News

Join PCCFFAP on International Workers’ Day (May 1st)

President's Message

Frank Goulard and Jeff Grider at May Day
Frank Goulard and Jeff Grider at May Day

Greetings:

I’m writing to invite you to join your fellow workers at the May Day demonstration on Monday, May 1st. The demonstration will take place in Shemanski Park (north end of the PSU Park blocks), with a rally at 2PM and a march to follow at 3PM.

PCCFFAP leaders and members will be under the marquee on the 8th Ave. side of the Schnitz–right across the street from Shemanski Park starting at 2:30 and will join the march when it starts at 3pm.  We’ll have PCCFFAP banners, shirts, and more for you to wear.

Why do this? As you may know, May Day is also known as International Workers’ Day, and is the traditional workers holiday throughout the world. The day was chosen to commemorate the Haymarket Affair, widely seen as the start of the Labor Movement in the United States–when over 200,000 workers in Chicago struck for the 8-hour work day. Many countries continue to celebrate their workers and labor movements on the first of May, but not the United States.

Please join us in celebrating labor history, and also to advocate for labor, environmental and racial justice in the United States and throughout the world. We aim not just to resist, but advocate for a better world. It starts with getting involved wherever possible.  

Let us know if you can be part of the meet up–or just show up with friends, family, and/or co-workers. I hope to see you there.

In Solidarity,

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

Bargaining Update

President's MessageDear Colleagues:

Last Friday, your Federation bargaining team, along with PCC administration, kicked off the 2017-19 Contract reopener. I am writing to update you about what was discussed, but first, for those of you who signed up to attend a bargaining session on April 14 or April 21, please note that those dates have been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. Here’s a google doc with newly agreed upon dates and times. Please, spread the word! Sign up to attend a session! Our presence at these meetings will ensure that the administration knows we are united in our pursuit of a fair and reasonable contract.

Last Friday’s opening bargaining session had only two items on the agenda: 1) Establishment of the ground rules, a document that both sides agree to prior to the substantive wage and benefits discussion, and 2)  An update on the PCC Budget presented by Vice President of Finance Jim Langstraat. It was a good discussion and we expect to come to a resolution on the ground rules prior to the next bargaining meeting on May 3.

Mr. Langstraat and President Mitsui will be taking the budget presentation to all of the PCC campuses in the coming months, and we encourage everyone to attend a session. But keep in mind that the administration frames the budget in a particular way. Here are some facts to keep in mind:

Many of our members are struggling

  • The cost of living in Portland is increasing at an alarming rate – According to the Bureau of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), housing costs in Portland increased by 21% in the last year alone.

  • Nationwide, 25% of part-time faculty members at colleges and universities are on some form of public assistance. Anecdotal data from our members reflects this.

The revenue forecast for PCC is positive

  • The State of Oregon is expected to fund community colleges at the same or slightly higher levels as the prior biennium (We will know for sure in June).

  • The PCC Board of Directors voted to raise tuition in each of the next two years, resulting in an additional $16 million in revenue for PCC.

  • A PCC Bond Measure is planned for 2017. If passed, this would fund deferred maintenance and building upgrades across the district.

The administration has priorities that do not reflect our members’ struggles

  • The administration wants to add $2 million to the college’s reserve fund (basically a “rainy day fund”), which currently stands at $20 million.

  • The administration wants to increase the amount of funding for administrator salary and benefits by 10% for the biennium (through a combination of salary increases for current administrators and new administrative positions).

Saving money is good; college administrators are important, but…

  • An across the board Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for everyone in our union is a high priority for our members.  For context, a 1% COLA for all faculty, AP, and classified employees would cost the college $3.3 million over two years.

  • By some estimates, we would need an 8.1% COLA to keep up with the cost of living in Portland!

  • Part time faculty teach 72% of classes at PCC, but they have only nine steps in their pay scale compared to 17 for full time faculty, APs, and classified, so it takes much longer for them to advance. They deserve an equitable advancement path that is consistent with their full time and AP colleagues.

If you agree with the Federation’s priorities and you want to support the efforts of the bargaining team, please click here! I hope to see you at a Contract Action Team (CAT) meeting or bargaining session in the near future.

In solidarity,

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

Get Trained as a Union Organizer this Year! (MOD-P 2017)

President's Message​Dear Colleagues:

I’m pleased to announce that the federation will be participating in AFT-Oregon’s second annual Member Organizer Development Program (MOD-P), a training and development opportunity for PCCFFAP members (that’s you!) who are ready to take their organizing skills to the next level and build our union for the future.

