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

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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:


  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?


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?