Bargaining Update #8

On August 21, Management presented FFAP with a package proposal of 24 outstanding non-monetary issues. FFAP caucused to formulate a reply, after which FFAP presented a counter package proposal. Management asked for another caucus in order to formulate a reply. Their eventual response  included six “No” to important FFAP issues, five “We can continue to discuss,” three “Move to monetary,” and two “Move to FDC work group.” As a result, we scheduled another bargaining meeting for Monday August 26. (Click here to sign up to observe). The following is a summary of items included in management’s proposal:

Management requested FFAP withdraw the following:

  • Career Path for APs. After rejecting FFAP’s initial proposal to create a leadership distinction for APs similar to the Faculty Department Chair, the Federation asked management to sign a memo of understanding (MOU) committing HR staff to working with a group of APs over the next year to identify opportunities for APs to advance their careers, including opportunities to qualify for management positions. Management refused to sign an MOU or to commit the institution to further conversation on the matter. 
  • Transfer and Recall Rights for APs. The Federation presented a proposal that would guarantee APs who are affected by layoff or FTE reductions the right to transfer to any open position for which they were qualified. Management rejected FFAP’s proposal, as well as a followup proposal to sign an MOU agreeing to look at small groups of positions where job descriptions are similar, with the idea that employees whose jobs are very similar (but with different titles) could have increased opportunity to transfer. 
  • Benefits when Team Teaching – Management insists that instructors who team teach are splitting the work 50/50 and therefore any time spent beyond that cannot be used to qualify for increased salary or benefits, even when both instructors are present during classroom hours.
  • Part time faculty Step Roll – allows faculty to be considered for step advancement twice per year instead of once per year. Management says it is too labor intensive.
  • Part time Faculty compensation for district roles – FFAP requested that PT faculty be compensated at the same hourly rate that  FT faculty receive for a step release.
  • Best available instructor – management rejected FFAP’s request to define this or to work with us to create a matrix that aligns with YESS.
  • FDC selection, training, assessment, onboarding – management requested that we move this to the FDC work group outside of bargaining.
  • Campus Safety – management rejected our proposal to add more substantive language to the contract around safety, including mandatory paid training for all instructors.

On the following topics, Management presented counter proposals that included:

  • Elimination of assignment rights, permanent adoption of multi-year contracts (MYCs) with full management discretion over how they are awarded, no screening committee requirements, and no right to grieve the termination of a MYC
  • Eliminating Steps 1, 6, &7  on the AP pay scale, moving to a 4-Level system
  • An updated grievance procedure contract article which weakens the current timeline language for FFAP.
  • A separate Health and Safety contract article which inserts new progressive language, but doesn’t go far enough for FFAP members’ interests and protections.

Both sides agreed to move to economic discussions:

  • Part time faculty compensation/pay equity
  • Health insurance caps
  • AP Leave Bank: allow it to be used for caregiving
  • PT faculty sick leave
  • Compensation

Background information can be found in previous bargaining updates but feel free to reach out to the bargaining team if you have questions about a specific issue.

Bargaining Update #7

  • Housekeeping: Admin requested several changes to contract language updating titles to reflect current job titles. (T.A. signed on August 12)
  • Article 3.64 and 3.12 (followup) Casual Professionals Admin and FFAP agreed on changes to the contract allowing casual employees to apply for temporary and permanent internal job postings. (T.A. signed on August 12)
  • AP Duties and Compensation (followup) Discussion continued around career advancement opportunities for APs. Both management and FFAP expressed strong interest in this topic. Admin was cool to the idea of creating  “Lead” or “Senior” designation for APs as proposed on August 9, but we discussed other possibilities, including working with managers to change the job requirements or creating more intermediate-level jobs. FFAP drafted a Memorandum of Understanding in which admin would commit to a joint committee that would work on this issue and present recommendations in Fall 2020. Admin was receptive but wanted to consult with other stakeholders about the language. The discussion around AP Levels 6&7 will be tackled during economic discussions.
  • Article 25 Grievance Procedure (followup) Admin presented a counter-proposal to FFAP’s request 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. Admin agreed to most of FFAP’s changes and the team will review the counter-proposal in more detail with the hope of reaching a T.A. at the next meeting.
  • Article 24 Transfer and Recall Rights for APs Affected by Layoffs and FTE Reductions (followup) On August 9, FFAP proposed improving transfer opportunities for APs, so that an AP who receives a notice of layoff or FTE reduction can transfer to any open position at the College for which they are qualified. FFAP brought up the fact that many AP positions are very similar but with different titles. Admin was interested in seeing a list of these positions and suggested we may be able to get at this by aligning job titles. Admin is very resistant to the idea of giving up management discretion over hiring decisions.
  • Article 7  Faculty Assessment (followup) FFAP and admin agreed to contract language stating that student evaluations should not be the sole basis of assessment for PT faculty. Both sides also agreed that PT instructors who teach in the same subject area at more than one campus/center will be given an initial assessment at each campus/center, but that FDCs and/or administrative supervisors will collaborate on future assessments. Finally, both sides agreed that results of student evaluations for FT faculty for at least one section per term will be made available to the Division Dean/administrative supervisor, and that if the faculty member does not identify the course prior to the start of the term, the dean/supervisor will have the discretion to select the course. (T.A. signed on August 12)
  • Article 28 (followup) FFAP proposed that (1) faculty who make modifications to a shared online shell (work that is not compensated in the event of class cancelation) retain sole ownership of the modifications, and (2) faculty have access to their modifications even if the CRN is reassigned. Admin submitted a counter proposal agreeing to the #2 only.
  • Article 27 (followup) Campus Safety Discussion continued around whether to include language about safety in the contract versus in college policies. Admin proposed a standalone article addressing safety (currently Safety is addressed alongside parking and facilities) and adding a preamble that would affirm the college’s commitment to preventing violence, improving communication protocols, and providing training, resources, and support for all employees. Admin is supportive of mandatory safety training for all faculty and is currently looking into the cost.
  • Joint FFAP-Administration FDC Subcommittee (followup) (Management: Kurt Simonds, Jeremy Estrella, Jen Piper, and Karen Sanders.  Faculty: Matt Stockton, Shannon Baird, Ken Friedrich, and Heather Mayer) (followup) Discussion continued around the recommendations of the subcommittee with the two sides close to agreement. We expect a T.A. at the next meeting.
  • Due to potential financial impact, the following previously-discussed agenda items have been moved to economic bargaining, which is set to begin jointly with the PCC Federation of Classified Employees on August 14: Compensation for Independent Study Classes, AP Leave Bank.

