Subject: Bargaining Update #22: Moving the Goalposts

The Joint FFAP-FCE bargaining team met on Nov. 19 to try to close the $10M gap between what the Federations are demanding and what the college says they can afford over the next four years. The two sides had been working on a four-year deal covering two bienniums with conditions placed on the second biennium—the rationale being that we won’t know what resources the college will have available in 2021, and both sides would want to come back to the bargaining table if there were significant shifts in state funding, enrollment, or any other revenue sources for the college.

Here are the main components of administration’s offer.  Their four-year deal includes:

  • Step Compression for Full Time Faculty (FT), Part Time Faculty (PT), and Academic Professionals (APs): This is a concept introduced by FFAP that would decrease the distance between steps from 3.5% to 3%. This would result in a pay increase for everyone except those on the top step, with those on the bottom steps getting a higher percentage bump and each subsequent step getting a proportionally smaller increase. If you want to see how that would affect you, this spreadsheet shows the current steps compared to what your salary would be with step compression (in green.)  
  • COLAs for Faculty and APs: 1% in years 1&2, and 2% in years 3&4
  • COLAs for Classified: 3% in years 1&2, and 4% in years 3&4 (note that COLAs are higher for Classified in lieu of step compression.) 
  • $850,000 in professional development funds for PT faculty
  • $164,000 for changes in compensation structure for Faculty Department Chairs (background here)
  • PT faculty pay parity: over four years, increase the number of PT steps to 17 (from 11), with new steps to be 70% of FT faculty rate.  

The Federations appreciate the college’s movement on some issues, but we maintain:

  • The COLAs are too low
  • Professional development funding does not belong in a compensation package—it is the duty of the college to provide professional development opportunities to ALL employees.
  • FT faculty need a new top step
  • APs deserve compensation for the failed roll-out of AP Levels 6&7

Further, the total amount of the college’s offer actually decreased—from $54.6 million over four years to $48.6 million. In exchange for this, they offered to remove the conditions on the second biennium and work toward PT faculty pay parity. 

If you are feeling frustrated, angry, unheard, or exhausted by this drawn-out bargaining process, please join us for progressive picketing THURSDAY, Nov. 21. We are offering opportunities across the district for you to show your support for the bargaining team and demand a fair contract. 

The bargaining teams will convene again Friday afternoon. You can sign up to observe here

Please be in touch with any questions or feedback.

Bargaining Update #21

This is a brief update on bargaining and more importantly, A PLEA FOR EVERY MEMBER TO SHOW UP THIS THURSDAY, NOV. 21 FOR A FAIR CONTRACT!

First, the update: The two Federations exchanged proposals on Friday and we felt that good progress was made. Admin has been slowly increasing their COLA offer, and FFAP has been working on a phase-in option for some of our priorities. We have closed the gap from $40 million to less than $10 million between the two sides over four years. However, when it came time to schedule another meeting the admin team hedged. “What’s the point of another meeting?” they asked, while claiming that they have no more resources to offer. The Federations insisted that we should keep up the momentum, and we convinced them to schedule the next bargaining session for Friday Nov 22, 1pm to 5pm, CLIMB and Friday Dec 6, 1pm to 5pm, CLIMB. (Sign up to observe here.)

Note that if either side feels that progress is not being made, they can request a mediator at this point in bargaining. You can see here for more information on mediation, but the upshot is that mediation may or may not work to our advantage. And it will certainly slow down the process. At this rate, we won’t receive back pay until well into winter term.​ We’d prefer to get a contract done now, and we think we can, with your help! 

Progressive Picketing, Thursday Nov. 21

HELP US GET A SETTLEMENT NOW!  Please join both Federations for PROGRESSIVE PICKETING on Thursday, November 21, culminating in a strong presence at the PCC Board of Directors Meeting at Rock Creek campus. We will have opportunities to participate at every campus, plus Portland Metro Workforce Training Center. A schedule of events is below – we encourage you all to join us for the whole day or whenever you are able! RSVP here

