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.

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!

CAWT Program Closure

President's Message

Dear Colleagues:

On February 8, PCC administration announced plans to close the Computer Applications and Web Technologies (CAWT) program. This decision leads to the potential lay off up to 14 full time (FT) faculty and 61 part time (PT) faculty, not to mention causing stress and uncertainty for many other programs that include CAWT courses as part of their degree and certificate requirements.

This decision was made at the highest levels of the college, behind closed doors, without the knowledge of or input from faculty, students, or union leadership.

In an email to the PCC community, Vice President of Academic Affairs Katy Ho said the decision was based on “thoughtful recommendation” from college leaders, that it comes with a “strong recognition” that the college needs to continue teaching computer literacy and software applications, and that next steps “are being determined.” Incredibly, she even cited the college’s commitment to YESS.

In notifying PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals (FFAP) representatives just prior to the announcement, administration stated they would hold a meeting with the department’s FT faculty but admitted they had no plan to communicate the decision to the affected PT faculty, with one administrator saying “I’m sure they’ll hear about it,” presumably from the FT faculty. When asked if there would be an opportunity to transfer current, qualified instructors to the new program, administration refused to commit to any accommodations, saying “The only decision that has been made is program closure.”

The decision-making process and the lack of care taken in the roll-out makes a mockery of the institution’s mission professing a “collaboration culture,” not to mention the value statement that cites “collaboration predicated upon a foundation of mutual trust and support.”

The upshot for administration is that they can now potentially redesign the CAWT program free from consideration of the people and the livelihoods who will be affected by the changes, free from the decades of expertise and on-the-ground teaching experience of existing faculty. They can pick and choose which (if any) of them gets jobs in the reimagined program, without factoring in seniority, assignment rights, or Multi-Year Contract-holder status.

An injury to one is an injury to all.

If the PCC administration can eliminate a successful program, and then resurrect it with entirely new faculty of their choosing, it sets an alarming precedent. For that reason, I hope you will stand in solidarity with our CAWT colleagues to tell the PCC administration and the Board of Directors that this is unacceptable.

Please come to the PCC Board Meeting on Thursday April 18, 6:30pm, at Sylvania. I will be there along with several faculty and Federation leaders. Let’s tell the college to live up to its mission and values of collaboration, reverse the decision to close the program, and engage with current faculty to redesign the program to better meet the needs of students.

In solidarity,

Frank Goulard
PCCFFAP President

Respect — Just a Little Bit

Between negotiation sessions, a Federation team meets monthly with the administration to discuss contract issues as they arise. The hope is to prevent issues from piling up between the official bargaining every two years. These are called “Contract Administration Meetings.” (CAM, for PCC acronym collectors!) The Federation Grievance Committee tracks problems we hear from members, and meet before CAM to prioritize the issues and plan strategy for bringing our members’ concerns forward. The administration team also adds items, and the agenda reflects the concerns of both teams.

Bargaining over wages and benefits took longer than usual in 2017 – at least in part because the administration team was willing to put a good deal of research and thought into the Federation request for equal pay for equal work. But that means our first CAM of 2017-18 wasn’t held until February 2018.

Our Grievance Committee voted to put delivery of a report on the “students of concern” process as it impacts “part-time” faculty as our highest priority for CAM. 294 instructors responded to a survey sent in Spring 2017 asking about their familiarity with the process for reporting concerns with student behavior, and any experiences they had from using it.  We then conducted in-depth follow-up interviews over the summer. A draft of the report was widely circulated for comments during Fall 2017. The final report was presented to the administration at the February CAM. You can read it here.

As background, since the Umpqua Community College shooting in  2015, administrators in community colleges have taken extra steps to address the question “could that happen here?” At PCC, 4 new Academic Professional positions were created — the student conduct and retention coordinators — and the process for reporting “students of concern” was revised and streamlined. Training has been held at inservice events and through the TLCs to help familiarize faculty and academic professionals with the process. Since campus safety is a shared concern, Federation leaders have applauded these measures.

