Join our Secrets of a Successful Organizer Lunch & Learn Series!

Join us for a new, highly interactive training series based on the popular organizing guidebook Secrets of a Successful Organizer. In six short sessions you’ll learn practical organizing tools for talking to your co-workers, taking action together, and getting results.

Each session is based on the insights and know-how of generations of organizers, as well as the concrete experiences of people who’ve won big improvements to their working conditions.

Plus, the series will be co-facilitated by Secret’s co-author Mark Brenner, an AFT member and career instructor for the U of O’s Labor Education and Research Center (LERC).

No need to read the book. Just grab your lunch and join us on Zoom.

➡️ Sign up now to save your seat! You can RSVP for all sessions or just a few that work for you.

SECRETS OF A SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZER, 6-Part Series

Click here to join the Zoom meetings.

SESSION 1: HOW TO GET UNSTUCK

Tuesday, January 26 at Noon

Do you ever feel like your co-workers don’t care or that nothing is going to change? In this session, we’ll discuss the common barriers to getting involved and how to identify what our co-workers really care about.

SESSION 2: HOW AN ORGANIZER TALKS… AND LISTENS

Tuesday, Feb 2 at Noon

Finding out what will motivate our co-workers to get involved starts with listening, one-on-one. This session will provide an easy-to-follow framework for approaching these conversations.

SESSION 3: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Tuesday, Feb 9 at Noon

Understanding our rights at work is the first step to asserting them. In this session, we’ll cover our right to union representation and our rights to engage in union activity. Facilitated by Vincent Blanco, FFAP’s Labor Relations Specialist.

SESSION 4: WHY WE NEED MEMBER LEADERS

Tuesday, Feb 16 at Noon

We’ll discuss the role of workplace leaders – with or without a formal title! – and why they are the key to getting more people to take on the big issues we’re facing.

SESSION 5: ASSEMBLING YOUR DREAM TEAM

Tuesday, Feb 23 at Noon

We’ll discuss how to create our network of respected co-workers that can bring people together.  

SESSION 6: SWINGING INTO ACTION

Tuesday, March 2 at Noon

We’ll discuss how to make a game plan to push management to address the issues our co-workers are concerned about.

Joint PCC/PCCFFAP Statement on Resolution of PT Faculty Pay Issue

Dear Colleagues:

Last month, the College implemented a new part-time faculty salary schedule that is in closer alignment with the full-time faculty schedule as part of the 2019-2023 Faculty and Academic Professional Agreement. As you may know, this was the first step in a phased implementation of the new schedule. Unfortunately, the College and the Federation were not aware of the extent of the negative impact that some part-time faculty would experience in the first year of the new schedule. With a mutual interest in mitigating the negative impact, College administration and the Federation have been in discussions regarding a solution to the loss in pay for impacted part-time faculty.

We are pleased to report that we have identified a solution that retroactively restores impacted part-time faculty pay rates to 2019-20 levels. The College is securing the necessary approvals and will be taking steps to implement these changes as soon as possible. Funds outside of the negotiated agreement have been identified and will be used to adjust pay for part-time faculty who experienced a reduction in their hourly rate this fall due to the negotiated changes. It is anticipated that retroactive pay for this group for Fall term will be paid no later than March 5, 2021, and the pay for future terms will be built into the salary schedule.

Thank you for your patience as we worked to resolve this issue, and please be in touch with any questions.

Sincerely,

Frank Goulard, PCCFFAP President

Shirlee Geiger, Contract Administration Officer for Part Time Faculty

Cheryl Belt, Director, Employee and Labor Relations

Pay Equity for Part Time Faculty

Equal pay for equal work is a basic principle of workplace fairness. But it has not pertained to academic labor for a long time. In January 2020 piece for Inside Higher Ed, John Warner describes what equal pay would be:

“In order to calculate the Teaching Labor Wage Gap, we need to […] determine what portion of those [full-time] salaries is dedicated to instruction and then do some addition, multiplication and division, and also more multiplication, and addition, and division.”

