NEWSLETTER, BARGAINING, PSU-AAUP, CONTRACT BARGAINING UPDATE

Bargaining Update

February 03, 2020 / Heather Nahmias

Your PSU-AAUP team was bargaining for a full day last Friday, January 31.

We are making progress in two areas of great importance to many colleagues: support for researchers and the new job families and levels for academic professionals.

We started dialogue and exploration of options to institute periodic (we proposed biannual) raises for academic professionals (APs) to recognize accumulated experience. At a later date, we will be bargaining for analogous periodic raises for non-tenure track faculty (NTTF). In our last contract, we were successful in bargaining periodic post-tenure review raises for tenure track faculty. NTTF and AP colleagues now need their own! We are cautiously hopeful with the course of this conversation.

 

Support for Research

The teams continue exchanging ideas for addressing the decline in RGS support for researchers.

 

Academic Professionals

Academic professionals at PSU are close to having a transparent process for moving into new job families. This work is nearly done, and we may have a tentative agreement signed on February 14. Academic professionals will:

  • Move into new job families (and a level within those families — there are 6 levels).
  • Have meaningful input into the revision of their job/position descriptions, which is critically important, because those job/position descriptions will decide what job level one gets placed into, and has an impact on salary.
  • Have access to a meaningful appeal, with union support, when there are placement decisions that they disagree about.

 

Advancement and Salary Increases for Longevity and Experience

On Friday we had a rich conversation aimed at PSU-AAUP’s interest in designing opportunities and establishing salary rewards for academic professionals and connecting these to their annual evaluations.

Currently, academic professionals can go through a career of annual reviews at PSU, those reviews validate their good work, but there is never a salary increase that comes with accumulated experience and service. This is not fair; it is demoralizing and it must change. This is also currently the situation for Non-Tenure Track faculty as well, and that problem, we will also address in bargaining.

Does the PSU team support this concept?

Before our lunch break, we asked the PSU management team if they supported this concept, which gave them pause. We have a long history at PSU of not recognizing and rewarding the experience acquired through longevity, so this is a ground-breaking conversation, and the early hesitation is perhaps understandable.

After a lunch break, during which the teams caucused separately, we asked the PSU management team again: are you interested and willing to have a conversation about a salary advancement system? Their answer was, yes, although we have questions about details that need to be ironed out — timeframe, frequency, how soon, etc.

At the end of the long day, we mapped out together a plan to have a conversation on Friday, February 14 about paid caregiver leave. We will be in SMSU 238 and look forward to having your support then. Please bring photographs of loved ones whom you have cared for.

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