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!
Berrypicking begins at 10am, with 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!)
The following information was created by AFT-Oregon.
Here’s the good news. We’re closer than ever before to a revenue solution that will end decades of disinvestment in Oregon’s schools and critical services, with the recent release of the Oregon Education Investment Initiative from legislative leaders.
A plan like this—which asks corporations to pay their fair share—was desperately needed. If we don’t pass something like it soon, the results will be devastating: 3,000 educators could lose their jobs and 350,000 Oregonians would be kicked off their health insurance.
But the plan isn’t law yet, and these massive cuts are still looming.
Now is the time to tell our elected leaders we won’t accept deeper cuts while Oregon has one of the lowest corporate taxes in the nation. We need them to ask corporations to pay more, and we can’t wait.
To make that clear, AFT-Oregon will be joining SEIU Local 503 and the A Better Oregon coalition for our largest event at the capitol ever.
Oregon Can’t Wait Rally Tuesday, June 6 – Noon
Capitol Steps, Salem Register online
Bus service will be available (leaving at 10 AM) from Portland, Eugene, and Corvallis, and lunch will be provided.
Join us as we storm the steps of the capitol to make sure legislators know that Oregon Can’t Wait for more revenue. We expect this to be one of the largest crowds the capitol has ever seen, with over 1,000 rallying.
This fight has never been more important. Will I see you there?
Fellow Oregon AFT Local 3571, Portland State University Faculty Association (PSUFA) would like to extend an invitation to FFAP & FCE members who wish to join them for aStudent Debt Clinic, Thursday May 18, 12-2pm, Art Building Room 240, 2000 SW 5th Ave.
While registration is capped at 50 participants, there are still spots available, enabling PSUFA to extend the invitation to fellow AFT members. Pre-register to attend PSUFA’s Student Debt Clinic (SDC) HERE.
The Student Debt Clinic (SDC) will provide attendees with a thorough overview of ways to lower monthly student loan payments through income-driven repayment plans, as well as how to qualify for total federal student loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. These programs are relevant for Parent PLUS loan holders as well.
While these programs are only applicable to federal student loans, limited information will be available to assist people with private student loans. If you are unsure whether your loan is a federal loan, visit http://nslds.ed.gov/. You will have to log in, and this website will list all of your federal student loans.
Last Friday, your federation bargaining team met with administration for the second negotiating session of the contract reopener. We put forward several proposals, including:
Increasing stipends for PT faculty non-instructional work
Changes to the compensation formula for Faculty Department Chairs in counseling and CTE
Increasing the health insurance trust for PT faculty
It is early in the process, so no agreements have been reached on these issues, although we did agree to ground rules that safeguard the free speech rights of our members. Larger topics such as COLA will be discussed at future meetings. As a reminder, you can click here to sign up to observe a bargaining session! The next sessions are planned for:
I am writing with a reminder that this Friday, at 9am, the Federation invites members to attend an open bargaining session at CLIMB. Our agenda includes issues pertinent to both FT and PT faculty, although APs are always welcome to observe as well. Please click here to sign up.
If you are not able to make it to the bargaining session, you can still show your support by buttoning up! Displaying supportive messages on your clothing, bag, or in your workspace will let the administration know that we will not settle for anything less than a fair and reasonable contract.
If you don’t have your buttons yet, stop by the Federation office or reply to this email.
Lastly, the PCCFFAP website has undergone a renovation, and we’ll be posting bargaining updates here as well as member testimonials. I encourage you to read PCC Reference Librarian and PCCFFAP Executive Council member Sara Robertson’s moving account about how union benefits protected her during a health crisis. It’s a good reminder to be grateful for the rights we have won, and to remain vigilant in the face of threats to our livelihoods.
Thank you for all you do. I hope to see you at a bargaining session.
As we head into contract negotiations, I’d like to take a moment and share what being part of a union has meant to me.
I certainly didn’t predict I’d get sick, especially at 30 and having just had my second child with a basically optimal health record up until that point. I’ve since spent a decade navigating aspects of the healthcare system, and, depending on what organ or part of me is under scrutiny, there’s a different doctor and protocol, followed by a new vocabulary to learn. Many of us can relate to all the effort it takes to be a patient, which is layered onto the other important roles in life — primary for me have been: mother, educator, household provider, daughter, sister, and by circumstance have had to add medical advocate, disease translator, literature searcher, and so on.
Now for my introduction to the value of union membership. My first academic gig was in Idaho, a full time tenure track position, where I naively found myself in a “right to work” state. As a grad student I had full healthcare coverage as part of an assistantship, and therefore secure benefits as a union member. I admit that I was pretty oblivious to the fact that the security provided me and my family came from a shared contract, including full coverage for having my child in the university hospital and receiving care from my OBGYN literally on campus. I mean, I knew I was part of a union, but I didn’t really give it more thought than — wow, this is a solid job! The stark realization that I hadn’t considered union membership wasn’t until after arriving in Idaho, and noticing the low but constant murmur of various complaints from colleagues about healthcare, wages and workplace issues, with no collective means of advocating for different or better — for example, I was shocked to learn my preferred birth control wasn’t covered — which seriously made me question where had I landed.
So, fast forward a few years into my tenure at PCC, after navigating several rounds of the same health issue, but mostly over the summer without much work interference, but lots of life interruption. I had a pacemaker/defibrillator that had been malfunctioning repeatedly, and unexpectedly, and when the darn device broke for a third time in May of 2015, it shocked me unnecessarily, I was facing yet another surgery, and much more scared about what the future would look like. While I was in the middle of navigating it all — ensuring care for my children, recovering physically, managing job duties, fumbling through a wonky health care system as a sick person — I had a very sincere moment when I was brought to tears, filled with gratitude for my union. I knew that I would most likely be having some questions about job coverage, medical leave, and so on, and in that moment I realized I had a group of people to turn to that would help me get straight answers. I felt so cared for by the people who had worked diligently on my behalf to ensure I was going to be okay because of a strong and clear contract that would give me the time needed to heal. I knew I had job security, despite being sick. I knew I had health coverage, despite a long term condition. I knew as the sole provider for my family that I could allow myself to be a patient for a spell, get better, and return to work, and not carry a huge burden of worry with me into the hospital.
As I’ve learned more since, it’s clear to me that not all of us have access to the same benefits at the same rates, and I see our union working towards increased equity for all of members — academic professionals, part-time faculty and full-time faculty, in tandem. The more I talk to colleagues across those classifications, the better I understand how students at PCC are provided excellent education and mentorship, and I hope you can take us up on a few opportunities to share your voice:
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.
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.