  • 10:00 Meet at Southeast campus, Great Hall for rally/picket 
  • 11:05 Depart Southeast on the shuttle bus → Portland Metro Worksource Center (PMWC)
  • 11:20 Arrive PMWC, brief rally then back on the bus → Cascade
  • 11:30 Arrive Cascade for rally/picketing/lunch
  • 12:55 Depart Cascade on the shuttle bus→ Sylvania
  • 1:20 Arrive Sylvania for rally/picket
  • 3:00 Depart Sylvania on the shuttle bus→ Rock Creek for rally/picket
  • 3:15 Arrive Rock Creek for rally/picket
  • 5:30 Dinner provided at Rock Creek (TLC) 
  • 6:30 Board Meeting
  • 8:15 (est.) adjournment, special shuttle bus return to Southeast campus

At each stop, we will join members from that campus. Signs and chants will be provided as we march through campus demanding a fair contract. 

If you are interested in testifying, see here for some tips on effective testifying. And if you can’t make it to any of the picketing, be sure to wear your union blue on Thursday, November 21.

Bargaining Update #20

On November 12, a workgroup consisting of FFAP and FCE bargaining team members and PCC administrators met for the third time. (Background on the workgroup can be found here.) Unfortunately, the workgroup did not result in much movement on either side. We return to the bargaining table this Friday, November 15. 

The main accomplishment of the group was the creation of a tool that allows us to cost out various scenarios in real time, as opposed to past practice in which entire bargaining sessions have been spent going back and forth over the cost of a proposal. We had hoped to use this tool to brainstorm different scenarios with the administrative team, and to that end the two federations produced several reasonable scenarios for funding all of our priorities—from a catch-up COLA to part time faculty pay equity to resolving the AP 6&7 debacle, to name just a few. (See here for a complete list.) By contrast, the administration presented only one scenario for modest COLAs over four years, and refused to entertain any scenario that was outside the bounds of what they deemed “reasonable.” 

We would love to pack the bargaining room with observers on Friday—admin needs to see our enthusiasm and our resolve to hold out for a fair contract. Sign up here to attend! Also, be sure to attend an upcoming campus meeting and have all your burning questions about bargaining answered by Federation leaders. 

Bargaining Update 19

On Tuesday November 5, FFAP and FCE bargaining team members presented PCC administration with a spreadsheet that tallies the cost of various economic packages. This gives us tools to tinker with adjustments to the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), or analyze frontloading costs versus phasing in changes in over two or four years. Now we can explore flexible ways of funding the Federations’ priorities. Because it’s an informal work group (as opposed to formal bargaining), neither side is making proposals or commitments. The plan is to agree broadly on how much things might cost, perhaps develop a couple of scenarios for funding an economic package, then return to the bargaining table on November 15 to exchange formal proposals.

The administration once again asked the federations to identify our priorities, and we responded as we have each time they have asked: Everything is our priority. We want a meaningful COLA for all members, pay equity for part time faculty, a new top step for full time faculty, a resolution to the AP Levels 6&7 debacle, as well as steps and COLA for our Classified colleagues, and a handful of lower-cost but critically important items. (See here for a complete list.)

The federations are open to creative ways of structuring the deal. But we can’t accept the status quo where our members continue losing ground in this economy.

The work group will meet one more time next Tuesday. Please stay tuned for ways you can support the bargaining team as they return to the table on November 15 from 9am-noon at CLIMB. You can sign up to observe here.

Thank you for the support and please reach out with questions or feedback.

Bargaining Update #18

As mentioned in our previous update, official bargaining sessions are being put on hold so that a workgroup consisting of representatives from both PCC unions and administration can meet in a more informal setting to try to come up with  potential monetary scenarios for productively moving forward. This workgroup will meet three times before the next full bargaining session, which is tentatively scheduled for mid-November.

The brief update from Tuesday’s workgroup session is that the two teams agreed to work from a shared spreadsheet, so that we can establish some agreement about how much things cost, from which we can create potential scenarios. The two sides are often in disagreement when it comes to costing out the different proposals, with admin insisting things cost way more than the Federation’s estimates. So this commitment represents progress and a desire by both sides to make a deal to settle the contract.

Our next bargaining workgroup will happen next Tuesday. Look for another update toward the end of next week, and be in touch if you have questions or feedback in the meantime. Thank you once again for all your support and encouragement!

