiations, union activism, and ability to address the needs of our members is going to be missed.

Please join us to send Michael into his very well-deserved retirement!

Date: Wednesday, Sept 27
Time: 3:00-5:00pm (drop in anytime)
Where: Seasons and Regions, 6660 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland
Appetizers, drinks, and cake to share.

Email Heidi.Edwards@pccffap.org with questions.

A Tentative Agreement — with Real Gains

President's MessageColleagues,

After more than five months of negotiating, the PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professional​s (PCCFFAP) and PCC Federation of Classified Employees (PCCFCE) joint bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the PCC Administration team at 8pm on Friday, September 15th.  This agreement is for the two-year reopener for wages and benefits from summer 2017 to summer 2019 for our collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The budgetary challenges were great. The state is funding community colleges at a meager 1.8% annual increase for the upcoming two years​ while PERS employer rates are increasing at double-digit amounts for the upcoming several biennia.

We didn’t get everything we wanted. Yet, with your support–we had over fifty members of the two unions observe negotiating sessions over the summer–and the hard work of our negotiating team, we made important gains towards equity of pay for employees–and towards greater stability for many of our most vulnerable members.  And some of the provisions I detail below truly are stepping stones to accomplish more in the next negotiations in 2019.

The short story: we fought and won

  • a COLA for all employees each year;
  • new top steps for APs and PT Faculty;
  • greater support for PT Faculty participation in the essential work of running the college;
  • increased funding towards health insurance caps.

Again, it’s not everything we want–or everything we deserve. But given the conditions, we believe it’s a fair settlement.

Below, I’ve broken down each of the major changes. For now, I offer a huge thanks to our negotiating team. When you see them or if you wish to email them, please do extend your thanks for their dedicated and passionate work! The FFAP team included Allison Gross, Peter Seaman, Shirlee Geiger, and Frank Goulard. The FCE team included Jeff Grider, Cherie Maas Anderson, and Elisabeth Garcia Davidson. We also thank federation support staff Michael Cannarella, who will be retiring soon. On the administration team were Lisa Bledsoe, Cheryl Belt, Jim Langstraat, Eric Blumenthal, Jessica Howard, and Kurt Simonds.

And again, thank you to our more than fifty members who, for the first time, actively played a part in each session to make this new contract. Their support was truly transformational for our union.

The Changes

COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment):

These adjustments are in addition to the regular step increases for all members who are on steps.

For FT Faculty, AP, and Classified:

  • 1.25% first year (2017-18)
  • 2% second year (2018-19)

For PT Faculty:

  • 2% first year
  • 2% second year

NOTE: With all of the above groups of our employees, along with all administration employees, there is a 1% rollback each year (2017-18, 2018-19) in our salary schedules, for a total of 2% rollback over the next two years.

Why? In PCC’s 2013 negotiations, in addition to our COLAs and steps, we had agreed to accept an additional 1% COLA to our salary schedules for each of the following four years (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17) due to the Oregon Legislature passing into law PERS retiree cuts. Those retiree cuts increased available state dollars to community colleges. We also agreed at the time, that if this legislation was overturned by legal challenges, that we would take a reduction of 1% for the next full biennium. Soon thereafter, the Oregon Supreme Court did rule to overturn the legislation, thereby restoring retiree benefits. Therefore that triggered the aforementioned 1%/year rollback to our salary schedules, slated for the 2017-2019 biennium. So we are now rolling back that additional 1% that we had gained in 2013.

New Top Steps

For APs and Classified, a new top step (in addition to deleting Step 1). The new top step will be phased in over two years for APs in October 2017 (a half-step 1.75% increase) and October 2018 (the remaining half-step increase of another 1.75%)

For Classified in July 2017 (retroactive, a half-step 1.5% increase) and July 2018 (the remaining half-step increase of another 1.5%).​

For PT faculty, two new top steps. This moves their existing 9-step salary schedule closer to the 17-step FT faculty salary schedule. This is one of the most monumental changes in our contract. Along with these two new steps is an agreement for a joint faculty and administration task force to begin work in Fall 2017 to thoroughly analyze PT faculty work and compensation with an eye towards equity with FT faculty. This will be done in advance of the next contract negotiations, which will start January 2019.

For now, a new step 10 will be in effect in October 2017. Those PT faculty who have taught 3200-3599 hours will be placed on step 10. Then in October 2018, those who have taught at least 3600 hours will be placed at step 11. These steps, like the FT faculty steps, are 3.5% apart.​

Faculty Department Chairs in CTE and Counseling programs will receive additional points in their calculation to determine release and stipend. This should result in most chairs receiving additional release to meet the growing  demands of their programs and students.

