Bargaining Update #4

This update covers bargaining sessions held on June 14 & June 28, 2019

  • Articles 3.64 and 3.13 (followup) Admin and FFAP agreed on changes to Article 3.64 to specify that non-bargaining unit members (i.e. casuals, classified employees) are eligible to apply for temporary AP/Faculty positions (this is current practice). FFAP proposed similar changes to Article 3.13, so that non-bargaining unit members would be eligible to apply for permanent internal job postings. Admin is resistant to this change because it would allow non-bargaining unit employees (e.g. casuals) to bypass the formal screening committee when applying for permanent positions. We settled on adding some language to 3.13 that would require managers to consult with faculty and APs in the affected department but would ultimately leave it to the manager’s discretion whether to limit internal applicants to current bargaining unit members. We hope for a T.A. to that effect during the next session. 
  • Article 25 Grievance Procedure FFAP is proposing contract language clarifying that members are entitled to bring grievances on issues that are not contract-related. FFAP also seeks to reduce the number of formal steps in the grievance process and clarify that the grievance timeline begins on the day the violation occurred OR the day on which the grievant became aware of the violation. 
  • Article 15 (followup) Regarding the tuition waiver for dependents of PT employees, Admin is seeking to add contract language reflecting a cap similar to the one affecting FT employees, who are capped at the “maximum number of credits required to obtain a two-year degree”. Admin claims this was an oversight that occurred while drafting the language in 2005 and that they enforce the cap for dependents of PT faculty regardless. FFAP submitted a counter-proposal acceding to the overall credit cap while also raising the per-term cap from 6 to 19 credits for dependents of part-time employees. 
  • Article 18.22 (followup) FFAP and management agreed that former employees who subsequently become PT instructors will be placed on a pay step based on accumulated hours in accordance with Article 18.23. Part time faculty who are rehired after a period of separation will be placed at the step they were on at the time of separation. (T.A. signed on June 28, 2019.)* 
  • Article 1.07 Regarding the definition of “business days,” both sides agreed that contract language does not need to be changed but FFAP would like the notes to reflect that where the contract references business-day timelines, these may be extended by mutual agreement. 
  • Article 19.212 Currently managers can request verification of illness or injury after five consecutive days of sick leave. Admin would like to reduce that to three days to be consistent with Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA). FFAP is concerned this could adversely affect employees with children who may be out sick with minor consecutive ailments (i.e. a cold or stomach bug migrating through a household.) Admin will consider clarifying that the consecutive days of leave should be per instance. 
  • Article 27 (followup) Admin is amenable to creating a separate article to address campus safety and willing to consider mandatory safety training for all employees. They are consulting with stakeholders and weighing the economic impact. 
  • Article 6.223 FFAP proposes striking Article 6.223 from the contract and aligning Developmental Education (DE) workload with Comp/Lit (Article 6.222), so that credit/conference hours are consistent and instructors are not disincentivized from teaching DE classes. 
  • Article 19 (followup) Admin is still trying to determine the economic impact of making the AP leave bank available to APs who are caring for a sick or injured family member. FFAP expressed frustration with the delay as the proposal was first presented on May 17. 
  • Article 9  (followup) Admin requested that a substitute “may be authorized” for instructor absences, instead of “will be authorized.” FFAP requested language reflecting that substitutes “or other alternative instructional modalities”  may be authorized and that the record reflect that the instructor’s judgement would be honored. (T.A. signed on June 3, 2019.)*
  • Article 6 FFAP is interested in addressing FT faculty workload imbalances – the fact that many FT faculty are overloaded with non-teaching duties. Both sides are interested in finding a way to assess workload and achieve a more equitable distribution of non-teaching duties, as well as increasing PT faculty involvement in non-instructional work. 

*T.A. = Tentative Agreement, meaning both sides have agreed but the decision will not be put into effect until each side has voted to approve the final contract in its entirety. 

Questions? Feedback? Contact the Bargaining team!