But many “part-time” members contacted the Federation, asking for help, over the past two years. We discovered that the lack of onboarding for “part-time” instructors, their marginalization in faculty committees, and pervasive insecurity about future employment meant that the measures the administration had put in place were not adequate to keep us safe. Concerns were presented at nearly every CAM session since Winter 2016. Our concerns did not lead to any changes, however. So we decided to devote many, many hours to the survey and interview process, to document the problem.

We believe our survey shows problems that present serious threats to the safety of all PCC students and staff. In a time of “evidence-based educational practice” and President Mitsui’s desire to make PCC a “learning organization,” we hoped our report would be received with an open mind by the administration team. That did not happen.

The administration team was — to quote the descriptors used by members of the Federation team who were present —  belittling, disrespectful, dismissive, and condescending.

The report documents the pervasive trepidation “part-time” instructors feel at voicing their sense of unsafety and concern “out of fear of repercussions from the administration” (to quote a response to our survey). The administration response to the presentation of our report was a dramatic display of the very kind of concern documented in our report. It was as if the administration wanted to punish any “part-time” employee who dared to question DOIs and Division Deans by being sure to put us back in our place.

We take the tone of the administration response to itself be evidence of the findings of our survey.

The administration did, however, have two substantive responses:

  • The descriptions used in the survey for “students of concern” was too broad, making the results invalid. (A footnote has been added to clarify the source of the description used.)
  • A counter-claim: the Administration has successfully created a “culture of reporting” at PCC.

No evidence was given for the counterclaim. We believe the survey shows the administration team is simply mistaken about the success of their work, at least as it relates to the majority faculty. The administration has made a wonderful start, which we applaud. But there is major work left to do to ensure staff and student safety.

Several Federation team members said they believed the behavior of one of the administrators in CAM amounted to bullying. We also heard from many people who made the time to attend bargaining sessions over the summer that they believed the administration team were disrespectful and bullying toward members of the Federation team. We will be consulting experts on bullying in the workplace before the next CAM and negotiations to try to ensure the important work done stays mutually respectful.

Most chilling was a remark made in reference to our request for mandatory and paid training for the majority faculty. One administrator mentioned training was offered at in-service. When asked how many “part-time” instructors attend “part-time” inservice events, he said very few — but if “part-timers” who opted not to attend have a problem with students then that is “on them.”

The teacher of the Umpqua Community College class who was killed, along with 8 students, was reported to be an “adjunct.” I do not believe that it would be an adequate consolation to the families of the dead that the administration had offered an optional training which the teacher had failed to attend. Safety is a mutual obligation. We must all do our part. The part of the administration is to design and implement a system of training and support for the majority instructors that they are not afraid to use, lest there be employment repercussions.

Additional items discussed at the February CAM included:

  • a review of the current practices relating to students who threaten faculty members, a problem brought forward by two “full-time”faculty. The administration team was respectful and agreed to look into making changes.
  • a long and stalemated conversation about the scope of Weingarten Rights, which guarantee Union representation when discipline is possible.

We need to find a way to make these meetings more consistently collaborative and productive. A start would be an agreement to treat each other with respect — just a little bit.

What Do We Want with That Equal Pay?

PCC administration did not completely accept our proposal for equal pay for equal work for PCC faculty in our 2017 wage re-opener — though it was a happy surprise that they were willing to explore it! And they agreed to add two new pay steps, so that “part-time” faculty will have 11 steps in the 2018-19 year (instead of 9.) This compares to 17 pay steps for “full-time” faculty.

Before agreeing to full pay parity, the administration members of the bargaining team suggested we create a joint Administration/Federation committee to study the issues ahead of the next full bargaining in 2019, with the hope we could work out a next phase of movement toward pay parity in those upcoming sessions.

We need your input to help craft a Federation position. Here is a summary of some of the issues we expect to discuss.