At PCC, instructors are paid according to how many “contact hours” at PCC they have accumulated. After working additional hours, an instructor moves to a higher step on the pay scale. Until Fall 2019, PCC kept two different sets of steps and two different pay rates for full-time and “part-time” instructors. The pay was clearly unequal between the two pay scales, but how unequal varied by level. The two scales started out not too far off, but the longer someone stayed as a job-insecure instructor, the more they were devalued.

But as John Warner says, figuring out equal pay takes math. 

Step one: Full-time faculty are paid to do instruction (teaching, preparation, grading) and also for non-instructional work like committee participation, curriculum development, and student recruitment. What percentage of full-time pay goes to instruction? The only relevant data we had came from a survey in 1995 for FTers. It showed approximately 80% of their work was instructional. Since then, the demands on full-timers have increased, and the number of full-time instructors has decreased relative to all instructional work. When bargaining in 2018-19, we agreed to use 70%, along with an agreement by Administration to create a method to better track FT non-instructional hours. (Since job creep and overload has been the major complaint of FTers, this information will also help us push back on the creep!)

Step two: Full-time pay is presented as an annual salary. But “part-time” pay is paid by the instructional hour. To get an instructional hour rate from the FT pay, we need a formula:

FT annual pay *.70/48/12 

  • 70 = the percent of FT pay that is directly instructional
  • 48 = the average number of lecture hours taught in a year (which would have to be adjusted for labs or lecture/labs)
  • 12 = the number of weeks (for purposes of pay) in a term.

If we look at the pay rates for 2015-2017 we can see how irrational and unfair the old steps were.

Here are some examples.

The long-time PT instructor:

A FT instructor with 8000 contact hours would be at step 17, making $88,661. Using our formula (88661*.70/48/12) means equal pay for the PTer would be $107.74. But they were actually paid $79.25. PTers were paid 74% of what FTers earned for instructional time.

This is the very definition of exploitation.

The brand-new PT instructor:

Looking at the other end of the scale, a brand new FT instructor with 0 hours at PCC who was placed at step 1 would be paid $51,130. Using our formula (51130*.70/48/12) means equal pay would be $62.14. Actual pay at step one was $57.36. At step one, PTers were paid 92% of equal pay.

The problem we are dealing with is the irrationality of the PTer scale in the middle. 

The PTer who has been serving PCC students for a few years.

A FT  instructor with 1000 contact hours would be placed at step 3, making $54,774 annually, assuming they were positioned at step at hiring. Using our equity formula (54774*.70/48/12) equal pay for the part-timer with 1000 contact hours (at step 4) would be $66.57. They actually made $67.30 in that contract. This is 101% of what a FTer with equal hours would make. (Many FTers get placed at higher steps initially based on prior experience, while that rarely or never happens for PTers. We hope to work on this inequity in future bargaining.)

The new pay rates for 2020-21 moved to 13 steps. Steps 14-17 will be phased in over the next two years. 

Join our Reading Group to Build Union Power!

In the era of COVID-19, an economic crash, climate change, and rising white supremacy, how can our federation tap into people power and win big changes for ourselves and our students?

Join us for a three-part reading group of “No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age” by Dr. Jane McAlevey. A labor organizer turned academic, McAlevey gives us both a practical guide and a set of underlying principles to understand why organizing matters more than any other available strategy to grow power. We will discuss how these ideas can be applied to our struggles at work and our goals to change the world for the better.

Sign up here for the group on Mondays at 5:00pm

Chapters 1-2 – November 2

Chapters 3-4 – November 16

Chapters 5-7 – November 30

Sign up here for the group on Tuesdays at 1:00pm

Chapters 1-2 – November 3

Chapters 3-4 – November 17

Chapters 5-7 – December 1

You may attend the Monday or Tuesday group, or both. Attending all three parts is not required! Please feel welcome to join us for discussion even if you have not read the book.

A digital copy of the book is available for free via the PCC library. Some complimentary copies of the physical book are available if you order here before this Friday 10/23 at noon.

Want to join but don’t have time this term? Let us know here if you’re interested in the next reading group in Winter Term.