MOD-P is a 6-week program that teaches organizing skills through real-world experience in concert with staff and local leaders. Members who participate are supported through a work stipend that reimburses them for lost wages, and help securing release time from our employer.

We are looking for members who are interested in using this development opportunity as a way to jump-start or deepen a long-term involvement with our federation. Does that sound like you? Read on …

Program highlights include:

  • Attend a three-day organizing training with other MOD-P participants from other Oregon educational institutions

  • Get real-world field experience under guidance from professional organizing staff

  • Regular team meetings with other MOD-P participants to compare and learn

  • Establish and build organizing practices for our federation

Admittance into the program is competitive and will be based on an application and interview.

Thinking of applying? Want to talk more about it? Send me an email now and I can help you apply before April 17.

In Solidarity,

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

2017 Contract Reopener: You’re Invited!

President's Message

Dear Colleagues:

Have you ever wondered what happens when your Federation bargaining team sits down with PCC administration to negotiate pay and benefits? Now is your chance to find out! This year, bargaining sessions will be open to any member who wishes to attend. Click here for dates and times, and to sign up to be an observer. You’ll also find information about joining the Contract Action Team (CAT), a committee of union members who are interested in learning more about bargaining and supporting the bargaining team. We’ll post agendas for bargaining meetings on this form as they become available – typically one week in advance.

As I’ve shared before, this year is a contract reopener, which means that only wages and benefits will be negotiated. Working conditions, including the three-year contracts for PT faculty, will be on the agenda in 2019 when we have full contract negotiations.

The bargaining team has identified a set of priorities for bargaining. Thanks to everyone who took the survey, we have a good sense of our members’ priorities. The top three issues are:

  1. Cost of living allowance (COLA) for all members
  2. Salary equity for PT faculty
  3. New top step on the salary schedule

You have probably been hearing a lot of doom and gloom scenarios from the administration regarding the PCC budget. While it is true that enrollment is down compared to recent years, enrollment is only one of many factors. Other considerations include:

  • State of Oregon revenue forecast (released in May)
  • Amount of funding allocated to the state’s Community College Support Fund (finalized in June)
  • The PCC Board of Directors approval of a $14 tuition increase over two years.

Assuming state funding remains stable, we are confident that your bargaining team will be able to negotiate a fair and reasonable contract that includes COLAs, pay equity for part-time Faculty, and other issues that are important to our members’ lives and livelihoods.

Stay tuned for more updates, and I hope to see some of you at negotiation sessions!

In Solidarity,

Frank Goulard, PCCFFAP President

frank.goulard@pccffap.org

PCCFFAP seeking nominations for Executive Council

President's Message

Dear Colleagues:

Have you ever considered joining the leadership ranks of your union? The PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals (PCCFFAP) is seeking nominations for Executive Council positions. You may nominate yourself or a colleague.

Executive Council members are elected to two-year terms. They meet once per month in addition to leading/serving on various Federation committees that advance our organization’s goals of advocating for fair compensation and good working conditions at PCC. As a member of the Executive Council, you will have a seat at the table when matters of pressing importance for you and your colleagues are being discussed – everything from deciding whether to back candidates for PCC Board of Directors to prioritizing issues at the bargaining table. In short, it’s an amazing opportunity to make a real difference at PCC.

Below you will find a timeline for the 2017 election, as well as list of the positions up for election this year. Candidates will be asked to provide a 125-word statement, which will be sent to all members prior to the ballots.

And if you have questions or would like to chat with an Executive Council member about what it’s like to serve, reach out! Reply to this email and we will connect you with a union leader who can tell you more.

Sincerely,

Frank Goulard, PCCFFAP President

frank.goulard@pccffap.org

FEDERATION OF FACULTY AND AP ELECTIONS 2017 TIMELINE

April 3  Nominations Open

April 18  Nominations Close

April 20  Mailing or Email to announce those running for Office

May 11  Ballots Mailed

May 29  Ballot deadline

May 31  Ballot Count

June 2  Announce Winners at Executive Council Meeting

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OFFICES OPEN 2017

Vice President of Political and Legislative Action: Chairs the Political and Legislative Action Committee; coordinates the political and fundraising activities of the Federation; prepares campaign reports; works closely with the President and the Executive Council to develop and implement political education strategies, represents the Federation on the AFT-Oregon Political and Legislative ActionCOPE Committee and to the Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC).