  • Using national data as well as results from past PCC surveys, the Federation estimates that 80% of “full-time” faculty work is instructional and 20% is service to the college and community. This is what the Federation has used to determine what “equal pay for equal work” would mean. “Part-time” instructor pay should be based on 80% of “full-time” pay, divided by teaching load. But is this the right ratio? Over the past 10 to 15 years, faculty have been tasked with additional quasi-administrative tasks, including program review and program assessment. While some funds have been made available to pay “part-time” faculty to participate, it has not been much. Members of the administration have explained that these responsibilities are expected to fall into “full-time” faculty job expectations, without additional pay. Has that  practice changed the allocation of time spent on direct instructional labor for “full-timers”, or has it just added to the number of hours in a “full-time” instructor’s work week? What ratio should we use?

 In previous surveys and conversations with “part-time” instructors at PCC, we identified 3 separate categories of concerns:

  1. Unequal pay for equal work!
  2. No clear career paths – no way for a “part-timer” to move up.
  3.  Marginalization of “part-timers” who often are made to feel they are not welcome as equal participants in SAC tasks, are shut out of many opportunities for professional development, have low representation in faculty governance (compared to our numbers), and have incredible skills and experience that remain under-utilized – foolish, given the current pressures on Higher Ed and a need for “all hands on deck” to meet them. This will be exacerbated with the goals of the YESS initiative.

Should we try to address some of these other concerns along with equal pay? So, for example, would we be willing to agree to equal pay if it came with increased requirements for participation in SAC work, or to serve on various committees? These are complex trade-offs, and the Federation will need your input in deciding what to agree to.

  • Currently, full-time faculty tend to complain that there are no uniform expectations for full-timers to participate in non-instructional work across the district. As a result, a few full-timers tend to do LOTS of committee work, and a larger number tend to do very little. This is increasingly felt to be unfair, and an ongoing source of resentment and bitterness. Our contract specifies that committee work (etc.) is to be delegated by the Division Dean. (See article 5.2). If we change any expectations for “part-time” faculty participation, as part of a move to pay parity, the current inconsistent practice for “full-timers” will come under new pressures. What are the benefits and drawbacks of creating more uniform expectations and enforcement for faculty participation in committees, mentorship, governance, etc?

It is heartening that administrators are willing to talk in detail about what pay parity would mean here at PCC. This is an exciting opportunity! We need to engage as many of our bargaining unit members in thinking about what would be best for each of us, our work relationships, and the students we hope to serve. Will you share your thoughts?

You can leave comments on this blog OR email your ideas to shirlee.geiger@pccffap.org OR frank.goulard@pccffap.org.

THANKS for all you do for all our students!

Final Note on Bargaining

President's MessageDear Colleagues:

I wanted to send a quick note to let everyone know that the PCC Board of Directors ratified the Tentative Agreement of our wages and benefits reopener at their September 21 meeting. (For a summary of changes for Fall 2017 to Summer 2019, click here.) While we didn’t get everything we were hoping for, we are confident that we can build on some of the wins in this agreement to continue our push for better pay and working conditions across employee classes. It’s time to start planning for 2019!

I’d like to thank the 100+ people who attended the bargaining sessions. It was somewhat of a new process for the federation, and one that paid off enormously as the administration could see that we were organized, unified, and ready to stand up and fight for a fair and reasonable settlement.

Lastly, keep an eye out for upcoming campus and center meetings. We’ll be meeting at the four campuses, along with Willow Creek, Metro, Downtown Center, and CLIMB, between October 17 and November 3. I hope to see many of you there and to hear from you about the issues most important to you.

Wishing everyone a happy and productive fall term.

In solidarity,

Frank Goulard, PCCFFAP President
frank.goulard@pccffap.org

A Tentative Agreement — with Real Gains

President's MessageColleagues,

After more than five months of negotiating, the PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professional​s (PCCFFAP) and PCC Federation of Classified Employees (PCCFCE) joint bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the PCC Administration team at 8pm on Friday, September 15th.  This agreement is for the two-year reopener for wages and benefits from summer 2017 to summer 2019 for our collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The budgetary challenges were great. The state is funding community colleges at a meager 1.8% annual increase for the upcoming two years​ while PERS employer rates are increasing at double-digit amounts for the upcoming several biennia.

