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)