Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Academe missing PSU data

Many members have expressed alarm that Portland State University is missing from the Faculty Compensation survey in the May/June issue of Academe.
We, too, were alarmed  when we learned about it two weeks ago. We reached out immediately to PSU administrators. They advised that the survey fell through the cracks with the disassembly of the Chancellors office, and PSU was committed to continuing to participate in the survey.
The survey was immediately assigned to the PSU Office of Institutional Research and Planning (OIRP), and completion of the survey was given high priority.
The final deadline to submit the data to make the May-June Academe was, however, too tight. OIRP submitted 4 of the 5 sections on Tuesday April 22, and they were planning on submitting the last section by today.
AAUP Academe staff have advised that the data, once approved, will appear in the July/August issue of Academe, and anyone who orders a peer compensation report or complete dataset will have the PSU data included.
If this changes we'll let you know.

Employment Relations Board Notice of Violation of Law

On Friday the University sent the notice required by the ERB in the resolution to the AAUP Unfair Practice charge about the administration's threat to cut off our email accounts if we went on strike.
On Friday the University sent the notice required by the ERB in the resolution to the AAUP Unfair Practice charge about the administration's threat to cut off our email accounts if we went on strike.
The message was cryptic and did not provide any context. Many members thought it was spam and deleted it.
The pdf of the document is here. Please feel free to print it out and post it on bulletin boards.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Decision is in: Administration found to have violated Labor Law

PSU Administration found to have violated labor law by threatening to disable Faculty email if they went on strike

On Friday we received the long awaited decision from the Oregon Employment Relations Board on the unfair labor practice complaint we filed last year on the administration's threat to cut off faculty member's email if we went on strike.
The decision holds that the administration's threat violated ORS 243.672 (1) (a) as it "interfered with, restrained, or coerced Association-represented employees in the exercise of their PECBA-protected rights."
The board's decision goes beyond the order proposed by the administrative law judge in February as it orders the administration to "post a notice of its wrongdoing..." and, "in addition to the traditional physical posting of the notice, the University must distribute the notice to Association-represented employees by e-mail."
The decision made the news. See the articles at OregonLive and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
We extend thanks to Executive Director Phil Lesch, AAUP attorneys Jennifer Sung and Liz Joffe, and the witnesses who provided testimony at the hearing during the summer when everyone was off contract.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Portland State Threat to Block Faculty Email Broke Oregon Law, Board Says

The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 21st, 2015

When Portland State University threatened last year to shut down unionized faculty members’ access to their email if they went out on strike, the university broke Oregon law, the state’s Employment Relations Board ruled last week, according to The Oregonian. The board, which said the threat interfered with faculty members’ exercise of their right to unionize, ordered the university to never again make such a threat and to inform faculty members of the ruling. A strike never happened, as the university and the union reached a tentative agreement on a contract.

PSU violated labor law by threatening to disable faculty email during strike

April 21st, 2015

Portland State University violated Oregon labor law last year by threatening to disable email access for unionized faculty members if they went on strike, according to an April 17 ruling by the state Employment Relations Board.
The board ordered PSU to cease and desist from such threats and to notify faculty members by posting and emailing copies of the order. The board declined to impose a fine.
Oregon law guarantees public employees the "right to form, join and participate in the activities of labor organizations of their own choosing," the board wrote. PSU's March 9, 2014, announcement that it intended to suspend email privileges of striking faculty "interfered with, restrained, or coerced" employees in the exercise of those rights.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring brings commencement!

You are eligible for regalia rental reimbursement of $58 per year, so you can be in touch with Emily at emily@psuaaup.net for more details.
If you rent through the PSU Bookstore, the company used will be Herff Jones. On April 17, the rental price goes up considerably.

Hope your spring term is going well.
Take care all.

Pam Miller
PSU-AAUP President


Tuesday, April 7, 2015


PSU Vanguard
April 7th, 2015

On the exact same day (February 12) and at the exact same time that the PSU Board of Trustees’ Finance and Administration Committee decided to bring a tuition raise to the full Board, PSU students and PSU-AAUP were at the Capitol for Lobby Day. We all had one month to prepare for the Board meeting. In solidarity with students, PSU-AAUP members attended the rally on March 12 to bring all voices to the Board that a rise in tuition would harm our current and future students. They were not listening.
Our numbers were not large enough to move the Board. In order to push back on rising tuition, students and faculty must work together on many fronts. Over the last several weeks, PSU-AAUP has been in Salem testifying for legislation to offset tuition costs and to address the indefensible costs of administrative bloat. Our statewide faculty association, AAUP-Oregon, will bring faculty from across the state to Eugene on April 25 to join forces on student-centered, educator led and debt-free higher education in our state.
We must build our movement of students, community, faculty and staff to help our policy makers and Boards to understand and to act on our collective message. The saying, “United we stand, divided we all,” rings true for us. President [Wim] Wiewel was quoted on March 12 in University Communications’ weekly faculty and staff newsletter, Currently, “If funding comes in more than the co-chairs’ (of the Joint Ways and Means Committee) budget, then we will lower the tuition increase.” We will watch this together and expect his promise to be kept. PSU-AAUP shares Mr. Miller’s anger, we respect the questions he raises, and it is imperative that we stand together in this battle. It is not going to be won quickly or easily.
Thank you,
Pam Miller
President, PSU-AAUP, Professor of Social Work

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tuition on the rise: Board of Trustees approves tuition increase

PSU Vanguard
March 30th, 2015

The Portland State Board of Trustees voted 10–2 at the winter term quarterly Board meeting to approve a resolution that outlines a 4.2 percent increase in tuition and fees for resident undergraduates. The increase will take effect Fall 2015.
Trustee Sho Dozono and student trustee Maria Carolina-Gonzalez-Prats voted against the resolution.
“To have to raise tuition is very difficult,” said trustee Christine Vernier. “We absolutely need more state funding.”
At the meeting, PSU President Wim Wiewel said the 4.2 percent overall rise would also be paired with a proposed $4.7 million in cuts in order to balance the budget.
The Board chose the “middle road,” according to University Communications Director Scott Gallagher. He said there would either be no increase in tuition and $9 million in cuts or the approved 4.2 percent increase paired with smaller cuts.