Bargaining Update #3

This update covers bargaining sessions held on May 3, May 17, and May 31

  • Article 6.6 During a prior bargaining session, FFAP and Admin agreed to create a joint subcommittee to look at Faculty Department Chair training, onboarding, and performance assessment. Subcommittee members have been identified and they will bring recommendations in early July.
  • Articles 3.64 and 3.13, Admin requested that contract language be changed to specify that non-bargaining unit members (i.e. casuals, classified employees) be eligible to apply for temporary AP/Faculty positions (this is current practice). At the same time, FFAP proposed changes to Article 3.13 so that non-bargaining unit members would be eligible to apply for temporary and permanent internal job postings. FFAP noted the college’s over-reliance on casual workers, and the fact that many of them should be AP positions.
  • Article 6.111 Admin requested to adjust the language so that the FT faculty work year begins with fall term and ends with summer term.  FFAP agreed as long as some exceptions could be made. (T.A. signed on May 17*)
  • Article 5.6 Counselor Duties – updated to reflect current duties. (T.A. signed on May 17*)
  • Article 5.5 Librarian Duties – updated to reflect current duties. (T.A. signed on May 31*)
  • Article 19 – FFAP requests that the AP Leave Bank be made available to APs who are caring for a sick or injured family member. This proposal was presented on May 17, with a follow-up on May 31.
  • Article 27 – FFAP would like to reexamine the language in Article 27 in light of recent, high-visibility acts of campus violence. FFAP is requesting changes to the Student of Concern reporting and communication process, as well as mandatory, compensated training for all faculty and APs on assessing and addressing the threat of violence in the classroom and on campus. FFAP would also like to remove “Safety” from article 27 (which also covers facilities and parking) and create a standalone article to address safety.

*T.A. = Tentative Agreement, meaning both sides have agreed but the decision will not be put into effect until each side has voted to approve the final contract.

An Open Letter

(Photo credit Texas State Teachers Association)

To Oregon’s K-12 Educators

To our friends and colleagues:

In this moment, when educators around the country, from West Virginia to L.A. to Chicago, are leading transformative struggles for more just and equitable communities, we want to tell you this: we are moved by your courage and outrage, and we stand with you.  

We understand that for decades, all levels of public education have been under assault by the forces of austerity and privatization.  We’re inspired by educators who aren’t just trying to hold ground – to slow the decline – but who are demanding bold new visions that hold up education as a central part of a fair and democratic society.  

Many of us will be in the streets with you on May 8th.  

In solidarity!

The Portland Community College Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals

Bargaining Update #1

The March 1 bargaining session was the first time management and the federation addressed substantive issues affecting our members. (The first meeting on Feb. 1 covered bargaining ground rules, and the second on Feb. 15 was “housekeeping” or cleaning up non-controversial contract language.)  Unless noted, no agreements were reached and the discussion will continue at a later date. 

  • Article 25.20 – Management sought clarification on the grievance timelines. After some discussion, all parties agreed to come back to the issue at a later date.
  • Article 19.82 – Regarding closures for inclement weather, FFAP wants to change the contract language to require APs to make up the work as opposed to the time lost due to closures. As exempt employees, AP work should not be bound to a fixed schedule. Management was open to changing the language and we will return to the issue in a subsequent meeting.
  • Article 18.22 – FFAP asks that APs who become PT Faculty be placed on Step 9, which is consistent with existing practice for FT Faculty who transition to PT. Because of the potential economic impact on the college, both parties agreed to table the discussion until economic issues are addressed over the summer.
  • Article 18.94 – FFAP asks that PT counselors, librarians, and tutors be paid for their scheduled hours during closures. Management’s concern is that because their work is bound to the worksite, they would then be getting paid for not working. FFAP agreed to follow up with affected employees to see if working off site was a possibility, but regardless feel that these employees should be paid during closures. Will return to the issue when economic issues are discussed.
  • Article 5.42 FFAP seeks clearer language around PT faculty, including those who live out of the Portland area and teach online, to determine if attending staff meetings virtually will meet the requirements outlined in Article 5.42. Everyone agrees this is part of a larger discussion around faculty who do not live in the Portland metro area, but FFAP would like to protect employees with this arrangement in the meantime, since the requirement is unclear, not tracked and only sporadically enforced.  No agreement was reached but we will return to the issue.
  • Article 6.6 FFAP would like to create and/or improve language on Faculty Department Chair training, onboarding, and performance assessment. This issue affects PT faculty since the FDCs control so much around class assignments and scheduling. We talked about creating a separate committee to make recommendations.

Questions? Feedback? Contact the Bargaining team!

Bargaining Update #2

Bargaining sessions were held on March 15, and 29. Prior to each bargaining session, management and the federation exchange a list of agenda items. The following update is organized into two categories: 1) Management agenda items, and 2) Federation agenda items. Unless noted, no agreements were reached and the discussion will continue at a later date.

