2019 Tentative Agreement Summary


1COLAs (Cost Of Living Adjustments) are percentage increases of one’s salary, normally applied at the start of a contract year (September 1). The above table’s COLAs are in addition to annual step movement for those not on the top step. Step movement is 3.5% per year for APs (a 14% increase over the next four years). Step movement is 3.5% per year for faculty, phasing in step compression to 3% per year in the final contract year (a 13% increase over the next four years). See footnote #5 below for Step Compression information.

2In order to achieve the security and predictability of a four-year contract, both parties agreed that in the unlikely event that our state funding or enrollment forecast dramatically changes up or down in August 2021, then a small graduated change (in tenths of one percent) in COLA would occur in years 3 and 4. This would not apply to the compression or “catchup” COLAs. 

3FT Faculty will receive a new top step and the bottom step will be eliminated. For top step faculty this is worth a 3% increase, in addition to the 10% colas over four years. This new top step will be phased in during years 2&4. This was repeatedly resisted by PCC administration, but we held firm. At the very end, this was a very hard-fought win for our top step faculty!

4PT Faculty: in addition to the annual COLA and any step movement, there will be both an increase of the PT instructional pay rate to 70% of the FT salary by Fall 2022, AND an increase in the number of steps from 11 to 13 (Fall 2020), to 15 (Fall 2021), to 17 (Fall 2022) to match the number of FT steps. In Fall 2022, steps will be 3% apart. If a longtime PT with many contact hours were to progress as described here, from Step 11 to Step 17, those two step movements per year alone translates to a 6% annual increase. 

5Step Compression for FT Faculty and PT Faculty is a concept introduced by FFAP that decreases the distance between steps from 3.5% to 3%. This results in a pay increase ranging from 0% to 4%, in each of year 2 and year 4. Those on Step 1 receive a 4% increase and for each subsequent step higher, 0.25% per step less is received (e.g., Step 2 receives a 3.75% increase, Step 3 receives a 3.50% increase, etc.)  If you want to see how that might affect you, this spreadsheet shows the current steps compared to what your salary would be with step compression.  While a bit less than the “catchup” provision that APs will receive, step compression enables the lower paid FT and PT faculty to receive a significant pay increase including meeting a key platform goal of instructional pay parity.

Maintain health insurance caps at current levels. This is due to current caps already being higher than the long-held, jointly agreed upon, goals of the cap covering the premium at 100% for self only, 85% for self+partner, 95% for self+child(ren), and 75% for self+family.

Parental Leave: 4 weeks of employer-paid time off; employee may retain up to 40 hours of their own leave.

Faculty non-instructional hours: We agreed to jointly work on this following negotiations in order to document the ever-increasing workload being experienced. This will help categorize how much of a FT faculty’s work is instructional related vs. non-instructional. That will give further insight as we roll out PT faculty pay parity, which links PT faculty salary schedule to the FT faculty salary schedule in Fall 2022.

AP 6&7: The administration offered APs significantly higher COLAs in exchange for our withdrawal of AP 6&7 redress. However, and importantly, we did NOT agree to remove Level 6&7 from the contract and will continue pursuing a remedy via the grievance process.

AP Leave Bank: Expand the use of AP leave bank to include leave for caregiving for a FMLA-defined issue. Capped at 250 hours per person and 2500 hours per year. (This is a one-year pilot in order to examine its efficacy with the intent to continue thereafter.) 

PT Faculty mid-year step advancement: If, in September a PT faculty is within 100 hours of the next step, and after Fall term’s conclusion would have reached the next step, they will advance to the next step in Spring term rather than having to wait till the following Fall term for step advancement. 

PT faculty sick leave: in addition to one’s maximum 32 hours sick leave balance, an additional 40 hours will be provided by the College to meet the need to use sick leave for a FMLA-defined issue.

PT faculty annual health insurance trust fund of $40,000 to be made permanent (so we don’t have to include it as an increased cost in negotiations)

PT Faculty stipend: The $25/hour stipend rate (which was a significant increase won in the 2017 reopener)  will be added to the contract to reflect current practice.

Faculty Department Chair (FDC) Changes Starting Fall Term 2020:

  • All CTE (Career Technical Education) FDCs will receive 50% release time and those LDC (Lower Division Credit) FDCs responsible for disciplines utilizing lab or studio space such as Biology and Art will receive compensation/release formula credit for facilities management.
  • Part-Time Faculty are eligible to be considered for FDC if there are no interested or available Full-Time Faculty.  
  • FDCs shall serve 3-year appointments unless terminated prematurely by either them or their Administrative Supervisor.  At the conclusion of the appointment or when the position is vacated the Administrative Supervisor must announce the opening to eligible faculty and solicit the advice of department faculty as is already required by our current contract.  Current FDCs remain eligible to apply for consideration upon the opening of their position.  
  • Existing FDCs possibly affected negatively by compensation and release formula changes will be afforded a ‘do no harm’ grace period where they will be able to continue serving under their current agreement.  The majority of FDC positions will see either no change or an improvement to their current compensation and release status. Additional details of the compensation and release formula will be made available upon finalization since that agreement exists outside of the PCCFFAP contract.


