NEWSLETTER, GRIEVANCES

University commits Unfair Labor Practice. PSU-AAUP threatens to immediately file charges

October 02, 2017 / Phil Lesch

 On September 29, 2017 Issac Dixon, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, sent out an email with a link to this page: https://www.pdx.edu/hr/classificationcompensation-study. The page contained  two significant errors that would have compelled reaction from PSU-AAUP to file complaints with the Employment Relations Board if the errors were corrected and the specific statements not retracted. (The page has since been taken down.)

This is the first Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) pursuant to Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA) was in regards to Mr. Dixon’s advising that the Classification-Compensation Study would address the employer’s requirements under HB 2005. However, when PSU-AAUP and Administration agreed to the study, we did not agree that it would address the University’s need to comply with HB 2005. Although PSU-AAUP agrees that this needs to be discussed, , PSU-AAUP did not agree that the Classification-Compensation Study would be the means to do so. Since this matter deals directly with wages, there is no question that it is a mandatory subject of bargaining.

The second ULP related to the page’s specification of how the Classification-Compensation study results would be implemented. PSU-AAUP was unaware of this implementation approach, and implementation specifications were all mandatory subjects of bargaining. Specifically, PSU-AAUP did not agree that:

  •  “Each existing job will be placed in a family, at a level, with an established pay range. Any new job that is created will fall into a family and established pay range,” or that

        “Changes to pay may occur incrementally, if it is determined that an employee's current pay is lower than the established range for their position,” or that

        “Current employees' pay will NOT be decreased if it is determined that their current pay is higher than the established range. In these cases, pay increases may be limited as long as they are doing a job within that pay range,” or that

        “When vacant positions are refilled, pay offers will fall within the established range for that position.

 In our communication with administration, PSU-AAUP stated that the Collective Bargaining Agreement Letter of Agreement #8 (Academic Professional Pay and Promotion Structure) point 5 states: “The parties agree to engage in interim bargaining after the Project is completed.” These are matters that need to be addressed in bargaining, as we agreed. As such, PSU-AAUP interpreted the publication of these decisions as a repudiation of administration’s agreement to enter interim

Additionally, PSU-AAUP representatives have been participating in the advisory committee meetings every step of the way. We received Mr. Dixon’s omission of our participation as disrespectful and a dismissal of our participation. This is the second occasion wherein we experienced disrespect from Mr. Dixon..

PSU-AAUP demanded the following:

        immediate removal of the above statements from the webpage,

        that  Mr. Dixon send, to those recipients of Friday, September 29th’s email, an email correcting the mistakes, and

        that the University comply with its agreement to enter interim bargaining at the appropriate time.

 Although the website was taken down on Saturday September 30th, we have not heard if a correcting email will be sent. PSU-AAUP has received emails from many members concerned about the decisions made by management, so we maintain that Mr. Dixon sending a corrective email is of importance.