PCC Employees Have a New Union Contract
by Lex Rule
In the latest Local Union Newsletter, President of PCC’s Federation of Classified Employees (FCE)
Jeff Grider says, “(Our new union contract) achieved incremental improvements on both monetary and non-monetary issues, brand-new protections for our members, and one of the highest permanent salary increases we’ve ever seen.”
According to the PCC FCE’s web- site, the federation and PCC administration work together to negotiate salary, benefits and working conditions for PCC employees—a formal process known as collective-bargaining. On behalf of the PCC administration, Cheryl Belt, member of the joint negotiating team and Director of Employee and Labor Relations in the PCC Human Resources Department, said that reaching an agreement on an economic package is always one of the most important but challenging tasks: “We strive to provide competitive wages and benefits. At the same time, [many competing needs are also] critical to supporting equitable opportunity for student success, needs that PCC must fund with limited resources. Developing a shared understanding of the available, but limited, resources and the College’s many and varied needs are key in reaching an agreement.”
According to PCC FCE’s website, full contract negotiations usually occur every four years and the negotiations that began in January 2019 are now ongoing. The 2019 Tentative Agreement Summary documents an increase in paid parental leave and stipends for classified early retirement—but the biggest achievement is PCC’s Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), which is now caught up with Portland’s actual cost of living. President Grider states in the Local Union Newsletter that PCC employees should already be seeing the effects of this agreement with back pay continuing in the coming months. Although these changes are a long-awaited victory for all involved, Grider remains focused on what’s still to come for the union, including enforcing the new contract.
To learn more, check out vwpccfce3922.org, and watch for a follow-up in coming issues.