1. Management Agenda Items

  • Article 4 – Employment of Part Time (PT) Faculty, specifically regarding multi-year contracts (MYC) and assignment rights (AR). At issue is whether AR-holders have a right to the next available class once the MYC threshold is met.
  • Article 5, Professional Duties. Management wants to work with the federation on enforcement of duties and responsibilities of Full time (FT) faculty, such as hours on campus, professional responsibilities.
  • Article 6.111 Work Year, management wants to adjust the language so that the work year begins with fall term and ends with summer term.  Federation agreed as long as some exceptions could be made.
  • Article 6.223 Developmental Education instructor teaching load ranges from .78 to .96, with the balance up to 1.0 being assigned in the campus or center’s tutoring center. Admin wants to make the workload equitable between DE and Comp Lit. The federation will seek feedback from affected members.
  • Article 9 Substitutes: Admin would like to stipulate that a substitute “may be authorized” for instructor absences, instead of “will be authorized.” This gives flexibility to use library assignments or D2L in lieu of substitutes.  The federation agreed to this.

2. Federation Agenda Items

  • Article 19.82 – (followup) Regarding closures for inclement weather, FFAP wants to change the contract language to require Academic Professionals (APs) to make up the work as opposed to the time lost due to closures. Management is open to changing the language and will submit proposed language to the federation in the near future.
  • Article 18.22 – (followup) Federation asks that APs who become PT Faculty be placed on Step 9, which is consistent with existing practice for FT Faculty who transition to PT. Management clarified that Step 9 placement is for overload, while a former AP who subsequently becomes FT faculty would be placed based on their number of PCC teaching hours, consistent with other PT faculty placement.
  • Article 5.42 (followup) The federation seeks clearer language around PT faculty, including those who live out of the Portland area and teach online, to determine if attending staff meetings virtually will meet the requirements outlined in Article 5.42. Everyone agrees this is part of a larger discussion around faculty who do not live in the Portland metro area, but the federation would like to protect employees with this arrangement in the meantime, since the requirement is unclear, not tracked and only sporadically enforced.  The federation suggested using telecommuting agreements, which are year-to-year at the discretion of the Dean or manager, as a compromise. There was tentative agreement as this would protect employees in the short-term. The federation agreed to draft some language. On March 29, admin was amenable to the option of remote participation or other substitute for face-to-face participation, as long as it was up to the manager’s discretion.
  • Article 6.6 (followup) The federation would like to create and/or improve language on Faculty Department Chair (FDC) training, onboarding, and performance assessment. This issue affects PT faculty since the FDCs have so much influence overclass assignments and scheduling. We talked about creating a separate committee to make recommendations. Both sides agreed to create a subcommittee with a clear charge and timeline.
  • Student Accomodations: The federation seeks clarity on the role of non-instructional staff (counselors, disability services, identity centers, etc.) with regard to student complaints against instructors. The federation recognizes and wants to preserve the rights of students, but formal complaints, even when resolved, can have a disproportionate impact on PT faculty who may not be assigned classes as a result. The federation would like to see a formal process to resolve student concerns that does not involve the Dean as an option for resolving student concerns. The federation will propose contract language.
  • There was a general discussion about MYCs and AR. Admin feels that the current system of awarding both is not sustainable. They prefer MYCs. The federation maintains that the current system is not providing PT faculty with enough job security, support, or a career ladder. We urge admin to work with us to build a better, more equitable system.
  • On March 29, the federation introduced the idea of a higher maximum PT faculty workload that could take into consideration professional development and college service. This could enable faster step movement and/or priority of class assignments.

Questions? Feedback? Contact the Bargaining team!

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.

Support your Federation Bargaining Team by “Buttoning Up!”

ffap fce buttonsSupport your Federation bargaining team by “Buttoning Up!” on bargaining days! Buttons can be picked up at the Federation office, SY ST 01, or at any one of the upcoming Membership Meetings being held across PCC in the coming weeks. We can also send you a button via Campus Mail.
Wear your button to show solidarity and support for a fair contract on the following days:
  • Fri, 12. May, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
  • Fri, 26. May, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
  • Tues, 13. June, 1-4p (CLIMB)
  • Fri, 30. June, 9a-3p (CLIMB)
  • Thurs, 06. July, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
  • Tues, 18. July, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
  • Thurs, 27. July, 9a-3p (CLIMB)
  • Fri, 04. Aug, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
  • Fri, 11. Aug, 12-5p (CLIMB)  CANCELLED!!
  • Tues, 22. Aug, 9a-3p (CLIMB)
  • Thurs, 24. Aug, 9a-12p (CLIMB)
  • Monday, September 11 9am-2pm
  • Wednesday, September 13 9am-pm
In addition to “Buttoning Up!”, you can also show your support by attending any one of the above-named bargaining sessions. Please just let us know ahead of time by RSVP’ing here that you will be attending.