Friday, January 17, was the first day of bargaining of 2020. We are pleased to report that we made major progress in two areas:
First, we spent the morning working on advancement opportunities for Academic Professionals, specifically two sorts:
- Opportunities for Academic Professionals to receive periodically a pay increase to reward accumulated experience that comes with longevity. This is a “within rank” increase to recognize professionalism, analogous to the post-tenure review process that exists for tenure-line faculty, and which we will be working on for non-tenure track faculty later in bargaining.
- Opportunity to advance to higher “ranks” as qualifications and responsibility increase.
Secondly, afternoon bargaining turned to a new item of bargaining, which we brought to the table: Paid Family and Caregiver Leave.
The PSU-AAUP team made an opening presentation and the case for meaningful paid family and caregiver leave:
- Implemented as soon as possible (rather than waiting until 2023, which is the year when the Oregon paid family leave instituted by House Bill 2005 will be implemented).
- Cover more than 12 weeks, the current minimum required by the law that will be implemented in 2023. Twelve weeks falls far short of the supports that are common in other developed societies (Canada has 18 months) and constitutes a significant financial and work/life burden.
- Provide departments and units funding to cover the work of colleagues on leave (currently, this lack ends up creating significant informal pressure on some colleagues not to take leave, and on others to pick up their work uncompensated).
The team for the PSU Administration expressed surprise, concern, and alarm upon hearing the variety of real horror stories from faculty and academic professionals resulting from the current lack of an adequate paid leave program at Portland State. Keep an eye out for a survey in the coming weeks. We want to hear your stories, too.
We are excited to be bargaining to design a national model for work-life balance that will make Portland State University an attractive place to come and build a career. We are proud that PSU-AAUP is the leading light pushing for this breakthrough.
2020 has begun on a strong note! Bargaining on these two issues — Academic Professional advancement and Paid Family/Caregiver Leaves - continues Friday, January 31 at RMNC 316. To underline the significance of the need for caregiver leave, we are asking our members to bring photographs of people they care/d for: children, spouses, parents, etc. We would like you to be able to have these photographs of your loved ones visible to the administration. Thank you.
Peak attendance requested at 11:00 am or 3:00 pm and/or any time you can spare to support your collective bargaining team. RSVP’s welcome, but not necessary.