Bargaining Update #17

More than 60 of you have RSVP’d to our Union Day of Action this Thursday! Thanks to all of you who will picket, rally, and show up at the PCC Board of Directors meeting in support of a fair contract! If you haven’t RSVP’d, you can do so here. It is not required for participation but it does help us plan the logistics. 

The Joint Federation bargaining team (PCCFFAP along with FCE) met with PCC administration on Tuesday, and progress continues to be frustratingly slow. Both sides are required by law to engage in good faith negotiations, so we have reduced the overall cost of our proposal by around $3 million, without sacrificing any of the broader goals outlined in our September 23 update. Similarly, Administration has increased their offer by $2.5 million. But we remain $20 million apart, and at this rate we will be negotiating for many months to come—during which members would be working under an expired contract without cost of living raise. 

This is why yesterday both Federations and the PCC administration agreed to a short series of joint workgroup sessions outside of formal negotiations. Unlike formal bargaining sessions, these meetings will include a subset of the full bargaining teams and will be designed to brainstorm and game out different scenarios without the exchange of formal proposals. Nothing will be agreed to by either side—rather, different options will be developed and later presented to the entire bargaining team, along with observers. This is a common tactic used in bargaining and shows interest by both teams in moving things along. We plan on two workgroup sessions in the next week and a half, followed by a formal bargaining session in mid-November.

Rest assured that the Federation bargaining team is steadfastly committed to the bargaining platform and to securing a fair contract for all employees—one that makes up for years of stagnant wages. We view the workgroup as another opportunity to bring management closer to our point of view that meaningfully investing in employees is critical to the success of PCC and its students.  

We’ll be in touch over the next few weeks with updates and ways for you to make your voices heard, but it may be a few weeks before you see bargaining update #18. Thank you for all your supportive messages and for hanging in there through this important negotiations process. 

Union Day of Action Thursday Oct. 24


If you read Frank’s latest bargaining update, you’ll understand why we need to do more to let the administration and the PCC Board know that quality education for our students isn’t free.

We’ve been telling them that for almost a year. We’ve had over 200 members show up at negotiations sessions and over 50 at the board meeting at September. But they are still not hearing the message.

We need you—whether you’ve been plugged in since we started negotiating in February or just tuned in now. Please join us, along with our Classified colleagues, for a UNION DAY OF ACTION this Thursday, October 24. When we stand together, we are strong.

Because the PCC Board ultimately holds budgetary powers, we are bringing our argument directly to them.

  • Informational picket at both entrances to the Sylvania campus from 3:00-5:00 so that the board sees us when they arrive for the Board meeting.
  • An information session and rally in the SY CC building (5:00-6:00) prior to the PCC board meeting
  • Board meeting starting at 6:00. They saw us coming in, they’ll see us in the board room, too.

If you can come for part or all, we need you to help get this contract done. It’s time.

If you like details, there’s more below the signatures. But we hope to see you Thursday,


In solidarity,

Sara Robertson and Nick Hengen Fox, PCCFFAP Organizing Committee Co-Chairs



Meet at the union office (ST 01) before 3pm or just join us at one of our two picket sites after 3pm.

Bring: a rain jacket and a smile. We’ll have signs and guidance for you.

Getting There

Some union groups will be riding shuttles from the other campuses–if you would be a shuttle coordinator for your campus, please let us know!

Shuttle departure times from each campus to Sylvania

Campus departure timesArrive at SylvaniaLink to scheduleCampus contact riding shuttle
Rock Creek @ 2:253:00Blue lineSara Robertson
Cascade @ 2:15 or @3:152:40 or 3:55Green lineTBD
Southeast @ 2:303:10Yellow lineTBD


Our federations will have dinner available before the board meeting.

Board Meeting

No need to speak, but your presence is essential. We will bring our passion and enthusiasm and be seen and heard.

Wear blue–our union’s color–if you can.

Bargaining Update #16

Last Wednesday, your Federation bargaining team met with PCC’s administration team to continue negotiations. Their latest offer included:

  • A 2% Cost of Living Allowance this year and next (up from 1.5%/yr)
  • $125,000 for Faculty Department Chair pay adjustment (background here)
  • $850,000 for professional development
  • Codifying the part time faculty stipend rate in the contract (new)
  • Removing the employee match requirement for 2 weeks of parental leave (new)
  • Allowing APs and Classified employees to use the leave bank for up to 40 hours of caregiving for a family member (new)

Overall, the administration’s offer increased from $18.9 to $21.2 million of additional funding. And though we’re encouraged by the movement, it is still not enough to make up for the steady decline in PCC employee living standards over the last ten years—not even close. The two sides are still more than $20 million apart.

