Bargaining Update: Almost there, but stuck on a couple of issues

April 15, 2021 / PSU-AAUP

As you may know, we have been bargaining our contract since July 2019. It has been a long haul! After November 2020 when we reached an economic agreement at the big table and secured what we understand to be the only COLA earned by an AAUP chapter in the US, we committed to work out some of the other details of the contract in small group meetings with Administration. After four months of really getting nowhere, we decided to go back to “the big table” in April. We experienced some rather frustrating fits and starts, but as of Wednesday, April 14, we made some good progress---but we are not quite done! (We ended bargaining at 6:30 PM and are writing up this recap in the evening of the same day, so please excuse the brevity. We did want to get out some information to you as soon as we had something to share).

Here is some of the progress we made on April 14. We have agreements on the following topics:

  • A process for ensuring that laid-off employees will be considered as internal candidates for job openings. 
  • Expectations regarding performance improvement plans for AP’s who do not receive a satisfactory review. 
  • A new leaves article that consolidates all leaves programs in one place in the contract.
  • Economics Agreement regarding inversion, compression, and equity pay adjustments.
  • The effects of the Provost’s Accommodation Testing Plan. 
  • Extended timelines for startup packages received in AY 21-22 and 22-23 due to Covid. 
  • Streetcar. (PSU is losing free access to streetcar, but we were able to secure free access for members who travel between worksites. All members will receive whatever discount PSU is able to negotiate with Portland Streetcar).
  • Transition to a Post-Continuous Appointment Review process for NTTFs that includes salary increases. 
  • Retirement Transition Program: This program would allow only tenured faculty to spend their last year at PSU at 0.5 FTE while maintaining full pay, and would require them to relinquish tenure in June 2022. The plan has yet to be rolled out since it will need to be ratified. We did try to secure this benefit for AP’s and NTTF, but were told that this was not going to be available for these employee categories. While we advocated for this to be as inclusive as possible, we did not get anywhere. We regret that this is the case, but did not see any movement on admin’s side and therefore accepted their proposal as is.  

This just leaves two items on the table. The remote work policy and transitioning into the new 5-year PCAR process for NTTFs. At the end of the day on Wednesday it felt like we may still have a lot of work to do on coming to the same place for the remote work policy. Administration is motivated to roll out the tenure-retirement program and we hope they will be able to continue to work with us to move forward on these outstanding issues. We are continuing to represent your interests and are hopeful this will be our last contract extension as we come toward the finish-line on the final items for the contract.

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