Invite your coworkers by sharing this link!

Questions? Email lpwadlin@gmail.com for more info.

2020 General Election Endorsements

PCCFFAP is proud to announce our endorsements for the upcoming November 3, 2020 election. Please consider volunteering to support these fine folks and measures.

  • Portland City Council: Chloe Eudaly
  • Hillsboro City Council Ward 3B: Kimberly Culberston
  • Beaverton City Council: Nadia Hasan
  • Portland Mayor: Sarah Innarone
  • Beaverton Mayor: Lacey Beatty
  • Washington County Commission: Nafisa Fai
  • Metro: Chris Smith
  • Multnomah County Ballot Measures:
    • Preschool for All
  • Metro:
    • Lets Get Moving Transport Measure
    • Yes For Our Libraries
    • Yes for Fair and Honest Elections
  • City of Portland:
    • 2020 School Bond Renewal
    • Police Oversight Board Charter Amendment

Please consider volunteering to support these worthy candidates.

Ira Erbs
Political and Legislative Action Committee

PCCFFAP Executive Council Calls on AFT-OR and AFL-CIO to Disaffiliate from Police Unions

On July 16, 2020, PCCFFAP President Frank Goulard sent the following letter to the Presidents of AFT-OR, OR AFL-CIO, AFT-National, and National AFL-CIO. The letter was sent on behalf of the entire PCCFFAP Executive Council.

Dear Presidents of AFT-OR, OR AFL-CIO, AFT-National, and National AFL-CIO:

Portland Community College Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals  (AFT-Local 2277) condemns the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and countless others. We stand in solidarity with demonstrators in Portland and around the country who are fighting for racial justice. We stand with the loved ones of our own community members killed by Portland Police: Kendra James, Quanice Hayes, Terrell Johnson, Andre Gladden, Patrick Kimmons, Aaron Campbell, James Jahar Perez, Tony Stevenson, Keaton Otis, and Jason Washington. 

In recent weeks we’ve seen multiple incidents of police in Portland assaulting journalists, protesters, and bystanders, deploying tear gas and explosive devices, and firing rubber bullets into crowds of non-violent protesters.  

Our parent union, the Oregon AFL-CIO, which is part of the largest national federation of unions, acknowledges that “Our systems, our institutions, and our societal norms have all been built upon this racist foundation that gives some people privilege and intentionally takes it away from others based on the color of their skin or country of origin.” But the national AFL-CIO has failed to contend with the ways in which police unions have perpetuated these same racist practices. 

Police unions often work in direct opposition to labor by protecting individuals and institutions that harm workers. As the events of recent months have tragically clarified, they contribute to the murder and oppression of the most marginalized people in our society, ultimately upholding white supremacy. 

Whereas, police have not been held accountable for multiple acts of violence and brutality against citizens, and

Whereas Black, Indigenous, and People of Color continue to experience disproportionate rates of arrest, imprisonment, oppression, and violence at the hands of police, and

Whereas reform efforts such as body cameras, bias and de-escalation training have not led to the elimination of police brutality,

Be it resolved that absent immediate and meaningful changes in law enforcement collective bargaining agreements and practices, AFT shall disaffiliate from law enforcement unions.    

We look forward to your support in our call to transform our communities and the labor movement at large.

Sincerely,

On behalf of the majority vote of the PCCFFAP Executive Council, 

Frank Goulard, President of AFT Local 2277

Black Lives Matter

The PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals stands in solidarity with our African American colleagues, students, and community members and their allies who are protesting the scourge of violence, brutalization, and intimidation by police against people of color in the United States—a practice that is rooted in our nation’s history of colonization, slavery, and white supremacy.

The PCCFFAP Executive Council is committed to disrupting racism at PCC and in the communities we serve. We are committed to heeding President Mitsui’s call to embrace accountability and engage in anti-racist praxis. As an organization, we’ve been talking about what anti-racism looks like in the context of a labor union. As important as it is to provide representation, support with grievances, and to fight for better pay, benefits, and working conditions—it’s not enough. Our colleagues of color repeatedly let us know that despite all of the policies, committees, and reforms, structural racism persists at PCC.