Across the country in recent years, educators have shown that direct action gets results in the face of austerity budgets. Since bargaining began, more than 200 FFAP and FCE members have attended bargaining sessions. A few weeks ago, 35 members showed up wearing union t-shirts at the PCC Board meeting. Your presence is making a difference! It’s time to turn up the pressure, to let administration know even more forcefully that quality education demands fair wages for ALL employees.

Please join your joint PCCFFAPPCCFCE bargaining team for a UNION DAY OF ACTION this Thursday, October 24. Details are still being ironed out, but here is a rough outline of the plan:

  • Informational picket at the Sylvania campus in the afternoon (we will also be organizing members from other campuses and centers to ride the shuttles to Sylvania) 
  • An information session and rally in the SY CC building prior to the PCC board meeting
  • Pack the room at the PCC Board meeting!

The Federation’s Organizing Committee will be reaching out with more details shortly, so stay tuned! 

Bargaining Update #15

At last Friday’s negotiation session, the PCC administration continued to insist that there were no resources available for Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) above 1.5% per year over the next two years. They did, however, add $125,000 for Faculty Department Chairs and $850,000 in professional development funding to their offer. 

While we agree that professional development is a vitally important investment for the college to make, we do not believe it belongs in a bargaining proposal. It is the College’s job to provide professional development opportunities, and budget accordingly. We don’t bargain to keep the lights on, after all! 

Perhaps most disturbing was that the administration’s professional development offer included safety training for all college employees. Again, this is something the college should be providing as a matter of course. PCC administration seems to want us to decide: Do we want fair pay or to be safe in our jobs? 

Though there is some movement at the negotiations table, it is very slow. So we are planning to stir things up a bit, along with our Classified colleagues.* Stay tuned for more news and opportunities to get involved. In the meantime, we invite you to attend a bargaining session and mark you calendars for a week of action, October 21-25. We especially hope you’ll show up in blue for the next PCC Board Meeting: Thursday October 24 at 7:00 p.m. at PCC’s Sylvania campus.

More to come.

Bargaining Update #14

In our last update, we shared that the Federation and PCC Administration proposals were about $23 Million apart, at $40M and $17M respectively. The Federation bargaining team arrived at last Friday’s negotiation session hoping to close that gap a little more. Instead, we learned that management was counting as part of its proposal, $7.5M in Faculty and Academic Professional step increases that are already guaranteed in the contract, and $3M in Classified steps—both of which were already accounted for in the college budget. And while both teams made minor adjustments to their proposals, we ended the meeting farther apart than where we started, with FFAP asking for a $37M settlement and admin offering $7.9M once you take out the step movement.

We continue to demand that the PCC Administration make up for years of lagging Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs), implement instructional pay parity for Part Time Faculty, resolve the AP 6&7 issue, create a new top step for Full Time Faculty, and about a dozen lower-cost items.

You may have heard that classified employees at Oregon’s seven public universities just won a new two-year contract that includes full step movement (equivalent of 9.5% salary increase) plus a 5% COLA, a longevity premium of 2.5% for those at the top step and reclassification of 15 positions to higher salary ranges, among other things. After the settlement was announced, bargaining team Rob Fullmer said “When Oregon’s public employees work together and make their voices heard, we have the power to move Oregon families forward and make our state a better place.”

We couldn’t agree more. And this is why we simply cannot accept the crumbs of a 1.5% COLA (management’s most recent offer.) I’ll leave you with a few statistics about PCC:

  • Since 2017, PCC has added 20 Management positions, while decreasing the number of Full Time Faculty by 17, and Part Time Faculty numbers have declined by 80. Our stats indicate no change in the number of APs but they were supplied to us by the college before last Spring’s layoffs and FTE reductions.
  • Since 2008, the amount of money the college spends on Management salary and benefits have increased by 73%, while the money spent on salary and benefits for all other employee groups has increased by just 47%.

It’s long past time for PCC to get its priorities straight. Here are some things you can do to help in the next few weeks: