As we rev up for our economic reopener bargain, it’s a good time to remind ourselves what we achieved in the “main bargain” last fall (May 2021 - November 2024), how we got here, and where we need to go.
What Was Achieved?
Let’s be clear, past victories and gains were neither accidental nor easy to gain in discussions with Administration. They never are. And that was doubly true as we bargained during the middle of the pandemic. Despite that, PSU-AAUP members were active and organized, and we did make progress.
Three significant victories:
1. Academic Professionals: Regular Salary Adjustments
APs previously had no opportunity to get regular salary adjustments based upon experience. Under the new system, an academic professional becomes eligible for a salary increase after 4 years of employment. If they achieved a satisfactory or above rating on their annual evaluations over the past 4 years, they will receive a salary increase of $1600. APs will receive a salary increase every 4 years subsequently. The adjustments will begin in July 2022.
2. Non-Tenure Track Faculty Raises
Non-tenure-track post-continuous appointment salary increase of $1,900 for the entire contract period. Faculty who have completed their 3-year post-continuous appointment review and have not been promoted will be eligible for a PCAR salary increase in September 2022 without having to submit another portfolio.
Previously, non-tenure-track faculty received no salary increase for successful post-continuous appointment reviews.
3. Faculty Workload Adjustments
Faculty who believe their workload is unreasonable can meet with their chair and request a workload reduction. If they are not satisfied with the outcome, they can request a meeting with an ad-hoc committee composed of the faculty, their chair, OAA, and AAUP to develop a resolution.
Why a reopener this year?
In 2020, Covid-19 emerged while we were in the middle of negotiations. As you know well, the pandemic meant significant economic uncertainty and instability. When we were at the table in 2020-21, the inflation rate was 1.2%. But AAUP leadership knew that, because of the pandemic, the normal processes used to make economic predictions on things such as inflation couldn’t be depended on.
The AAUP Bargaining Team did not want to negotiate economic terms for years out while “flying blind” in the middle of a pandemic. Therefore, an economic reopener was negotiated so that, this year, with more information in hand, we can renegotiate salaries and other direct economic issues.
The Bargaining Team did lock in a small COLA for the first two years of the contract as a hedge, knowing we’d be coming back in 2022.
PSU-AAUP was the only AAUP chapter in the country, by the way, that successfully negotiated a COLA adjustment during Covid-19; many other Chapters faced furloughs and pay cuts.
Even so, obviously we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. All PSU-AAUP members will need to engage actively in this campaign if we are to to offset today’s inflation rate - and not just catch up, but make real gains.
When hundreds of PSU-AAUP members take direct action, that combined with solid proposals of the table, gets results.
We are all exhausted by the stresses the pandemic has imposed on us. But this is our chance. Together, over the coming months, if hundreds of us act together, we can be successful in achieving our goals.
Keep An Eye Out!
After we come back from Spring Break, keep an eye out for a communication asking you to commit to the actions you can take this Spring. Some actions are quick, some take more time … all will make a difference!