Secretary: Keeps records of the General Membership and Executive Council Meetings; conducts correspondence; maintains records; sends meeting minutes to Executive Council members; provides copies of the meeting minutes of previous Executive Council and General Membership Meetings; acts as the custodian of the seal and charter of the Federation.

Vice President of Communications: Gathers and edits information for publication; chairs the Communications Committee, works closely with the President and other stakeholders to develop member communications and coordinate the local’s communications strategy.

Vice Presidents for Membership: FT faculty, PT faculty, and APs (3 positions): Chairs the Election Committee, conducts elections and ratifications, chairs the Membership Committee and conducts Membership Drives, maintains a current list of committees and Federation Representatives.

Campus Representatives for FT faculty, PT faculty and APs at Rock Creek, Southeast, and Cascade (9 positions): Represents each Campus or building(s) from which they are elected; communicates and meets with members, acts as a grievance representative when requested; supports the Federation representatives in their areas.

Bridge the Divides in 2017: Take a Colleague to Coffee!

PCCFFAP is excited to announce a new Federation initiative: Take a Colleague to Coffee.

PCC is a huge institution with many divides–between campuses, types of work, and areas of specialization (among others). One of the most important things we can do as a union is bridge those divides. PCCFFAP represents all faculty (PT and FT) and all of our academic professionals.

The more we know about one another, the stronger we are as a college–and as a union. To bring us closer together, PCCFFAP is inviting you to take a colleague out to coffee, tea, or other refreshment. Use a $10 voucher, provided by PCCFFAP (more below) at any campus food service location, learn a little about a colleague–and share with us a little bit about what you learned.

We hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity, described in detail below. And if you want to go out to coffee with one of our union leaders, please write to one of our Executive Council members. We’d love to have coffee with you.

Here’s a simple way to reach out across the divides:

  1. Get a $10 voucher for PCC food service
  2. Invite a colleague out to coffee. For example:
    • Sylvanians take out a SouthEaster
    • Part-Timers invite an Academic Professional
    • Department Chairs invite a colleague from Workforce Development
  3. Ask these three questions of your co-worker:
    • Tell me about your job; what does a typical week look like for you?
    • What’s the best part of your job?
    • What would you change about PCC if you could?
  4. Share a short summary with your federation leaders
  5. Repeat all year and build connections across PCC.

Thanks in advance for reaching out across the divide. We look forward to hearing from you!

Standing Up to Trump’s Travel Ban

President's MessagePresident Trump’s executive order that prohibiting entry into the United States by citizens of a targeted set of countries with predominantly Muslim residents affects approximately 25,000 people holding student and work visas, and as many as 500,000 people who are permanent legal residents of the United States. This order is already harming many AFT members and millions of our students, patients, families, friends and neighbors.

AFT and AFT-Oregon stand unequivocally against these actions. Whether or not you are among those directly affected, we encourage you to embrace the important ally role you have in distributing credible information and providing assistance in your communities.

AFT is providing resources  about the entry ban, who it affects, what those affected should expect, how to connect to legal assistance in your area and how to organize to fight against these bigoted actions.

I encourage you to go over this information carefully and share it with your colleagues. You’ll be hearing from us more as this situation develops.

Now more than ever, we need to reaffirm that our schools, campuses, hospitals and public spaces remain safe zones, free from racism, hate and the threat of deportation.

Three-Year Contracts for Part-Time Faculty

President's MessageDear Colleagues,

As we approach the second round of Three-Year Contract (TYC) applications for part time faculty, I wanted to update you on some of the conversations that federation leaders have been having around the district with members who have been impacted by the process.

As you may know, the first TYCs were awarded last spring. The Federation held 8 meetings — 2 on each campus — to gather thoughts and responses on the process from members who either applied or decided not to apply. Representatives from human resources attended at least one meeting on each campus, to listen to what was presented.

The meetings were well attended, and many more emailed in their ideas for inclusion in the discussion. In fall 2016, federation leaders presented a summary document to PCC administrators in charge of the roll-out of the second set of contracts. You can view the entire document here. A summary follows.

