Monday, December 22, 2014

AAUP Save the Date: February 12th, 2015

Thursday February 12, 2015
Higher Education Funding Rally and Lobby Day
State Capitol Building Salem

Faculty and Students AND University officials from all seven Universities will come together in a rare display of solidarity for increased funding in higher education:
Oregon State Capitol Building
12:00 Noon- 1:00 PM
100 PSU Faculty members needed
Lunch provided
PSU hopes to send 3 buses for faculty and students who do not want to drive
(buses estimate leave at 10:30 am and return PSU 2:30 pm)
the rally will be followed immediately by:
Oregon State Capitol Building
1:00 to 5:00 PM
Faculty and Students to visit EVERY legislator to ask for increased funding
Training and Lunch provided. 20 PSU faculty members needed
Faculty drive themselves or carpool to stay for the afternoon.
(estimate leave 10:30am and return around 6pm)
2015 is the year for higher education reinvestment. The only way to get the higher education funding we need is to ASK FOR IT !
Join Faculty and Students from around the state to rally and lobby the legislature for increased funding.

RSVP NOW for the rally only or rally and lobby day
(Click the appropriate link)

Rally Only:
Rally Only via Bus RSVP             Rally Only will go on my own or carpool RSVP
Rally and Lobby Day:
Rally and Lobby Day will go on my own or carpool RSVP

The rally and lobby day is going to be very powerful and alot of fun. This is a tentative schedule of events. We hope you can join us.

Phil Lesch
Executive Director

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

PSU's March 9th, 2014 threat to cut off email from striking AAUP members found to be unlawful

On March 9th, 2014 the University Office of University Communications sent a brief e-mail to faculty with the subject heading of "PSU Strike guidelines and FAQs" which provided a link to a document that answered frequently asked questions in the event of an AAUP strike.That document contained the following question and answer:
“Would a striking AAUP-represented employee have access to email, their office or lab during a strike?
“No. Striking employees will not be permitted to engage in any activities related to their employment. The electronic log-in credentials for striking employees will be disabled during a strike, preventing access to email, Banner, D2L, VPN and other electronic systems..."
PSU-AAUP filed an unfair practice charge against the University alleging that this communication was unlawful. A hearing was held before an Oregon Employment Relations Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) on September 3, 2014. The ALJ's decision was received this week.
The ALJ states:
"The University’s March 9 announcement that it would disable striking faculty’s e-mail accounts violated ORS 243.672(1)(a) by interfering with, restraining, or coercing Association members “because of” and “in” the exercise of rights guaranteed by ORS 243.662.
ORS 243.662 guarantees public employees the “right to form, join and participate in the activities of labor organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of representation and collective bargaining with their public employer on matters concerning employment relations.” In order to protect and enforce these rights, ORS 243.672(1)(a) provides that a public employer may not “nterfere with, restrain or coerce employees in or because of the exercise of rights guaranteed in ORS 243.662.”
Subsection (1)(a) provides for two separate violations, commonly referred to as the “because of” prong and the “in” the exercise prong. Subsection (1)(a) prohibits employer actions that interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees because of of their exercise of protected right; and it prohibits employer actions that interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of protected rights. Portland Assn. Teachers v. Mult. Sch. Dist. No. 1, 171 Or App 616, 623, 16 P3d 1189 (2000). The Association assert (ed) that the University violated both portions of subsection (1)(a). "
The ALJ found that the University violated both portions of subsection 1 (a). The decision includes a cease and desist order.

Member Message December 16th, 2014


As this term comes to a close, the staff of PSU-AAUP and the Executive Council wish you all a peaceful winter break.

Be sure and mark your calendars for the caucuses to be held in winter term:

Tenure Track Faculty: January 27th, 2015 at 12-1pm in Smith 298
Non-Tenure Track Faculty: February 3rd, 2015 at 12-1pm in Smith 298
Academic Professionals: February 10th, 2015 at 12-1pm in Smith 298

Take care all.

