Our union has raised the issue that Academic Professional Faculty (APFs) face the most limited career-advancement opportunities at PSU and has fought to remedy it for many years. We were very encouraged about the prospect for progress when our current Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed in May 2016; it contained a Letter of Agreement where PSU committed to a study (CLAS-COMP Study, in short) that would lay the groundwork for a new classification and compensation system. We hoped that this would provide the groundwork for us to design and bargain for a new system that offers clear pathways for career advancement and compensation to reward this advancement.
You may be wondering: what has happened with the CLAS-COMP Study?
PSU hired a consultant to conduct a study that looked at both Academic Professional Faculty colleagues (members of PSU-AAUP), as well as other PSU unclassified staff not represented by our union (so called “Un-Uns,” or unclassified-unrepresented, which management, per state law, has excluded from union representation).
In January 2018, PSU-AAUP received a summary report of the findings of the study from the consultant. To put it simply, we were forced to raise serious questions about the process around, the methodology behind, and the data of the study. We communicated to the university our intent to withdraw all support for the study, unless we could reach agreement to “reset” the entire process. Our intent was to address concerns with the deficient process, methodology, and data. PSU agreed to a “reset,” which started late this summer, and is currently underway.
The terms of the “reset” CLAS-COMP Study are as follows: to have a new study completed, and vetted by PSU-AAUP, by April 2019. We want to use the findings as the basis for the bargaining of a new contract with the University beginning in May 2019.
You may have heard, or may hear, that PSU is moving ahead to implement part of the CLAS-COMP Study or that PSU is implementing the results of the study for “Un-Uns,” but not for APFs who are members of PSU-AAUP. These statements are technically correct, but must not be misunderstood.
In short, PSU can implement changes to the classification and compensation system impacting “Un-Uns” because those colleagues are not in a union, and therefore, cannot raise objections to the terms of the study. What the University does in relation to “Un-Uns,” for instance, is not subject to bargaining.
PSU, however, cannot go ahead and unilaterally implement changes for APFs, because they have a union representing them, our union, which has the capacity to contest groundwork that is not acceptable or that would be to the disadvantage to its members. This is what we have done.
If you have questions about this process, please contact any of the following: David Hansen (School of Business), Vice-President for Collective Bargaining or José Padín (Sociology), President.