Themes (in rough order of how often similar comments were made)

  1. Inconsistency in the application process across the district — especially for the same disciplines — feels very unfair and increases distrust.
  2. With or without a standardized application process, we heard people say they would like a common hiring rubric, to be shared in advance, to make the process transparent. Many instructors have learned that providing grading rubrics to students decreases anxiety and increases quality, and believe a hiring rubric would work the same way.
  3. The positions should be announced earlier, with a longer period to apply.
  4. Some departments are willing to hire from other campuses, and others are not; this makes uneven opportunities and could push good teachers out.
  5. Department chairs and deans should be sure to provide affirmations to valued teachers who DON’T get the 3-year contracts and take this as an opportunity to express appreciation.
In response, the administration has agreed to provide more time for the application process, addressing #3 on our list. They have NOT responded to other feedback or concerns raised by PT faculty during our meetings. We are disappointed by this lack of response, but unfortunately the federation’s power is limited. We can relay concerns, suggest changes, but ultimately only PCC administration can make the changes to the way TYCs are awarded.
 
That said, we can renegotiate the terms of the TYCs during the next round of contract negotiations in 2019 and so we intend to continue collecting feedback from members and using this feedback to push for better terms in the next contract. 
 
Please continue to share your experiences with TYCs (positive or negative!), ideas, etc. with your Federation leaders. We will continue relaying your concerns to administration and applying pressure on them to address 1, 2, 4, and 5. TYCs are one step in an ongoing struggle for fairness and equity for PCC’s PT faculty. We need your help to keep the pressure on administration to ensure that the initiative is successful.
Sincerely,
Frank Goulard, PCCFFAP President

Improving on 3-year contracts

The first 3-year contracts were awarded last spring, and the Federation held 8 meetings — 2 on each campus — to gather thoughts and responses on the process from members who either applied or decided not to apply. Representatives from human resources attended at least one meeting on each campus, to listen to what was presented.

Thank you to all who attended, and the many more who emailed in their ideas for inclusion. The following document summarizes what we heard. It was presented in Fall 2016 to administrators in charge of the roll-out of the second set of contracts.

Three-Year Contract (TYC) / Multi-Year Contract (MYC) Feedback Sessions

May-June 2016

Themes (in rough order of how often similar comments were made)

  • Inconsistency in the application process across the district — especially for the same disciplines — feels very unfair and increases distrust.
  • With or without a standardized application process, we heard people say they would like a common hiring rubric, to be shared in advance, to make the process transparent. Many instructors have learned that providing grading rubrics to students decreases anxiety and increases quality, and believe a hiring rubric would work the same way.
  • The positions should be announced earlier, with a longer period to apply
  • Some departments are willing to hire from other campuses, and others are not; this makes uneven opportunities and could push good teachers out
  • Department chairs and deans should be sure to provide affirmations to valued teachers who DON’T get the 3-year contracts and take this as an opportunity to express appreciation

 

Additional comments:

  • There should be more clarity about the parameters of the contract for both faculty and administrators. Here is a quote: “One interview question was about what other things I would contribute to the dept. if I received a contract, and I was somewhat taken aback as I understand that the contract does not mandate that MYC faculty put in additional time on unpaid projects and meetings except for the addition of the two office hours.” Another instructor was told there were new mandatory meetings, which would be uncompensated, but the hours were covered by the new mandated office hours.
  • Instructors reported being told by deans and department chairs that aspects of the contracts were up to the union, and to ask union representatives — only to be told by union leaders that these same aspects were up to administration.

 

 

Responses to first question: How do you think the 3-year contracts will change your connection to PCC?

  • Now I feel like even more of an outsider to the institution
  • I have started to look elsewhere — dept chair told people that after the three-year contracts are awarded, there will likely not be enough classes left for anyone who didn’t get one.
  • Stressing about the application process compromised “my mojo in the classroom.”
  • I have mixed feelings about applying for job they are currently and have been doing — why aren’t the folder full of good evaluations from students AND dept chairs/deans worth anything?
  • These contracts create even more of a “caste system” just at a time when PCC should be fostering more collaboration among faculty
  • Connection to peers and work friends is now strained or has negative change — I hated competing against colleagues I know and value
  • I am a recipient of 3-Year Contract and I am generally pleased with the contract; no negative change in connection at this point.
  • “Tragic results” for a small department
  • Many questions if 3-year contracts can be rescinded (response: no, not until 2019 contract negotiated)
  • “I don’t know who to trust”, or what I can, cannot, or should not say.
  • I received a 3-year contract, and it is the first term working at PCC I won’t have stomach trouble as I check enrollment to see if my classes will fill.
  • This has not changed connection to PCC even though did not receive 3-year contracts, due to feeling that their dept. have good experienced 3-year contract recipients and they are all professional
  • What happened to “students first?”
  • Some instructors talked about or decided “let’s not apply at all” in an effort not to do harm to others in dept.
  • We wish it was clearer to membership what went on in negotiations — that the original proposal from the Executive Council had seniority as a qualifying condition for eligibility
  • I am job hunting now, since it is not clear I can finish career here (after 17 years)
  • My relationship with my chair is disintegrating, and relationships with peers are now rocky
  • It is hard to keep going with students when you don’t get respect or praise from supervisors
  • If I had a contract, I would speak more freely, be more vocal in complaints
  • I like my job, but I don’t like the conditions under which I teach.
  • How can we get administration to see the value of giving 3-year contracts to long time PT?
  • It feels different at different campuses and departments; I feel appreciated at SYL, but not at SE (although I like the students at SE a lot)
  • It is sad that there is a loss of connection among faculty (teaching since 1982), and a sharp drop in morale
  • Chairs are not advocating for teachers