We didn’t get everything we wanted. Yet, with your support–we had over fifty members of the two unions observe negotiating sessions over the summer–and the hard work of our negotiating team, we made important gains towards equity of pay for employees–and towards greater stability for many of our most vulnerable members.  And some of the provisions I detail below truly are stepping stones to accomplish more in the next negotiations in 2019.

The short story: we fought and won

  • a COLA for all employees each year;
  • new top steps for APs and PT Faculty;
  • greater support for PT Faculty participation in the essential work of running the college;
  • increased funding towards health insurance caps.

Again, it’s not everything we want–or everything we deserve. But given the conditions, we believe it’s a fair settlement.

Below, I’ve broken down each of the major changes. For now, I offer a huge thanks to our negotiating team. When you see them or if you wish to email them, please do extend your thanks for their dedicated and passionate work! The FFAP team included Allison Gross, Peter Seaman, Shirlee Geiger, and Frank Goulard. The FCE team included Jeff Grider, Cherie Maas Anderson, and Elisabeth Garcia Davidson. We also thank federation support staff Michael Cannarella, who will be retiring soon. On the administration team were Lisa Bledsoe, Cheryl Belt, Jim Langstraat, Eric Blumenthal, Jessica Howard, and Kurt Simonds.

And again, thank you to our more than fifty members who, for the first time, actively played a part in each session to make this new contract. Their support was truly transformational for our union.

The Changes

COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment):

These adjustments are in addition to the regular step increases for all members who are on steps.

For FT Faculty, AP, and Classified:

  • 1.25% first year (2017-18)
  • 2% second year (2018-19)

For PT Faculty:

  • 2% first year
  • 2% second year

NOTE: With all of the above groups of our employees, along with all administration employees, there is a 1% rollback each year (2017-18, 2018-19) in our salary schedules, for a total of 2% rollback over the next two years.

Why? In PCC’s 2013 negotiations, in addition to our COLAs and steps, we had agreed to accept an additional 1% COLA to our salary schedules for each of the following four years (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17) due to the Oregon Legislature passing into law PERS retiree cuts. Those retiree cuts increased available state dollars to community colleges. We also agreed at the time, that if this legislation was overturned by legal challenges, that we would take a reduction of 1% for the next full biennium. Soon thereafter, the Oregon Supreme Court did rule to overturn the legislation, thereby restoring retiree benefits. Therefore that triggered the aforementioned 1%/year rollback to our salary schedules, slated for the 2017-2019 biennium. So we are now rolling back that additional 1% that we had gained in 2013.

New Top Steps

For APs and Classified, a new top step (in addition to deleting Step 1). The new top step will be phased in over two years for APs in October 2017 (a half-step 1.75% increase) and October 2018 (the remaining half-step increase of another 1.75%)

For Classified in July 2017 (retroactive, a half-step 1.5% increase) and July 2018 (the remaining half-step increase of another 1.5%).​

For PT faculty, two new top steps. This moves their existing 9-step salary schedule closer to the 17-step FT faculty salary schedule. This is one of the most monumental changes in our contract. Along with these two new steps is an agreement for a joint faculty and administration task force to begin work in Fall 2017 to thoroughly analyze PT faculty work and compensation with an eye towards equity with FT faculty. This will be done in advance of the next contract negotiations, which will start January 2019.

For now, a new step 10 will be in effect in October 2017. Those PT faculty who have taught 3200-3599 hours will be placed on step 10. Then in October 2018, those who have taught at least 3600 hours will be placed at step 11. These steps, like the FT faculty steps, are 3.5% apart.​

Faculty Department Chairs in CTE and Counseling programs will receive additional points in their calculation to determine release and stipend. This should result in most chairs receiving additional release to meet the growing  demands of their programs and students.

PT faculty pay for essential college meetings, including SAC inservice day and other SAC meetings​, will double. They had been paid stipends of $25 for up to two hours, $50 for over 2 hours and up to 4 hours, and $100 for over 4 hours and up to 8 hours. This was roughly $12.50/hr, not even including the preparation or travel time for these meetings–and would soon fall short of Portland minimum wage.

