News

Update for Part-Time Faculty Regarding Class Assignment Process

Background: Our contract has had the following language governing class scheduling for many years:

4.211     Management and the Federation agree that the guiding principle in assigning Faculty to teach PCC courses is to assign the best Instructor available to teach each course…

1.     Once Management has determined the classes to be offered the next term, Full- time Faculty [and part-time faculty with Multi-year Contracts] will be assigned the classes needed to fulfill their workload requirement.

2.     Remaining classes will be assigned as follows with priority consideration given to part-time Faculty with assignment rights. Factors for priority consideration include, but are not limited to, whether the part-time faculty member with assignment rights has consistently received positive student evaluations that demonstrate effective teaching, and whether other qualified faculty are available who better meet the program’s needs (e.g. faculty with special training related to the course, faculty who can contribute to updating or broadening the program, or faculty who will increase the diversity of the program).

Assignment rights will sunset after Summer 2021, but the language of “priority consideration” remains.  How does an instructor GET priority consideration for class assignments under this article of our contract? Well, PCC’s administration has never had a process to determine how these considerations apply to scheduling decisions. They have preferred to leave it up to the discretion of department chairs and deans. This has led to a number of problems that members have brought forward:

  • There is no accountability for the decisions made
  • There is no transparency
  • There is no way for someone to know what they could do to earn priority consideration

Hoping to remedy these problems, we agreed during the 2019 negotiations to create a joint workgroup, tasked with creating a process for implementing this language in a transparent and consistent manner.

The new process: The joint workgroup first worked to get an agreement on a more detailed description of the competencies or contributions listed in our contract for priority consideration. Then we agreed to a voluntary process job-insecure instructors can use to upload an instructional portfolio via the MyCareer@PCC.edu. The Administration specified what kinds of portfolio materials would be relevant to each of the listed competencies, as is their right. And then together we created a rubric that will be used to assess the portfolios.  The new process is described in this document.

Why make this change?

  • The Reorganization is going to change the job descriptions of deans and department chairs AND who is doing those jobs, including scheduling classes. We have heard concerns from many “part-time” instructors – how can people they potentially don’t even know decide if they should be assigned classes? The “priority consideration for class assignment” process will provide a way for class assignments to be made in a consistent manner across the district, aligned with PCC’s vision of excellence in instruction, based on an instructional portfolio instead of a face-to-face relationship. 
  • Different judgments of FDCs and deans have been reflected in assessments — job-insecure instructors have been assessed as EXCELLENT in all or most categories on one campus, but as showing serious deficiencies when teaching the same class in the same way at another campus. There has been no institution-wide set of skills valued in instructors. Given this, many “part-timers” report that their real job-security revolved around their relationship with their chair. For instructors with good relationships, the system has seemed OK. But for instructors with strained relationships, or who felt they were not understood or appreciated by their chair, there has been little to no recourse.
  • Awarding of MYCs was inconsistent across the district — a complaint which the Administration heard lots of times and from lots of different sources. The “best available instructor” and “priority consideration in scheduling” process is intended to be used in some form for future MYC awards. We have no contractual guarantee or any specifics about how it would be used, but the joint team discussed multiple times that this is a shared goal.
  • A workgroup at SE campus brought forward the urgent concern, when we were bargaining in 2019, that there is no career ladder or pathway for advancement for “part-time” faculty at PCC. The Valencia model involves robust professional development explicitly tied to what the organization wants and expects from instructors. This has led to increased hiring from within when full-time positions open. There is no commitment or guarantee at this point from Administration to priority in hiring from within, but we have discussed this model at length. The Best Available Instructor/Priority Consideration in Scheduling process is a step in that direction.
  • Until now, if an instructor wanted to be assigned more classes, they could make that desire known. And wait. With fingers crossed. Although assignments of sections will still be precarious — impacted by declines or increases in enrollment, campus registration patterns, the interests or needs of full-time colleagues, etc — with the development of criteria for priority consideration in class assignment, and a clear rubric for assessing instructional portfolios, there will be, at last, something we can DO to make it more likely that we will receive class assignments. With the portfolio, and the rubric for assessing it (which will be shared in TLC sessions), we will know how to become better instructors as that is evaluated by PCC.

As with many issues in bargaining, there are trade-offs in the move to a new system. Here are some we heard in focus groups conducted in Fall 2020.

Pros Cons
-Increased consistency and transparency in course assignment
-Provides continuity through the expected shuffling of deans and chairs in the Reorg
-Provides the first step in an anticipated coordinated process for awarding MYCs and hiring new full-time instructors
-Allows “part-time” instructors to compile and document their professional development and college contributions in a centralized location, to be added to over time
-Creates a mechanism for FFAP to hold deans accountable for class assignment decisions
-Lots of work to create and maintain a portfolio for instructors, especially compared to assignment rights (once you got them, you kept them!) But most of the components should be readily available: syllabus and assignments, observation forms, student feedback
-Lots of work to assess and consider the portfolios for chairs and deans. The requested portfolio components and assessment rubric are new — they may need to be modified as we learn from using them
-There is STILL no seniority consideration in class assignmentAs more instructors meet the highest expectations on the rubric, there will eventually be no benefit — all instructors will be the best!!

The MAJOR complaint we have heard so far about this process is that there is no consideration of seniority. This could be a focus of bargaining in 2022-23 if job-insecure members of our unit decide it is a priority!

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