*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 #6

This update covers bargaining sessions held on July 19 and August 2, 2019.

  • Article 4.211 Notice to PT Faculty re: Class Openings FFAP proposes requiring that unassigned class sections be offered to qualified PCC PT faculty before hiring outside the existing pool.   
  • Future of Multiyear Contracts (MYC) and Assignment Rights (AR ) FFAP proposes continuing MYCs, and making them multi-campus to meet the 1.5 FTE minimum, and creating a new tier of MYCs for current AR-holders. This would sunset ARs but guarantee one class per term to current AR holders.
  • PT Faculty Career Path and Job Security FFAP proposes that PT teachers with five years of experience get an automatic interview when applying for MYCs and FT positions. FFAP also proposes using a matrix for determining who is the “best available instructor” when chairs or deans are assigning open sections, based on a variety of factors including professional development, student-centered and active learning course design, etc. 
  • PT Faculty Compensation for Non-Instructional Work FFAP proposes payment for non-instructional work of PT faculty, which will increase their involvement in college service as well as alleviate some workload challenges of FT faculty. 
  • Article 7.282  PT Faculty Assessment FFAP proposes that factors in addition to student evaluations be considered in PT faculty assessments.
  • Article 24 Transfer and Recall Rights for APs Affected by Layoffs and FTE Reductions FFAP proposed improving transfer opportunities for APs, so that an AP who receives a notice of layoff or FTE reduction can transfer to any open position at the College for which they are qualified. Administration replied that employees may apply for open positions, but they want recruitment to be competitive and for managers to have sole discretion over who gets hired. FFAP asked for a counter proposal and Admin said they would consider. 
  • Article 8.23 and Article 16.3246 AP Teaching Stipends vs. Overload FFAP proposed contract language requiring managers to notify APs who teach whether they will be paid a stipend or instructional overload rate. Admin acknowledged the problem which has sometimes resulted in overpayment or underpayment of APs who teach. They did not accept FFAP’s contract language but agreed to work with FFAP to come up with a notification process by Winter term.
  • AP Duties and Compensation FFAP proposed the creation of a “Lead” or “Senior” designation for APs, modeled on the Faculty Department Chair position for faculty, to recognize advanced qualifications and allow managers to delegate management-level responsibilities to APs. This would benefit APs who are looking to advance their careers and enable them to meet the minimum qualifications for management positions.  FFAP also proposed changes to the AP compensation that would eliminate Levels 6&7 while increasing compensation for APs at every level. (The background is that AP 6&7 were created during 2005 negotiations but no AP has since been placed or reclassified at those levels, and management has said that it’s impossible under the current system for an AP to be placed in those levels.) Management was receptive and agreed to give us more formal feedback at the August 12 negotiations session.
  • Article 19 AP Leave Bank 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 originally presented on May 17, and FFAP has followed up on this proposal at each subsequent bargaining session. Finally Administration rejected FFAP’s proposal, saying that leave bank was originally conceived as a way to help an employee who is waiting to qualify for long-term disability, and that it would be too complicated to implement this change alongside a new state law implementing paid family leave. FFAP pushed back, proposing a 2-year pilot or caps on the amount of hours and/or leave time the employee would be eligible to claim. Management appreciates the flexibility and committed to more discussion during the economic portion of bargaining.
  • Article 19.82 (followup) Closures for Inclement Weather Administration agreed to change the contract language to require APs to make up the work as opposed to the time lost due to closures. (T.A* signed on August 2.)
  • Article 19.84 (followup) Compensation for PT counselors, librarians, and tutors during closures. Management agreed to contract language stipulating that PT counselors, librarians, and tutors can be paid for closures provided they work by alternative means with supervisor’s approval. (T.A.* signed on Aug. 2)
  • Article 5.42 (followup) PT Faculty Meeting Attendance FFAP seeks clearer language around PT faculty meeting participation to determine if attending staff meetings virtually will meet the requirements outlined in Article 5.42. Admin agreed to add contract language saying that participation in meetings can be fulfilled through other means such as virtual attendance with written authorization of the Division Dean. (T.A.* signed on August 2)
  • Article 27 (followup) Campus Safety In May, FFAP proposed changes to Article 27 in light of recent, high-visibility acts of campus violence. FFAP also requested 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. Management agreed to create a separate article for safety using existing contract language only, and cited the many efforts currently underway to address safety concerns at the college. There was some discussion about whether the other changes belonged in the contract or in college policies. Both sides committed to further discussion. 

