President’s Weekly Message: FABULOUS Info Picket!!!  Contract Expired???- March 2, 2014

March 02, 2014 / Phil Lesch


1.  Record-Breaking Info Picket, Rally and Student Walkout Thursday!
     More Below, in News
2.  Mediation Feb 24 & 28:  No Deal
     No Contract Extension - Details Below
3.  Watch for Announcement of Strike Authorization Vote - Coming Soon!
     Volunteers will be Needed for Short Shifts to Help
4.  Save the Date: Incoming PSU Board of Trustees Meeting
     March 12th, 1 - 4 pm


Outrageously FABULOUS Info Picket, Rally and Student Walkout!!!!!
Bargaining Update
An Expired Contract?  What Does That Mean????


"Best PSU Rally EVER!!!!"  in the words of Margaret Butler, an expert on rallies and PSU, as the long-time Exec Director of Portland's Jobs with Justice and daughter of beloved PSU Librarian, Kenneth Butler.

Check These Photos!

350 PSU Faculty and APs stayed out in the cold rain to picket and rally on Thursday, carrying signs and chanting, "Who is PSU? We are PSU!"

Accompanied by a PSU jazz band, hundreds of PSU faculty and APs marched around Smith Center, until met by hundreds more students, coming from the Library Steps, also chanting, waving signs and banging on plastic buckets.

With friends from the PSU staff and part-time faculty, as well as supportive community members, there were nearly 1,000 of us out on Thursday, passionately calling for High Quality Academics at PSU, a Student-Centered Budget and a Fair Contract.

Speakers from PSU's student government and student activist groups, staff and part-time faculty unions, and - of course - PSU-AAUP spoke to a roaring crowd, during a "Press Conference" segment, followed by a Student Speak-Out, everyone calling for action on the issues dear to hearts of all of us, including: 
High quality, public higher ed! 
A student-centered budget! 
An end to administrative bloat!

If you weren't able to be there, ask your friends about it - it was THRILLING!

Jenn Schuberth, ex-PSU Religious Studies and History faculty member, shared her footage of the student action, catching on the fly some of the faculty & AP presence:


Bargaining Update

Our VP for Bargaining, Ron Narode, is not well.  However, he's up-beat and participating actively in bargaining team meetings, by speaker phone.

Good News: Gina Greco has joined Anh Ly, Bob Liebman, David Hansen, and Leanne Serbulo, with Phil Lesch and me, to solidify the Bargaining Team Brain Trust!

Chief Negotiators met with the Mediator for 2 hours, both Monday, Feb 24th and Friday 28th.

We are stuck, despite the Admin press release assertion that they are "disappointed" that we declared impasse when we're making such "good progress in Mediation."  You would think the press would ask someone about that, rather than just repeat it:  "British Petroleum says oil spill is good for fish….."

The Admin continues to insist that we

Give up Key Provisions Protecting Faculty Voice in Shared Governance,
     in Our Contract since the Very First Contract in 1979, 35 years ago!
Make only Token Gains to Stabilize Fixed Term Faculty
Take a Real Pay Cut After Inflation, on top of Big Summer Losses

We Demand Respect for Ourselves and our Students:

Educator-Led Higher Ed!  Respect the Faculty Senate!
A Stable Faculty!  Our students need and deserve it!
Keep Faculty & APs Whole!   Competitive wages help recruit and retain people.  Respect also helps....

We will submit our "Last, Best and Final Offer" to the Employment Relations Board on Monday, the 3rd.

After the Employment Relations Board "publishes" the offers, and accompanying costs estimates, we enter a 30-day "Cooling Off Period," during which we will continue to negotiate.

After the Cooling Off Period:
- President Wiewel could impose the Admin contract offer on us,
  or continue the current contract.
- We Could Strike, after a Strike Authorization Vote if the Contract has Expired.

Expressed perfectly by the California State Faculty flyer, before their
successful, two-day strike in 2011:
if that's what it takes to push PSU back in the right direction.

Expired Contract?  What Does that Mean?

Since our contract expired at the end of August, we have extended it in bargaining, month by month, most recently from Jan 31st to Feb 28th. 

The Admin was unwilling to extend for another month, wanting to lock us into a contract through April,
- keep dragging their feet to wear us out, and
-prevent us from being able to strike at the end of the Cooling Off Period. 
  We cannot strike while under contract.

Working without a contract means that we no longer have access to our contractual grievance procedure, but must rely on
- the non-contractual, Faculty Senate grievance procedure, and
- filing Unfair Labor Practice claims.

Apart from that, other contract provisions remain in force.

If you spot any abrogation of the contract - such as the suspension of the Faculty Enhancement Grant Program, Travel Fund or anything else - please immediately inform PSU-AAUP's Executive Director, Phil Lesch <>.

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