Housekeeping: Administration requested several changes to contract language updating titles to reflect current job titles. 

Casual Professionals: Administration and FFAP agreed on changes to the contract allowing casual employees to apply for temporary and permanent internal job postings. 

Grievance procedure: The Federation and Administration agreed that if the College fails to comply with grievance timelines, the grievance will proceed to the next step. If the Federation fails to comply with the grievance timelines at Step 1, the grievance shall be withdrawn.

Part-time specific Items

Multi-Year Contracts (MYC) and Assignment Rights (AR): The administration agreed to the following:

  • Maintain 300 MYCs and pilot cross-campus and/or district MYCs.
  • Maximize workloads for MYC faculty up to part-time limits when feasible.
  • Create a system for part-time faculty to indicate interest and availability to teach unstaffed courses on all campuses by Fall 2020. 
  • Sunset all ARs at the conclusion of Summer term 2021.
  • For more details, email shirlee.geiger@pccffap.org.

Faculty Assessment: FFAP and administration 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 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.

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. 

PT Faculty Workload Exceptions: For part-time instructors teaching both Lecture and Lab CRNs of linked lab Science classes, the workload limit will be up to .91 per term for three terms per year, and there will be no one-term exception of 1.09.  A fourth term (e.g. summer) limit will remain under .82. 

Full-Time Faculty specific items

Amended contract to reflect 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 for FT faculty who wish to work an alternative to the traditional Fall-Winter-Spring instructional year. 

Librarian and Counselor Duties: updated to reflect current duties.

AP-specific items

Career Path for APs: Administration agreed to two meetings between the Director of HR Administrative Services and up to five APs to discuss career advancement opportunities for APs. As part of this effort, the Federation will be seeking input and involvement from every AP. 

Transfer and Recall Rights for APs: HR will explore the possibility of creating transfer opportunities within the following job groupings: Academic Advising Specialist, Student Resource Specialist, Learning Skills Specialist Career Services Coordinator, Career Pathways Coordinator, Cooperative Education/Placement Coordinator Employment Specialist, Cooperative Education/Student Employment Specialist. This review will be conducted during the 2019-20 academic year.

Update on AP 6&7

(This is copied from an email sent to APs on November 19, 2019)

In 2005, the PCC administration agreed to add 2 new levels to the AP pay scale, expanding it from 5 levels to 7. Since then, not a single AP has been placed or reclassified at AP 6 or 7. This has been a source of frustration and confusion for APs! Over the years, we’ve been told:

-An AP whose duties are more complex than a level 5 would be a manager.
-The college paid an outside organization to develop the 5-level scale, using a system that is proprietary.
-Expanding the scale to 7 levels would be too expensive/complicated/disruptive!

During bargaining, the college admitted *on the record* that it is 100% impossible for an AP to achieve level 6 or 7. And yet, AP 6&7 remain in the contract, like Lucy with the football, and APs keep running up to it, only to fall on our backs . (Not sure if my metaphor works – at least in the Lucy scenario the football is real!)

In bargaining, we proposed a solution: Eliminate Levels 1&7, and bump every AP up one level, resulting in an across-the-board 6.5% pay increase for every AP. We felt this was a fair solution to the college’s seemingly bad-faith installation of salary levels that were unattainable.

We were and remain open to phasing this in over 2-4 years. But the college has been completely unwilling to entertain this solution, nor have they proposed an alternative.Here’s the thing, though: the college is contractually obligated to “maintain a job classification system for Academic Professionals.” (reference Article 5.71) By refusing to provide a system that includes levels 6&7, they are  in violation of the contract.

To address this, our Labor Relations Specialist, Vincent Blanco will soon file a group grievance (kind of like a class-action lawsuit) on behalf of all APs. Were it to be resolved in our favor (which we are quite confident it would be), the grievance would force the college to create a system that includes 6&7. We are also asking for backpay for APs who have been negatively impacted by this situation.

Alternatively, the college could meet our demands at the bargaining table. APs would agree to a five-level system in exchange for a pay adjustment, and, presumably, the grievance goes away.

Since the grievance is being filed on behalf of all APs, I wanted to let you know. Please reach out to Michelle DuBarry (michelle.dubarry@pccffap.org) or Heidi Edwards (heidi.edwards@pccffap.org) if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you and we hope to see many of you later this week on the picket line, at the board meeting, or the bargaining room.

Tell the PCC Board of Directors – we need a fair contract!

After an EIGHT-hour negotiating session on Friday December 6, our federation has bent in just about every way we can. We want a fair contract now. But the administration team still asks us to give up more. If the college administration can’t see our needs, maybe the board will.

We need to tell the PCC Board it’s time to settle this contract. We started negotiations last Winter term. That’s Winter 2019. And, without quick action, the college will have us still negotiating in Winter 2020.We know it’s a busy time of year. We’re asking all of our members to send a short letter to the board member who represents your home district (info below) telling them why settling a contract now is essential. Tell them why a fair contract matters to you. A

Board Member Names & Contact info

If you write to them now, please CC the Federation at mary.sykora@pccffap.org.

