NEWSLETTER, PSU-AAUP, CONTRACT BARGAINING UPDATE

Other Bargaining Updates!

September 02, 2020 / PSU-AAUP

The bargaining team spent four, four-hour sessions bargaining with Administration Monday, and Tuesday of last week and Monday and Tuesday of this week. 

Your PSU-AAUP collective bargaining team advocated strongly for all budget discussions to be fully transparent and public so that we can stay accountable to our bosses - You! After some initial hesitancy from Administration, we are glad to report that economic bargaining will proceed in a public format.

Thank you for showing up! We had over 110 people attend on August 24th and 25th and another 120 attend the next week.Your continued support during the coming bargaining sessions will be essential. Stay tuned for Zoom links.

We began discussing the last two non-economic issues, academic freedom, especially in the time of social media and external political pressures, and issues related to Fixed Term faculty and Post-Continuous Review for NTTFs. We still have a number of outstanding non-academic issues we need to finalize as we build up to discussing our economic demands. 

Admin is laying the groundwork to push PSU-AAUP to accept an economic package that may include financial concessions. While PSU-AAUP recognizes that we are in a tough financial period, we have not been convinced that the level of austerity admin wants to implement is warranted. We also believe the use of the word austerity is deliberate in their intention to create fear among our members.  PSU-AAUP has told Admin that they need to be open and transparent about their budget and economic conditions at PSU before we would consider talking economics. As of yet, they have not met our standard that we have enough trust to enter into the conversation on common ground. 

For example, on Thursday, August 27, administration emailed faculty about the need for new austerity measures based on a 6.5% enrollment decline compared to fall 2019, but PSU-AAUP would note that as of the morning of Thursday August 27 -- the same day that the email was sent -- current enrollment was actually down only 5.4%. Enrollment dipped further early this week, but it is now climbing back up, and currently sits at a 6.3% decline compared to Fall 2019. We know that many students are registering later than usual this year -- at least in part due to furloughs of academic advisors which resulted in long waits for advising appointments. We appreciate that the Administration has reinstated academic advisors in full time. We are hopeful that Fall enrollment will continue to recover.

We recognize this is a challenging year, but PSU continues to make poor decisions in terms of prioritizing spending. AAUP’s priorities remain centered on equity among members and ensuring employees are paid a living wage that keeps up with local costs of living.

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