During the last round of contract negotiations, we showed that when we work together in solidarity, we can make a difference from the status quo. The work of fighting for meaningful change is grueling and often the result is imperfect. But together we must work toward that change because the one thing we all know, which the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others have tragically clarified, is that when it comes to race in America, the status quo has never been acceptable.

What this work looks like as we are all living under the stress of a global pandemic is unclear. But please know your union leaders are talking about it with renewed urgency, and that you will hear more from union leaders in the coming weeks on specific steps we are taking to support communities of color and how you can be involved.

Please reach out to any of our Executive Council members with thoughts or feedback, including if you need support and resources.

Spring 2020 PCCFFAP Endorsements

Updated March 26, 2020

The PCCFFAP Political and Legislative Action Committee (PLAC) has endorsed the following candidates for local office.

Contact PLAC Chair Ira Erbs if you have questions or if you are a candidate seeking an endorsement: ira.erbs@pccffap.org

Portland Mayor- No endorsement made

City Commission #1 Carmen Rubio

City Commission # 2 Julia Degraw

City Commission # 4 Mingus Mapps

Multnomah County Judge Rima Ghandour

Multco Commissioner Lori Stegman

Multco DA Mike Scmidt

Metro #6 Leigha LaFleur

Washington County Commission-District 1  Nafisa Fai

Beaverton Mayor  Lacey Beaty

Beaverton City Council Kate Kristiansen, John Dugger

FAQs about employee rights during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 FAQs, by PCCFFAP   (Updated as of March 30, 2020)

Click here to skip to the update added March 30

If your question is not addressed, please Fill out this survey. 

Will faculty be paid for the time it takes to convert to remote instruction?

Not at this time. This is a longstanding policy at PCC, and something that can only be changed via contract negotiations. It is an issue we will be looking closely at in the future.

What if my lab is cancelled?

FFAP can help employees advocate with their deans but contractually, the college is entitled to cancel labs. 

As a PT faculty, I have reduced or cancelled hours that were scheduled for something other than an assigned class, for example as a tutor, librarian, counselor, or student assistance at the worksite. Can I receive closure pay, or use my sick leave, to receive pay for those hours? 

Unfortunately, no. Pay only occurs for assigned classes taught remotely in spring term. 

What unemployment benefits are available to PT faculty who lose classes? 

The advice we are hearing from union leaders statewide is to go ahead and apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UI) to the State of Oregon. Here are the State of Oregon’s fact sheet and temporary rules. There is possibly more leniency right now with these benefits. Please keep us in the loop with regard to your outcome.

I’m a PT faculty concerned that my summer/fall classes will be reassigned to a FT faculty. And that the work done to create remote learning materials will be given to FT.

The Federation will work to protect your MYC and/or assignment rights course assignments, but the College has a contractual obligation to fulfill FT faculty workloads first. We don’t know yet how many, if any, summer classes will be reassigned to FT faculty. You should know from your chair or dean during spring term if this will affect you. If you haven’t heard by mid-May, inquire to confirm your summer (and fall) classes. 

I’m concerned that some campuses have different telecommute contracts for the same discipline.

The telecommuting agreement form on PCC’s Forms webpage is a template that can be adjusted by a division dean to meet a department’s needs.

Can I alter/customize my telecommuting agreement? My manager is making unreasonable demands? What can I do?

Discuss with your dean or manager. Telecommuting is outlined in Article 6.2131 of our contract . In this ongoing health situation, the overall intent is to be flexible and collaborative. If things are still appearing unreasonable, email your Federation grievance officer/contract administrator. For full-time faculty, Emiliano Vega emiliano.vega@pccffap.org. For part-time faculty, Matt Stockton matt.stockton@pccffap.org . For APs, Heidi Edwards heidi.edwards@pccffap.org. Feel free to cc: Frank Goulard frank.goulard@pccffap.org and Vincent Blanco vincent.blanco@pccffap.org

FT faculty who do not teach a full load in spring due to cancelled section(s) may be asked to do some related remote work in spring and/or teach section(s) in summer. Is this proper?