 

 

Answers to second question: Is there something you think Administrators should know as they think about how to continue the implementation of these contracts?

  • Need transparency — if people don’t know what makes an applicant attractive, there is no way to prepare for the application process
  • If I was in charge, I would mandate that chairs or division deans schedule meetings with people who applied and didn’t get a 3-year contract, to talk about how PCC can better support them as professionals.
  • Why don’t we apply the same thing to teachers that we all KNOW works to keep students motivated? We know what works… and it isn’t rejection, with no explanation of how to improve.
  • No seniority? Only 1 year teaching at PCC?
  • Each campus, departments had different process, need to have equitable processes
  • Short turn around, details announced via email March 11th, due April 1st (during finals, grading, spring “break”?, prep and start of next term); could be why lots of good teachers didn’t even apply
  • The complicated process is supposed to be so “best teachers are in the classroom” — but without understanding the decision making process, it feels like a kind of favoritism.
  • Took too long to learn of decision
  • Would rather authentic class observations, rather than fake class demos
  • Dismayed that faculty from other campuses were hired
  • “Domino effect” as a result of those hired from other campuses; individuals not getting any classes at their campus now, some essentially “laid off”
  • Say what you want and “stick with the criteria”
  • ***Question in process regarding: “Are you?: Under 40, Over 40, Decline to Answer”*** Important note: Can that question be asked?  Department and campus known.
  • When there is new administration, dean, etc, how does that impact the process, decisions, etc?
  • Transparency: “How many people applied” per dept, campus?
    • Did they all meet the criteria? If so, then how are 3-year contracts decided?  Any consideration to seniority?

 

Process variations:

  • Based only on cover letter and resume/CV
  • Included student or course evaluations
  • No in-person interview, only phone interview + no teaching demo

 

Didn’t apply because:

  • Need the summer off for other work commitments
  • Close to retirement
  • Didn’t want to compete with others
  • Shouldn’t have to do apply for the job they already do

 

Assignment Rights:

  • Dept couldn’t find completed paperwork for assignment rights.

 

Benefits:

  • As 3-year contract recipient, happy to finally have consistent health-care to cover self and family (rather than pay open market health insurance at $5000/yr
    • Would like to have college authorize opportunities that come through the Affordable Care Act for public service and education, such as discount on student loans for self and dependents

 

Quotes:

  • “I should feel good about getting one (3-year contract), but I don’t. I now will likely work 14 hour days (a split shift).
  • 3-year contract recipient felt like “I had to do a dog and pony show” even though committee knows what this specific faculty member does and does it well.
  • “Fallout of this process is tremendous…has led to unintended outcomes.”
  • Sends the message that “some are more valued than others.”
  • “We need to feel hopeful”, but there are not enough 3-year contracts for everyone.
  • Felt like it was about “who can write the best cover letter.”
  • “I am totally committed to teaching. This is what I do.”
  • “Now I need to change hours to allow our new 3-year contract recipient to teach elsewhere at a different college as well.”
  • 3-year contract recipient who is also self-employed: “Administrator asked, ‘How will you handle your multiple jobs?’ Recipient of 3-year contract stated, ‘I’ve been doing it all this time.’”
  • “Is this really addressing the needs and concerns of PT faculty and membership?”
  • “I don’t want to take a class that someone else is good at (or has specialty) in.”

 

(We also asked a question about struggling with demoralization, but will not be sharing those responses with administration.)