Pam Miller
PSU-AAUP President

Monday, December 15, 2014

Portland State Trustees: Yes on Sworn Police

PSU Vanguard
December 13th, 2014

Portland State’s Board of Trustees voted yes on a contentious resolution to build a force of armed sworn police, despite fierce protests by students and faculty. The vote, particularly during an extended debate over a proposed amendment to withhold firearms authorization until a subsequent June vote, exposed a racial divide on the issue that extended to the trustee board itself.
The trustees met for the vote yesterday at the University Place Hotel, where mre5any were forced to step over protesters staging a mock “die-in” to get into the meeting. The meeting included a number of campus measures and provided a forum for public comment by signup, as is standard procedure. Commenters were required to signup 24 hours early, citing a decision to move comments to the beginning of the meeting.
During the vote on the resolution, which passed 11–2, Public Safety Committee Chair Tom Imeson proposed an amendment to withhold deployment of the armed sworn officers until the board’s June 11 meeting, which passed unanimously. Trustee Maude Hines followed up by proposing an amendment to adopt new language to authorize sworn officers while withholding firearms authorization entirely until the June meeting, pointing to insufficient data on the impact of armed police on university campuses.

Member Message December 12th, 2014

This message will be short (I promise), yet not necessarily sweet.

Board Passes Resolution for an Armed Police Force on the PSU Campus

There was an amendment to the resolution (introduced by Maude Hines, Faculty Representative to the Board) to delay the vote on arming officers until the Implementation Advisory Committee could do its work over the next six months. This group is charged with exploring the needs of effective university policing, cultural competency, bias, and interactions with students who have mental health concerns or students with disabilities. The President said this amendment was "symbolic," and a Board member called it "a distraction". This amendment was not added to original resolution. It appeared that almost all Board members voted yes to an armed police force but it was hard to know since many did not speak into the microphone during the voice roll call. The Oregonian reports that two board members voted no.

U of O GTFF reach a Tentative Agreement after an 8 day Strike

Here is their press release. Thanks to our members who pitched in and walked the picket line in Eugene and here in Portland.

U of O Faculty Senate Holds Emergency Meeting on Wednesday 12/10

We have not heard the outcome of this important meeting but we have learned that the The Board of Trustees at U of O has delayed consideration of policy and constitutional changes on that campus.

Take care everyone.
Pam Miller
PSU-AAUP President

Friday, December 12, 2014

Portland State trustees vote tentatively to create armed campus police force as soon as July

December 11th, 2014

Over the strong objections of many students and three-fourths of the tenure-track faculty, Portland State University's new board of trustees voted Thursday to create an armed campus police force.
But the university can't deploy a single armed officer unless the board votes yes again in June.
Before that, a committee including students, faculty and staff must write a plan setting forth special training requirements, use of force policies and other conditions for the new police force that match the expectations of people at Portland State.
Much of the rationale for the decision to move toward armed campus police was the desire of many Portland State administrators who oversee student health and safety to have campus-based officers steeped in PSU culture, not officers from the Portland Police Bureau, respond to the biggest safety threats on campus.
Portland police officers do not understand campus culture and have shown slow or insensitive responses to PSU emergencies, Michelle Toppe, dean of student life, and others said.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Take Action!

There are two actions happening in our community:

Let's walk the picket line here in Portland to support the UO GTFF Strike:

URGENT! Join one or both of two rush-hour pickets in support of striking U of O Graduate Teaching Fellows right here in downtown Portland, outside the UO center, 70 NW Couch:

  • Tuesday, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
 Please email Kevin Dugan indicating what day(s) and time(s) you will be able to join:
KUMBAYA Rally on Park Blocks on Thursday December 11th

Many times members have asked, "what can I do?" concerning armed police officers on our campus.  PSUSU has requested that we share their flyer and the message below:

"Dear PSU community,

Despite multiple meetings with concerned students, a faculty senate resolution opposing the Safety Task Force proposal, and multiple protests and shows of strength, President Wim Wievel and the Board of Trustees are moving forward with a vote to deputize campus safety officers .It seems clear to us that the Board of Trustees are going to ratify this resolution in the face of a clear "NO" from the PSU community.

On Thursday the Portland State University Student Union (PSUSU), the BSU (Black Student Union) and Don't Shoot PDX (the group organizing recent Ferguson solidarity events) will be rallying at 11.30 in the park blocks and will be hosting a die-in at the University Place hotel about 45 minutes before the board meeting. For this action we would like the Board members and the general public to walk over our "dead" bodies before they are able to enter the room. We feel that having faculty presence at this rally would further legitimize our efforts, as none of us have been adequately listened to or consulted in this process.