Bargaining Update #23

Last Friday the joint Federation bargaining team, which includes representatives from full time and part time faculty, academic professionals, and classified staff, presented a proposal to administration that brought us within $6 million over a four-year contract. (For context the federation’s full proposal costs $61 million.)  Administration requested a caucus so they could formulate a counter proposal. After 2.5 hours, they told us they weren’t able to finish a proposal, but they would send us something over email. Yesterday we learned that their proposal will not be ready until after the Thanksgiving holiday. 

While it is disappointing to head into Thanksgiving weekend empty-handed (so to speak), the negotiations team has the impression that the administration team is working hard to settle the contract. The Federation’s actions last Thursday (picketing, showing up at the board meeting) seemed to have really made a difference. We are hopeful that we can strike a deal by the end of the term. We’ll be in touch early next week with some next steps for members who would like to help us keep the pressure on. In the meantime, mark your calendar for the next bargaining session – Dec. 6 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at CLIMB. Sign up to observe here

Subject: Bargaining Update #22: Moving the Goalposts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please be in touch with any questions or feedback.

Tips for Effective Public Testimony

Are you considering testifying at a PCC Board of Directors meeting? Here are some tips for effectively communicating your message:

  • Hone your message. Testimony is limited to 2 minutes.
  • Introduce your self, and state your purpose. Example: My name is John Doe. I am a part-time biology instructor and I am here to ask you to support a fair contract.
  • Share your personal story. Example: My rent has increased by 50% in the last four years. I now work three jobs spend an average of 2 hours per day commuting between them.
  • Bridge to larger goals. Example: PCC relies heavily on part-time instructors who teach the majority of courses. We are on the front lines of providing equitable student success, and we can’t be effective if we are sleep-deprived, unable to afford housing, medical care, and other basic necessities.
  • Specific Ask: Please invest in part-time faculty with pay parity and a meaningful COLA.

Fall 2019 Campus meetings

Campus meetings are a great opportunity to ask questions about bargaining. Come have some lunch, socialize, and hear about the latest developments. All meetings take place from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. on the following dates across campuses/centers:

  • Nov 13 Sylvania (SY TCB 217)
  • Nov 14 Cascade (CA JH 107)
  • Nov 15 CLIMB (CLIMB 105/106)
  • Nov 18 Southeast (SE Tabor 137)
  • Nov 19 Downtown Center (Rose Room)
  • Nov 21 Rock Creek (RC 3/100
  • Dec 3 Willow Creek Center (NOTE: date changed from Nov. 12)

Union Day of Action Thursday Oct. 24


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


In solidarity,

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



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

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

Getting There

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

Shuttle departure times from each campus to Sylvania

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


Our federations will have dinner available before the board meeting.

Board Meeting

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

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

Bargaining Update #13

On October 1, the Federation bargaining team met with PCC administration expecting a counter-offer to our Sept. 20 proposal. (Background here.) Instead of a counter-offer though, the administration insisted that the resources just aren’t there for a meaningful Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). Though a bit closer now, our proposals still remain far apart, with the Federation suggesting a $40 million monetary package increase over two years and the College offering $17 million of increase. 

In order to address the employees who are suffering the most with housing and other economic stressors, the administration verbally proposed restructuring steps by reducing the top 8 steps for Full Time Faculty and Academic Professionals (APs) and redistributing those wages toward employees on lower steps. Their proposal did not address part time faculty at all. 

I guess the silver lining is that we all agree that those on lower steps are hurt disproportionately by the College’s failure to keep up with the cost of living in Portland. And for what it’s worth, the Sept. 20 Federation proposal included a significant COLA for everyone but especially those on the lower steps. 

Under the administration’s proposed system, employees at the top steps could advance a step while seeing their salaries decrease. The Federation responded strongly and unequivocally that this would not be acceptable to our members.

Then the administration stated (falsely): 

As a reminder, the cost of living in our region has increased by 18.3% since 2011 (source here), and during that time PCC’s Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) has increased by only 9.25%.

This is a good time to remind everyone that STEPS ARE NOT COLA. By design, our step system starts employees below market value, rewarding those who work at the college for a long time by bringing them up to market value at the top step – sometimes it takes 17 years to get there. 

And while none of us are in this for the money, there is a trade-off involved. We might accept a lower salary because we believe in the mission and are passionate about students. We might like having union-negotiated paid time-off, job security, or some combination of those things. But to treat employee steps as COLA is a pure bait-and-switch.

Administration promised a written offer on Friday. We’d love to have a crowd there to send a strong message: 

We demand a reasonable COLA.  

Steps are not COLA. 

Sign up to attend here.

Members tell the PCC Board of Directors: a 1% COLA is not enough!

Thank you to the 50+ members who showed up at the board meeting last Thursday, including those who carried the banner with more than 120 member signatures and messages to administration. Many of you spoke movingly about the realities of trying to survive in Portland on PCC wages. It can’t be said enough how much your presence matters, and how powerful it is for the board and administration to see the union shirts and to hear from employees directly.