Member Meeting Recap

December 02, 2021 / PSU-AAUP

We outlined a number of items we have accomplished over the last year and a half during the pandemic during our recent member meetings. In many ways, we have become a model for other labor unions. We have created agreements that extended reviews, allowed intermittent leave for caregivers, extended and rolled over IPDA accounts, allowed specific consideration of the impacts of COVID during reviews, extended and expanded sick leave, among additional mitigations.

We also successfully finished open contract negotiations. While we certainly did not get everything our members needed, we accomplished a lot. We were the only AAUP chapter to get a COLA in 2020. Obviously, 1% is not enough to keep up with inflation, but it was important that we maintained the COLA at some level. We also were able to secure more flexible scheduling for our APs, maintain insurance and retirement at current levels, and strengthen our contract protections for our non-tenure-track faculty. Perhaps the biggest victory was that for the first time, we were able to secure pay increases for past-continuous review for NTTFs and pay increases every four years for our APs. 

This January, we will begin bargaining again over COLAs in the last two years of our new contract as part of an automatic “re-opener.” The re-opener is a process where limited portions of our contract are open for an additional round of bargaining. Along with COLAs, a small number of other economic issues and some working condition issues will be open. On the economic side of things, we have some things working in our favor. First, PSU and the rest of Oregon’s universities got all of the additional funds requested from the state. PSU also secured over $60 million dollars in COVID stimulus funds.

Along with the furloughs, layoffs, and budget cuts, PSU ran a surplus of over $35 million last year. Much of that surplus is one-time stimulus funds, but those funds have also not been allocated. It’s time for PSU to set the right priorities and put the money towards the faculty and staff of PSU. This round of bargaining will be important in pushing PSU to do the right thing with these funds. 

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