We are reaching out to see if any of you would like to be involved in the following efforts:

11:30- Meet for rally in PSU Park Blocks
12:15- March to the University Place Hotel
12:30- Die-in outside of the University Place Hotel
1:00- Meeting begins, several of us will sign up to speak, and will do a theatrical mock-vote (what this vote would look like at a democratic university)

Please consider coming out an joining in our efforts. Students and professors united will never be defeated.

Here's the event page:
Please share this message widely!

In solidarity,
Sonya Friedman on behalf of PSUSU

Thank you your attention to these important events at this busy time of the year.

Pam Miller
PSU-AAUP President

Member Message December 8th, 2014

he Board of Trustees at University of Oregon and our Board of Trustees are wasting no time in stomping all over faculty, staff, and students. I realize you are all extremely busy finishing up the term...BUT

There are some big happenings that need our attention! PLEASE TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO READ BELOW!

Let us begin Part 1 of this story with PSU's Special Committee on Campus Public Safety. At their third meeting on December 3, Bob Liebman, Presiding Officer of the Senate spoke, as did the President and Vice President of ASPSU, Eric Noll and Rayleen McMillan. No public comment was permitted. In a nutshell, the resolution was passed that will allow some (not all) of our campus public safety officers to have guns. Please note on the resolution that approval for both this meeting and for the Full Board are all ready to fill in. The President, after a resounding no to guns from Faculty Senate just two days previous, spoke to the audience and said that he knew he was going against faculty wishes, yet deciders have to decide, and he'll "take the hit" for this decision. He did not want more time to do research on this as he believes enough has been done and it is time to act. He also added that PSU has always had controversy and this debate fits into that history. This Committee passed the resolution and it will go to the full Board for a vote on Thursday, December 11. This meeting is at University Place and begins at 1:00 p.m.

PLEASE NOTE: If you want to speak at the Board meeting on December 11, you need to sign up 24 hours in advance and only a limited number of people can speak. You can also send letters to the Board members. Here is the agenda, time, and location.

As I look back over the President's address to the Faculty Senate from April 7 of this year, the words seem hollow as he said, "I and other members of my leadership team will work with the Faculty Senate, the unions, and students to start a deep conversation about the future of PSU." I realize this was pitched to the potential strike at that time. However, the process that has happened with the Special Committee on Campus Public Safety and with the Board of Trustees is unsettling. And now, more trouble at U of O.

GTFF is on strike and on the picket lines. U of O's administration is attempting to break the union by imposing itself into dealing with final grades. United Academics is heavily involved in the fight and here is their press release on grading. My understanding is that mediation will continue on Tuesday. One third of undergraduates are taught by graduate students at U of O and they deserve paid sick and parental leave. U of O says it cannot afford this...really? Sound familiar? Their football team is going to the Rose Bowl. That's probably pretty expensive.

The really BIG newsflash out of U of O is a move by their Board of Trustees to strip their Faculty Senate of established rights and governance and give tons of power to the Board and to the President. This agenda item comes at a time when the campus is already in crisis mode. Here is some information about the Board meeting and their agenda provided by the United Academics :

"The UO Board of Trustees will hear public comments on Thursday. Then, on Friday the board will discuss and vote upon the "Adoption of a Policy on the Development and Revision of University Policies." If approved, this motion will initiate a new way of developing policies that will radically change the role of the Senate and shared governance as we know it on this campus. Senate President Rob Kyr has called for a Senate Executive Committee meeting tomorrow at 5pm and is urging attendance at the Board meeting as well.
This is a pivotal decision that would seem to give the Board and a new centralized administrative body sole authority over all policies. Appointments to this new body would not involve an election by faculty or other constituencies, as is the current case with the Senate. Reading the proposal, the new policy could:

1. Remove the role of the Senate Executive Council in determining if a policy is academic and therefore must go to the full Senate.
2. Remove the requirement that the President respond within a certain time frame to policy statements from Senate and that the President make a public accounting to the Senate when s/he rejects a policy.
3. Remove the provision that in case of a veto the Faculty Assembly can be invoked.
4. Require the President to develop a new policy making process with some requirements, all of which the Board can choose to not follow.
5. Creates a policy process and a committee system that is selected by the President, not elected by the university community.
Please join the university community in asking members of the Board to delay consideration of this motion and advise the President to begin consultation with the University Senate on the following: a collaborative and transparent process that is consistent with University Constitution; an open discussion that identifies and explains what problems the Board is trying to solve by this repeal; and why the actual process called for by the University Constitution was bypassed in this motion."

