Session 1: Towards a family-friendly PSU?

Leanne Serbulo, VP of Collective Bargaining

On June 15th we bargained for six hours. It was wonderful to see a number of our members come to observe the session. We hope that you will continue to drop in on bargaining sessions throughout the summer.

We began discussing the Family-Friendly Task Force’s leave bank proposal. This proposal would allow us to donate up to 3 hours of unused sick time to a leave bank. Participants could then withdraw up to 30 days paid leave if they have an unexpected illness or life-changing event and have not accumulated enough paid time off to cover it.

Both bargaining teams endorsed the leave bank idea after a short presentation from two task force members, AAUP’s Lauren Beeney and Kerry Gilbreth from HR. However, we have not yet reached consensus on what circumstances would qualify a person to withdraw time from the leave bank. The administration expressed an interest in using the federal Family Medical Leave Act, the Oregon Family Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (which provide for unpaid leave under certain circumstances) to determine what qualifies. AAUP would like eligibility to be more expansive.

We also heard a presentation on PSU’s FY 15/16 budget from Kevin Reynolds, Vice President for Finance, who was accompanied by Alan Finn from the budget office. This spurred a number of questions for AAUP’s team. Reynolds will return to the next bargaining session to complete the presentation and answer additional questions on budget allocations and priorities.

Join us on Wednesday July 8th and Friday July 10th (from 10-4pm, ASRC 620) for more bargaining. We plan to cover…

  • The university budget: More information and answers from PSU VP for Finance, Kevin Reynolds.
  • Towards a family-friendly PSU? We’ll continue the discussion on establishing a leave bank and other issues.
  • Job security: A task force including both faculty members and management has recommended that PSU provide continuous appointments (rather than short-term contracts) for our many non-tenure track instructors and researchers. We hope to begin the discussion by the July 10th session.
  • Post-tenure review funds: Last year, we bargained for a pool of money to improve the review process for tenured professors. Upon completion of post-tenure review, professors receive either a salary increase or a funded plan for professional development. We’ll talk about continued funding for this pool.
  • AP release time: We’ll discuss a new way to structure release time for Academic Professionals to better enable their participation in union activities.
  • Summer session: We hope to open the discussion on summer teaching pay, which was dramatically reduced in recent years.

Ground Rules: Part 4

Leanne Serbulo, VP of Collective Bargaining

We finally finished ground rules! (View the final draft here.) Completed at yesterday’s session, this set of rules will guide AAUP’s negotiations with the administration in the weeks and months ahead. It may not feel like much progress is being made at the bargaining table, but according to Janet Gillman, the state conciliator who facilitates our sessions, the Interest-Based Bargaining (IBB) process requires a lot of front loading. We hope this initial investment of time will lead to productive discussions on key issues for AAUP members.

We spent a lot of time talking about data at yesterday’s session. Trying to get information from the administration, especially about finances and budget, has been an ongoing frustration for our union. You may remember last year’s negotiations when both AAUP and Faculty Senate demanded that the administration open the books. If we want the IBB process to work, then we need transparency about how our university operates.

We agreed to establish a financial subgroup that will be “provided access to verifiable data.” The subgroup will include members of both bargaining teams and will soon begin examining the FY 15/16 budget. We also agreed that a representative of the university’s budget office will attend an upcoming bargaining session to present the FY 15/16 budget and answer questions. I encourage you to attend and observe future bargaining sessions. As soon as we know the date and time of the budget presentation, we’ll post it on this blog.

From here on out, we’ll bargain over key issues for AAUP members. We’ll discuss the Family Friendly Task Force’s Leave Bank proposal at our next session on June 15th, 10am-4pm, SMSU 236. This proposal would allow our members to donate up to 3 hours of unused sick/vacation to a Leave Bank. Participating members could then withdraw up to 30 days paid leave time if they have an unexpected illness or life-changing event and have not accumulated enough paid time off to cover it.

Keep checking for more information about which issues will be discussed at upcoming bargaining sessions.