Yes, a FT faculty 180-day contract is for a full workload over three terms of the September through August academic year. For most FT faculty those three terms are fall, winter, and spring terms. Some flexibility may be utilized to have a reduced spring term workload balanced by a proportionate summer term workload. Should this arise, work with your chair or dean, and you certainly can include Federation leaders in your communications. 

Do Deans have the right to decline  faculty requests to teach remotely?  

Yes, discretion on whether to grant requests to teach remotely rests with Deans. 

Does it matter if remote teaching uses Google Meet instead of Zoom?  

Instructors may use Zoom for the entire class session (synchronous, meaning live), or, a mix of Zoom, Google Meet, and asynchronous work.

What resources are available for those affected by COVID-19 and related hardships?

Update added March 30 in response to questions submitted via the survey

General Concerns around instruction & transition

What is the difference between teaching online and teaching remotely?

Online is a subset of remote, though very similar. Remote gives the instructor to create their class with how much synchronous (live) and asynchronous (not live) instruction to provide.

Will I be paid for work during the traditional spring break, something that many PCC employees are being forced to do?

Unfortunately, the college is not offering additional compensation for work performed over spring break.

What about FERPA rights with recording students in Zoom Meetings and posting these recordings for students to watch later? Is there an agreed upon form I can have my students electronically sign to be able to record them?

Zoom recordings will only be visible to those enrolled in this class, and students have the option for additional layers of privacy by renaming themselves in the Zoom room, muting their video, and muting their audio. If the instructor opts to record the session, they are required to notify students, and students are required to follow the code of conduct which includes the following:

Recording.

  1. Using, obtaining, or attempting to obtain, electronic or other means to photograph or record the likeness of another without the individual’s consent, in any situation in which there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, recording another person in an intimate situation.
  2. Recording in any College locker room or restroom is strictly prohibited.
  3. Recordings of lectures and presentations may not be used for any reason other than personal educational purposes and may not be shared publicly.

Why is PCC administration not allowing faculty more time to transition to remote teaching when other area colleges are?

We don’t know. PCC administration made their own determination that one week was sufficient time to prepare. We have been pushing back against this but ultimately it is their sole discretion. 

Do I have to provide all of the tools necessary to work at home? Can I get reimbursed for having to purchase supplies and equipment?

Work with your dean or manager to get set up for remote working, and contact the Federation if you are not getting the support you need.

Illness & Childcare

Will it be possible to get additional paid leave if we are not able to work remotely due to childcare issues?

First discuss potential schedule adjustments or other accommodations with your dean or manager, and contact the Federation if you need support.

Can I take sick time if a member of my immediate family becomes ill?

Yes. 

Why is PCC administration asking us to potentially return to PCC campuses and centers on May 4? If facilities do reopen, will employees have any discretion around whether they continue to teach/work remotely?

If facilities open on May 4, employees should discuss with their manager/dean whether they should continue working remotely or return to their work space/classroom. Employees who have health concerns about returning to work should discuss this with their dean/manager and contact the Federation if you are being asked to return to work and do not feel safe.

AP Concerns

My department is telling APs and Classified employees to state which hours they will work every day. Since APs are not bound to a fixed schedule, can a manager “fix” my hours in this way?

APs are supposed to work with their managers to set a schedule. That said, they are not paid for the hours they are working rather for the work that they do, and should not be evaluated based on the number of hours they are working, rather on the work they are doing. This can be tricky when working alongside Classified employees whose work is bound to a fixed schedule. Contact Federation AP representatives if you need further support or advocacy in this area.

FT Concerns

What happens if a FT faculty has classes cancelled due to projected low enrollment?

FT faculty should work with their dean to ensure an FTE load of at least 2.76. If necessary, this may need to include some spring and/or summer assignments such as non-instructional work. FT faculty will continue to be paid their normal salary and benefits.

PT Faculty Questions

If I am not teaching in the spring will I have health insurance?