Here is a page from UO Matters that describes some history of the Board and the resolution itself that will make sweeping policy changes and this will be voted on this Thursday. THIS IS HUGE. Some faculty offer responses at the end that say things like, "the senate is dead," and "the Union is our best hope," and lots of references to corporate higher education.
Robert Kyr is the Presiding Officer for the Senate at the U of O and Michael Dreiling is the President of United Academics. Bob Liebman and I have been in touch with both and we may learn more news later today or tomorrow, particularly what we can do to help. Stay tuned.

Phew! Thursday is a big day for both our campuses as our Board will most likely approve guns and U of O's Board may do a power play to their Senate. PSU-AAUP must remain strong and get really prepared for our contract action. You will be hearing more about this very soon. Talk to your colleagues and friends about what is shared in this message. Think about how you can be involved to push back on the Board and the President as 2015 gets underway.

In solidarity,

Pam Miller
PSU-AAUP President

Faculty Senate votes to oppose arming campus safety

PSU Vanguard 
December 3rd, 2014

The Portland State Faculty Senate confirmed their support of the proposed resolution against arming Campus Public Safety Officers.
The Faculty Senate debated the issue during their meeting yesterday, Dec. 1, according to Michael Taylor, a senate member and professor in family studies.
“A resolution opposing arming the current CPSO employees was introduced at the November [Faculty Senate] meeting,” Taylor stated in an email.
According to the official Faculty Senate resolution document, the debate consisted of “opposition to arming PSU Campus Public Safety officers” and “support for the creation of a campus committee for oversight and supervision of the PSU Campus Public Safety Office as a necessary condition for implementation of changes in campus policing policies, including alternatives to an armed police force. The campus committee must be comprised of administrators, faculty & students.”
Thirteen senators singed the document, which can be viewed here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Time Sensitive Updates, December 2nd, 2014

This is such a busy time of the term so this message will be precise yet please check out the three important points below:

1) GTFF at U of O went on strike this morning. PSU-AAUP stands in solidarity with the GTFF and I have been in communication with Joe Henry, their President. Jose Padin and others are in Eugene today to walk the picket line with our brothers and sisters.

Here is a news flash from the Eugene Register Guard

2) The Special Committee on Campus Public Safety did not come to a resolution at the last meeting on November 24. It seems that they were trounced with the public comment time that was overwhelmingly opposed to an armed police force.  After 90 minutes of presentation by administration, public comments were held to two minutes each. After this time, the administrators got 5 more minutes each to continue justification of an armed police force on this campus.

PLEASE NOTE: The Special Committee on Campus Public Safety will have a meeting on Wednesday, December 3 from 9 to 10 at University Place, Wahkeena Falls Room. The agenda is not available at this time and will be here when posted.

3) There will be a non-contractual grievance hearing concerning  Library faculty on Friday, December 5 that begins at 2:30 in Market Center Building, room 650.

Take care everyone. As always, more soon.
Pam Miller

Monday, December 1, 2014

Pending Strike at U of O: Carpool Information


We are organizing car-pooling to support the University of Oregon Graduate Teaching Fellows, who have given notice and plan to strike on Tuesday the 2nd of December if no agreement is reached. Picket lines will be set up at 8 am on Tuesday the 2nd.  We propose meeting to carpool at the Native American Center at 6:45 am, departure at 7 am sharp.

Come out and support this critical struggle!

Please reply to to let us know that you are planning to come so that we can let you know if there is a settlement. Margaret is coordinating this (thanks!). If our needs exceed our carpooling infrastructure, AFT might be able to help with a bus.

There is also a rally at 5:00 pm on Monday the first of December for supporters who are able to go down.

One key issue at the table is a GTFF proposal which would create up to 2 weeks of paid leave fore medical hardship or new parenthood.  This proposal would cost the university approximately $35,000 a year. For the administration, this is a matter of "principle" that part-timers don't get paid leave. The graduate employees are also seeking raises in wages and continued language limiting student fees and preserving the existing health care split at 95% university paid.

José Padín
VP of Grievances & Academic Freedom