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Portland Streetcar Grievance Update Sep 15

September 15, 2017 / Phil Lesch

We previously reported on the Portland Streetcar grievance on September 1.  Since that time PSU-AAUP discussed the grievance at Labor Management where we emphasized the need for administration to maintain the status quo.

On September 15, Transportation and Parking Services sent an email to the entire PSU community  advising that the PSU ID would no longer be valid for passage on the Portland Streetcar effective October 1, 2017 and that all community members would need to obtain a pass at Transportation and Parking that would cost $10/month. 

Minutes after that email went out, PSU-AAUP received emails and voicemail messages from administration apologizing for the message with an explanation. They said they do not have the ability to segment emails and the message was sent to everyone. They also advised the message was not an attempt to deal directly with members, or to circumvent or repudiate the negotiations or grievance processes. They asked us to send a correction, which we sent Friday at or about 10am, that stated the following:


For PSU-AAUP bargaining unit Members:

PSU-AAUP bargaining unit members will continue to have access to Portland Streetcar at no cost. If you need a Portland Streetcar pass, a PSU-paid pass is available at PSU Transportation and Parking Services. Please inform the staff that you are a PSU-AAUP bargaining unit member and they will provide you with a free monthly pass.  


The free Streetcar pass is temporary- the University has an obligation to maintain the status quo while discussions continue between administration and PSU-AAUP about the Portland Streetcar. As such, the University has proposed to PSU-AAUP that PSU-AAUP members pay $10/month commencing November 1, 2017. 

At the grievance meeting on August 17 we discussed a variety of ways that the Portland Streetcar could remain at no cost for PSU-AAUP members. Administration, however, pushed back on any option that would separate out PSU-AAUP members from the overall population. They said that Transportation and Parking Services was not an E&G supported function, and that it has never received E&G support and there is no interest in E&G support now. Further, any option where some members paid less (for anything) would mean that students would have to pay more (for parking, trimet and Streetcar) and that was not acceptable to them.

It is not clear how many members rely on the Portland Streetcar. We did a survey last month and had a response of approximately 350 members where approximately 80-100 said they would end up incurring costs to either commute to work, or to go to/from CLSB or OHSU for work. 

What would be helpful is to know who relies on the streetcar to get to CLSB, OHSU, or around campus. We will do a survey about this soon.

The team will meet as soon as possible to determine how to proceed. We'll report out as matters progress.

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