We made the case for our professional PT faculty to be paid at a more professional wage. Now the stipends will be:

  • $50 for up to 2 hours
  • $75 for up to 3 hours
  • $100 for up to 4 hours
  • $150 for up to 6 hours
  • $200 for up to 8 hours
As before, a PT faculty member must make sure with their dean, chair, TLC director, or SAC chair that a particular meeting is pre-approved for this pay.

The college cap contribution towards the health insurance premium for FT employees will increase about 3.5% each year, depending on the choice of self only, self plus spouse/partner, self plus child(ren), or family coverage. That is closely in line with the rise in PCC’s Kaiser and Moda group plan costs.

The college cap contribution towards the health insurance premium for PT faculty remains at 65% of the FT self-only cap. It will likely increase from $474.50/mo to almost $490/mo​. But we were able to garner some extra financial assistance for PT faculty who select self plus spouse/partner (or children), or self plus family. For those two group selections, instead of a $490/mo cap, it will be about a $640 cap and $790 cap, respectively.

There will be an increase to the PCCFFAP Health Insurance Trust from $36,000/yr to $40,000/yr. This is the fund that helps PT faculty who do not qualify for PCC health insurance and pay their own full premiums on the marketplace. This pays out about $100/mo to those eligible PT faculty who apply.

Classified will now have a markedly better PCC early retirement program. The eligible ages will now match the FT faculty and AP ages of 58 to 65. Classified will have a choice between a stipend or support on health insurance premiums, for 4 years or until age 65, whichever comes first. This was a big step for Classified to finally begin to have a similar early retirement program as FT faculty and AP.

Next Steps

Because this is a wage re-opener and not the full contract negotiation, there is no vote by membership necessary. The PCC Board takes the next step of a ratification vote on the reopener this Thursday Sept 21, 7:30pm, at their monthly meeting at Rock Creek. After that approval, the reopener provisions will take effect October 1, 2017, with the CBA’s end date of June 30, 2019 for Classified and August 31, 2019 for Faculty and APs.

As many of you have heard me say before, you start negotiating your next contract the minute your last one is signed. Please, let me–and all of our Executive Council members–know what you think about this settlement. We are already gathering ideas for the next negotiation.

Take care,

Frank

Frank Goulard
President, PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals​

Can you help by attending a bargaining session on Monday 9/11 or Wednesday 9/13?

Colleagues,

Our negotiations with the administration team since Spring have been based on two principles:

  • Portland Community College employees should be able to afford to live in Portland and the Portland Metro area.
  • PCC should compensate employees with equal pay for equal work.

Neither of these principles is complicated or hard to understand. But neither can be achieved in just one bargaining cycle. We will need to come back over and over, to insist on these basic values.

We have two negotiations sessions scheduled next week: Monday, September 11 (9am-2pm) and Wednesday, September 13 (9am-12pm). We continue to need to make some progress on these priorities. The most important thing you can do is attend one, or both, of next week’s sessions and help us move towards an agreement. Your attendance shows the administration that these basic values matter, and that PCC employees care about one another. If so, sign up to attend the next meetings at the CLIMB Center.

In this cycle, we asked for a 4% cost of living increase — modest compared to what is needed in the Portland area according to this research.  The administration team has so far refused to offer any cost of living increase, instead talking about a 1% one-time lump sum payment. Obviously, the size of the offered payment is a problem, but the deeper issue is that a one-time payment does nothing to meet the basic principle. Workers should be able to afford to live where they work. The cost of living in Portland is on a steep increase with no sign of leveling off anytime soon, driven by rising housing costs!

After surveying you to gather our FCE and FFAP members’ concerns, we focused on two inequities in this cycle — underpayment to “part-time” faculty and disparities in the retirement programs for classified staff as compared to full-time faculty and academic professionals. (To see how steep the pay inequities are for instructors, go here.). While the administration team has so far been willing to talk about these issues, our members need more than talk. We need at least some movement to ameliorate these longstanding inequities.

Your negotiations team appreciates how many of you have already attended sessions and engaged in this process. We need your continued engagement in this process and hope you sign up to attend bargaining sessions next week.

In solidarity,

Shirlee Geiger, Bargaining Team Member