News

Michael Canerella Retirement Farewell

Michael CannarellaAfter 15 years working as the Labor Relations Specialist for PCCFFAP and PCCFCE, Michael Canerella 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 two hours, $100 for over 2 hours and up to 4 hours, and $200 for over 4 hours and 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.

For now, I will see you at our annual Membership Lunch and Meeting on Monday from 11:15 to 12:45 at Sylvania ST 100 auditorium.

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

Bargaining Update: New Proposal and New Meeting Dates

Dear Colleagues:

Your FFAP and FCE Joint Bargaining Team (JBT) met with the administration team on August 22nd and 24th at the CLIMB Center. The Federations made an alternative proposal and the admin team has agreed to cost it out. The JBT is now hopeful that a framework for the contract can be agreed upon soon, even though we are still significantly apart in dollars.

The admin team also made some more funds available for the contract because of proposed FSLA regulations not being implemented at the Federal level.

Finally, new meeting dates were set:

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

Interested observers are encouraged to sign up to attend the next meetings at the CLIMB Center. Observers get to provide immediate feedback to the JBT during caucuses and after the meeting. Your attendance is not only valuable as a show of solidarity, but it also helps to spread the word to your colleagues about the negotiations.

Here are some things you can do right now:

  1. Sign up to attend the next bargaining session right now! (The deadline to sign up for the  September 11 meeting is Wednesday, September 6)
  2. Please Button up!
  3. Attend upcoming PCC Board Meetings
  4. Wear a Transparency T-shirt, available at the Federation office.
  5. Spread the word to your colleagues!

Yours in solidarity,

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

Labor Day Picnic 2017

A fun time was had by all at the Labor Day Picnic at Oaks Park on September 4, 2017. Special guests, Governor Kate Brown and AFT-Oregon President David Rives, joined in the fun!


Photos courtesy of Michael Canerella
Labor Day Flyer

Bargaining Update: Late Cancellation Last Week

Dear Colleagues:

Your FFAP and FCE Joint Bargaining Team (JBT) was scheduled to meet with the administration team on Friday, Aug 11th at the CLIMB Center. At 5:38pm on the 10th, we received an email from admin. They apologized for the late notice and said they had to cancel the meeting because simply put, they weren’t ready. They said they had been working on various costing options and needed more time to put together a proposal.

The JBT had to spring into action to notify all participants and observers that the meeting had been cancelled. Unfortunately, not everyone received the notifications and some observers showed up to the CLIMB Center Friday morning.

While this late cancellation caused us some undue inconvenience, we are hopeful that this is a positive sign. Admin has yet to present an official proposal, so it would be a constructive step to receive one at the next meeting, scheduled for 9am on Tuesday, Aug. 22nd.

That’s the day after the eclipse and traffic is expected to be fierce. Interested observers should plan on arriving much earlier than the normal 8:45 meeting time in case of traffic delays. The Federations will provide some breakfast munchies for the early arrivers.

Interested observers are encouraged to sign up and attend the next meetings on Tuesday, Aug. 22nd and Thursday, Aug. 24th at 9am at the CLIMB Center. Observers get to provide immediate feedback to the JBT during caucuses and after the meeting. Your attendance is not only valuable as a show of solidarity, but also helps spread the word to your colleagues about negotiations.

Many of you have expressed frustration about the slow progress in bargaining this summer. While we are working hard and hoping for the best, we are also starting to plan for the possibility that the academic year will begin without a settlement. If this happens, we’ll be asking you to get more involved to help us move forward. We continue to believe that there are resources in the budget for a fair and reasonable contract.

Here are some things you can do right now:

  1. Sign up to attend the next bargaining session right now! (The deadline to sign up for the Aug. 22nd meeting is Thursday, Aug. 17)
  2. Please Button up!
  3. Attend upcoming PCC Board Meetings
  4. Wear a Transparency T-shirt, available at the Federation office.
  5. Spread the word to your colleagues!

Yours in solidarity,

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

Bargaining Update: Productive Discussion

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

Dear Colleagues:

Your FFAP and FCE Joint Bargaining Team (JBT) met with the administration team on Friday, Aug 4th at the CLIMB Center, for a scheduled meeting from 9am to 12pm. There were no new items on the agenda.

No official proposals were offered, but there was constructive dialogue on how to achieve some of the federations’ top priorities while still meeting the college’s budget constraints. This discussion will help create concrete proposals shortly.

An additional meeting date of Thursday, August 24th from 9am to noon has been added to the schedule.

We are encouraging interested observers to attend the next meeting on Friday, August 11th at noon at CLIMB. We need as many observers as possible to be a visible presence and show solidarity.

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Sign up to attend the next bargaining session! (The deadline to sign up for the Aug. 11th meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 8)

  2. Please Button up!

  3. Attend upcoming PCC Board Meeting

  4. Wear a Transparency T-shirt, available at the Federation office.

  5. Spread the word to your colleagues!

Yours in solidarity,

Will Mahoney-Watson

Acting VP of Communications, on behalf of your Joint Bargaining Team
(Frank Goulard, Allison Gross, Peter Seaman, Michael Cannarella, Shirlee Geiger, Jeff Grider, Cherie Maas-Anderson, Elisabeth Garcia Davidson)

Berry Picking – this Saturday, Aug. 5th at the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie’s Island!

Due to a low berry count at Kruger’s Farm, we have changed the location of our berry picking event to the Pumpkin Patch (still on Sauvie Island, located at 16511 NW Gillihan Rd. Portland, Oregon. 97231) this Saturday, August 5th!
Berry picking begins at 10amwith lunch beginning at 12noon. The Federation will buy the first flat of berries per group and provide vouchers for lunch where folks can choose from onsite vendors.
While it may be the end of the berry season, there are still berries to be had, so don’t hesitate – RSVP here by Friday, August 4th to let us know you’ll be coming.
Hope to see you out there (and plan for the weather – it will be in the 90s!)
In berry solidarity,
Mary =)
Mary Sykora

Staff Organizer, PCCFFAP/PCCFCE

Portland Community College Federation of Faculty & Academic Professionals (PCCFFAP)
Portland Community College Federation of Classified Employees (PCCFCE)Locals 2277/3922, AFT, AFL-CIO
P.O. Box 19389
Portland, Oregon 97280-0389
(971) 722-4722
mary.sykora@pccfce3922.org
pccffap.org / pccfce3922.org

Bargaining Resumes

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

Dear Colleagues:

Your FFAP and FCE Joint Bargaining Team (JBT) met with the administration team this week on Thursday, July 27th at the CLIMB Center, for a scheduled meeting from 9am to 3pm. There were several new items on the agenda.

After some initial discussion, FFAP President Frank Goulard presented a revised proposal which would lower some costs by phasing in implementation over the next two years. The Admin team reviewed the proposal and although their cost estimates were higher, they agreed that this was a good start.

However, the estimated costs are still much higher than the $2.6M that Admin has budgeted. The JBT questioned several aspects of the budget, including higher costs for new management positions and for many contingency funds. The Admin team did not address these concerns, stating simply that the budget is designed to follow fair labor practices. Admin did express concerns about the continuing declines in enrollment and its impact on the budget. The JBT pointed out that the growth of management positions during a period of declining enrollment was running counter to national trends.

The JBT emphasized the need for compromise on both sides of the table. Frank offered another suggestion that modified the proposed costs yet still preserved Federation priorities for its members. Admin appreciated the additional dialogue and responded that they needed to speak with their folks, after which the meeting adjourned.

The JBT is hopeful that Admin will be able to increase its meager budget allotment of $2.6M. Due to a 2015 Oregon Supreme Court order reversing a 2013 Legislative PERS reduction, all employees in the bargaining unit will be receiving a 1% reduction as part of the 2017-2019 budget’s Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). The JBT feels that Admin should be able to reallocate its priorities to assist our employees, who are already feeling the pinch of Portland’s tight housing market and other costs of living.

There was another outstanding turnout of member support, as over 20 observers showed up to watch the negotiating sessions and to engage in lively debates during the caucuses. They also enjoyed breakfast snacks and a delicious lunch. The JBT greatly values the feedback from our diverse array of members who observed!

We are encouraging observers to attend the next meeting on Friday, August 4th at 9am at CLIMB. We need as many observers as possible to be a visible presence and show solidarity.

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Sign up to attend the next bargaining session! (The deadline to sign up for the Aug. 4th meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 1)
  2. Please Button up!
  3. Attend upcoming PCC Board Meeting
  4. Wear a Transparency T-shirt, available at the Federation office.
  5. Spread the word to your colleagues!

Yours in solidarity,

Will Mahoney-Watson

Acting VP of Communications, on behalf of your Joint Bargaining Team
(Frank Goulard, Allison Gross, Peter Seaman, Michael Cannarella, Shirlee Geiger, Jeff Grider, Cherie Maas-Anderson, Elisabeth Garcia Davidson)