PT faculty pay for essential college meetings, including SAC inservice day and other SAC meetings​, will double. They had been paid stipends of $25 for up to two hours, $50 for over 2 hours and up to 4 hours, and $100 for over 4 hours and up to 8 hours. This was roughly $12.50/hr, not even including the preparation or travel time for these meetings–and would soon fall short of Portland minimum wage.

We made the case for our professional PT faculty to be paid at a more professional wage. Now the stipends will be:

  • $50 for up to 2 hours
  • $75 for up to 3 hours
  • $100 for up to 4 hours
  • $150 for up to 6 hours
  • $200 for up to 8 hours
As before, a PT faculty member must make sure with their dean, chair, TLC director, or SAC chair that a particular meeting is pre-approved for this pay.

The college cap contribution towards the health insurance premium for FT employees will increase about 3.5% each year, depending on the choice of self only, self plus spouse/partner, self plus child(ren), or family coverage. That is closely in line with the rise in PCC’s Kaiser and Moda group plan costs.

The college cap contribution towards the health insurance premium for PT faculty remains at 65% of the FT self-only cap. It will likely increase from $474.50/mo to almost $490/mo​. But we were able to garner some extra financial assistance for PT faculty who select self plus spouse/partner (or children), or self plus family. For those two group selections, instead of a $490/mo cap, it will be about a $640 cap and $790 cap, respectively.

There will be an increase to the PCCFFAP Health Insurance Trust from $36,000/yr to $40,000/yr. This is the fund that helps PT faculty who do not qualify for PCC health insurance and pay their own full premiums on the marketplace. This pays out about $100/mo to those eligible PT faculty who apply.

Classified will now have a markedly better PCC early retirement program. The eligible ages will now match the FT faculty and AP ages of 58 to 65. Classified will have a choice between a stipend or support on health insurance premiums, for 4 years or until age 65, whichever comes first. This was a big step for Classified to finally begin to have a similar early retirement program as FT faculty and AP.

Next Steps

Because this is a wage re-opener and not the full contract negotiation, there is no vote by membership necessary. The PCC Board takes the next step of a ratification vote on the reopener this Thursday Sept 21, 7:30pm, at their monthly meeting at Rock Creek. After that approval, the reopener provisions will take effect October 1, 2017, with the CBA’s end date of June 30, 2019 for Classified and August 31, 2019 for Faculty and APs.

As many of you have heard me say before, you start negotiating your next contract the minute your last one is signed. Please, let me–and all of our Executive Council members–know what you think about this settlement. We are already gathering ideas for the next negotiation.

Take care,

Frank

Frank Goulard
President, PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals​

Can you help by attending a bargaining session on Monday 9/11 or Wednesday 9/13?

Colleagues,

Our negotiations with the administration team since Spring have been based on two principles:

  • Portland Community College employees should be able to afford to live in Portland and the Portland Metro area.
  • PCC should compensate employees with equal pay for equal work.

Neither of these principles is complicated or hard to understand. But neither can be achieved in just one bargaining cycle. We will need to come back over and over, to insist on these basic values.

We have two negotiations sessions scheduled next week: Monday, September 11 (9am-2pm) and Wednesday, September 13 (9am-12pm). We continue to need to make some progress on these priorities. The most important thing you can do is attend one, or both, of next week’s sessions and help us move towards an agreement. Your attendance shows the administration that these basic values matter, and that PCC employees care about one another. If so, sign up to attend the next meetings at the CLIMB Center.

In this cycle, we asked for a 4% cost of living increase — modest compared to what is needed in the Portland area according to this research.  The administration team has so far refused to offer any cost of living increase, instead talking about a 1% one-time lump sum payment. Obviously, the size of the offered payment is a problem, but the deeper issue is that a one-time payment does nothing to meet the basic principle. Workers should be able to afford to live where they work. The cost of living in Portland is on a steep increase with no sign of leveling off anytime soon, driven by rising housing costs!

After surveying you to gather our FCE and FFAP members’ concerns, we focused on two inequities in this cycle — underpayment to “part-time” faculty and disparities in the retirement programs for classified staff as compared to full-time faculty and academic professionals. (To see how steep the pay inequities are for instructors, go here.). While the administration team has so far been willing to talk about these issues, our members need more than talk. We need at least some movement to ameliorate these longstanding inequities.

Your negotiations team appreciates how many of you have already attended sessions and engaged in this process. We need your continued engagement in this process and hope you sign up to attend bargaining sessions next week.

In solidarity,

Shirlee Geiger, Bargaining Team Member