FT employees will have health insurance in the spring regardless of the number of classes. PT faculty who have PCC health insurance are able to have a bridge term if they are not teaching in the Spring. For example, if they teach in fall, winter, and summer, their health insurance will continue uninterrupted in the spring.If the pt faculty doesn’t already reach 1.50 FTE from Fall and Winter terms, and then they don’t have a class for Spring, nor for Summer, PCC would stop paying the cap toward the monthly health insurance premium in June (Article 18.61D). The PT faculty could then continue the coverage by self-paying the monthly premium.

If my classes have been cancelled due to low enrollment, will I qualify for unemployment benefits?

We think it is likely and encourage instructors to apply.

Why do FT faculty get to have an overage of classes when PT faculty are losing their income?

Curtailing overloads for FT faculty was a practice instituted in 2012. If this is occurring please bring it up with your faculty department chair and/or contact your Federation representatives for support.

PCC administration seems to be requiring remote office hours, which are not mandated by the contract. Will PT faculty be compensated for these requirements?

Office hours are not mandated for PT faculty, but they are expected to meet student needs which may include communication outside of regular classroom time. (Reference Article 5.4 of the contract)

Is the administration willing to lower the teaching load requirement to qualify for health insurance due to class cancellations?

Unfortunately they are not and the Federation does not have much leverage to push back as the requirements are in the contract.

General Questions

How does the closure affect people who are currently out on leave?

If you are scheduled to return to work during the closure, discuss with your dean/manager the terms of your return to work and contact the Federation if you need further support.

How will sub pay be handled if someone is sick?

Sub pay will be authorized as normal, even for an extended absence.

If I grant student capacity overrides will there be compensation?

No.

Federation support and resources during COVID-19 crisis

Moments ago, PCCFFAP President Frank Goulard sent a memo to PCC administration asking them to take stronger measures to protect PCC employees, their families, and our community from the COVID-19 virus. You can read the memo here.

While the decision-making power with regard to closures and work arrangements lies with the administration and PCC managers, PCC faculty and academic professionals have several rights and protections guaranteed by our contract, and Federation leaders are here to support and advocate for you in your individual circumstances. We are working closely with administration to ensure that employees are not exposed to unnecessary risk. As a first step, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with Articles 19 (Absences and Leaves) and 27 (Health and Safety) of the contract (link here), specifically. A few key components include:

Article 19.82 Full-time Faculty and Academic Professional employees are FLSA exempt employees. As such, the expectation of these staff is that their work time is not bound to a fixed schedule and that employees will cover course material and meet work requirements, which may require working offsite or outside of their typical work schedule.

Article 27.5 Employees will report unsafe conditions or practices on a form provided by the College to the College’s safety/risk officer with a copy to the employee’s Administrative Supervisor and to the Federation. Management will provide the reporting employee and the Federation with a timely summary of findings and recommendations.

In many circumstances, disputes can be resolved with a phone call or email between a union representative and an employee’s supervisor or human resources. In fact we have been busy on the phone with several members helping to ensure that the College is making reasonable accommodations to protect employees from exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

In more serious situations, employees have the right to file a formal grievance with the College, a process the Federation can guide you through. The grievance procedure is outlined in Article 25.

If you would like support or guidance for your individual circumstances, please contact one of the following:

Emiliano Vega, Full-time Faculty Grievance Officer: emiliano.vega@pccffap.org

Heidi Edwards, Academic Professional Grievance Officer: heidi.edwards@pccffap.org

Our Part-time faculty grievance officer is currently out on medical leave. Part-time Faculty members may contact PCCFFAP President Frank Goulard (frank.goulard@pccffap.org) or Labor Relations Specialist Vincent Blanco (vincent.blanco@pccffap.org)

We ask for your patience as we make our way through the emails. We may be triaging requests to other members of the federation Executive Council, so you may hear from someone other than the person you contacted.

We will be in close contact over the next several weeks as the situation evolves, and we are currently looking into ways to gather members together online to ask questions in real time – more on that soon.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to members of your Executive Council. Stay safe and well.