Last Thursday, August 26 the joint bargaining team met with PCC administration to continue working toward an agreement on Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for 2021-22 and 2022-23. Once again, our team documented the session on Twitter, and you can read a blow-by-blow account of the discussion here.
Administration is inching closer to an offer that would maintain the 2.5% yearly COLAs we negotiated in 2019. However, the cost of living in the Portland metro area is currently increasing at a rate of around 5% per year! And while the administration would love for us to accept their position that the College is in financial distress due to the pandemic, we know this is not the case. Here’s how we know that:
Fewer class sections offered saves the college money (mostly on the backs of part time instructors)
The College has saved millions of dollars by pushing operating expenses onto employees via remote work
PCC has received $54 Million in federal relief money
The Oregon State Legislature’s budget allocation for community colleges includes $21 Million in unanticipated funding for PCC
Toward the end of the meeting, administration did finally offer to maintain the 2.5% COLAs in 2021-22 and 2022-23, but with a couple of caveats:
The COLAs would be implemented slower, in 6-month increments—1.5% / 1% / 1.5% / 1%; and
The final increment would be rolled back in 2023 if enrollment in 2021-22 declines below 18,642 (which would be an 8% decrease from 2020-21)
Obviously, we’re not interested in helping the College *save* money by cutting our COLAs, nor are we interested in negotiating contingencies. If we have learned anything from the last year, it’s that hits to enrollment are often offset by other dollars, and we don’t need to negotiate ourselves into a hole in 2023.
We will meet again on Wednesday, September 1 at 2:30 p.m. where we will share our team’s counteroffer. Follow along on Twitter if you are interested!
The award-winning documentary “Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders” is the compelling story of the Mississippi Civil Rights movement from the point of view of its remarkable and courageous women who changed the course of history. The film has been in dozens of film festivals, winning ten awards, and has been shown worldwide. Directed by Laura J. Lipson.
This fast-paced inspiring documentary reveals how the backbone of the Mississippi Civil Rights movement was a small group of dedicated, strong, black women. They were poor and underfunded, yet fiercely determined to have their share of America’s promise; to give their children a better life. These women risked their lives to register to vote, to integrate the public-school system, and to integrate the political structure of the state.
Meet the Women in the Film!
Unita Blackwell, a sharecropper turned activist, who became Mississippi’s first female black mayor
Mae Bertha Carter, a mother of 13, whose children became the first to integrate the Drew County schools against dangerous opposition
Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a white student activist who not only participated in sit-ins, but took a stand on integration by attending an all-black university
Annie Devine and Victoria Gray Adams, who, along with Fannie Lou Hamer, stepped up and challenged the Democratic Party and President Johnson at the 1964 Convention. They not only brought about change in Mississippi, but they altered the course of American history.
Last Friday, the joint bargaining team met with PCC administration to continue working toward an agreement on Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for 2021-22 and 2022-23. Administration continues to bar observers from meetings, refuses to allow meetings to be recorded, and refuses any type of accommodation that might let members observe what they are trying to do, which is cut our COLAs despite having received $54 million in federal relief money, $21 million in unanticipated state funding, and untold cost savings from cancelled sections and facility closures during the pandemic.
We recently learned that the College has decided not to increase tuition over the next two years, foregoing an estimated $11 Million in revenue. It’s worth asking why, if the College’s financial situation was as dire as they are trying to make it seem, the College would do this. And if the answer is: to support students, we posit that another way to support students is by NOT cutting COLAs of faculty and staff who have delivered services under unimaginably difficult circumstances over the last 17 months!
You can read a real-time account of the bargaining session in this Twitter thread. By the end of the session, PCC had come up a tiny bit, offering 1.9% COLAs plus a lump sum of .5% or .6%, subject to costing (they want to keep the cost of the lump sum under $2M). The offer is obviously not acceptable as it is a decrease from the 2.5% COLAs agreed on in 2019, and does nothing to compensate members for the added stress and workload of the last year and a half.
Our counteroffer was 3.4% COLAs, plus $200 per month lump sum payments through June, 2021, retroactive to April, 2020. Our next meeting will be August 26, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. We will continue pushing for observers and will keep you posted on that front.