Joint FFAP-Administration FDC Subcommittee (Management: Kurt Simonds, Jeremy Estrella, Jen Piper, and Karen Sanders.  Faculty: Matt Stockton, Shannon Baird, Ken Friedrich, and Heather Mayer) The subcommittee was convened to consider and recommend improvements to the Faculty Department Chair position, duties, and release/compensation.  , FFAP presented the subcommittee’s recommendations with agreement to continue the discussion during the economic portion of bargaining. FDC Subcommittee recommendations include:

  • Changing the FDC release and stipend formula to reflect the following goals:
    1. All CTE FDCs receive 50% release time and some LDC (Lower Division Credit) FDCs, such as Art and Biology, should receive credit for facilities management.
    2. No LDC FDCs should be harmed by the changes.
    3. The number of PT faculty under an FDC should be removed from the formula without reducing current FDC release and stipends..
    4. There should be a defined upper limit to FDC workload.
    5. The changes should be cost efficient. 
  • Allow PT Faculty to be appointed as FDCs if there is no other available and/or interested FT Faculty available or to be a co-FDC alongside a continuous appointment FDC.
  • Implement three-year contracts for LDC (Lower Division Credit) FDCs except CTE instructors who have no specified contract duration.  There are no term limits, but other interested faculty are allowed to apply for the position every cycle.  
  • PT Faculty assessments are valid district-wide, available to all relevant FDCs, and will be assigned by the hiring campus and/or by the relevant deans if a part-time instructor teaches at multiple campuses.  A dean may request an additional assessment if an instructor is teaching at their campus for the first time. 
  • The FDC job description should express that, when applicable, it is considered a best practice for FDCs to consult with other discipline related FDCs across the district when making scheduling and hiring decisions.  FDCs who lack an academic background in the hiring discipline shall consult with a discipline specific full-time faculty member when considering staffing needs.
  • Increase the number of expected hours to be compensated for assessment up to five at the FDC rate.

Bargaining Update #5
Contract Expires Aug. 31!

President's Message

Dear Colleagues,

Our contract expires on August 31, 2019. If administration doesn’t agree to the Federation bargaining team’s fair and reasonable suggestions by September 1, our Federation will be working without a contract. This means we’ll continue to work under the expired contract’s provisions. Working without a contract can be stressful but it is not unusual. We did it for 73 days in 2015. We will certainly share more information if it comes to that, but for now I’d like to tell you one benefit of working without a contract: it releases us from the no-strike clause, giving us significantly more leverage at the bargaining table.

We’ve been getting questions from members about where things stand, so here is a quick summary:

  • The bargaining platform was developed with member feedback beginning in Fall 2018. Federation leadership asked for your input via surveys, campus and center meetings, and countless in-person and email conversations. The platform guides all of our proposals and conversations with management.
  • We are five months into bargaining non-economic issues and we are preparing to begin the economic portion of bargaining, where we negotiate wages and benefits. (The reason we wait to discuss monetary issues is that the state budget for community colleges is not known until late June.)
  • Progress on non-economic issues has been frustratingly slow, and threatens to delay economic negotiations. Administration may be trying to run out the clock on some of these issues.

You can read through the previous bagaining updates to see that we’ve reached tentative agreements on a handful of relatively minor issues, but when it comes to the issues that are of highest priority to our members, administration has been slower to respond. For instance, our proposal to extend the AP Leave Bank to cover caregiving was presented on March 29, and in each subsequent session they tell us that they are still researching the issue. The same could be said about a number of other issues and proposals.

Here’s the good news: The state budget for community colleges came in higher than expected. We suspect the administration is busy moving the goalposts, so that they can present this good news in a more dire light, along with a host of reasons the college can’t afford a reasonable COLA (cost of living adjustment) among other things. We need your help to keep the pressure on administration – both to settle with us on non-economic issues, and to ensure a fair and reasonable economic package that helps members keep up with the skyrocketing cost of living in the Portland metro area.

We recently packed the negotiations room with over 30 members who were observers. It made a difference. Please consider attending a bargaining session. The next one is this Friday, August 2–and we’ve added many dates to our calendar. The more the administration knows you are paying attention and want the contract settled, the faster we will get there. The best way to tell them that is by showing up.

And please continue to be in touch regarding your questions and concerns around bargaining. 

In solidarity,

Frank Goulard
PCCFFAP President

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.