Three quick items today: Barry Edwards on the AFT-OR convention ballot, a National Nurse fundraiser at the March 1 Portland Timbers soccer game, and one week left to restore the 3.5% budget cut to community colleges.
First, we inadvertently omitted Barry Edwards’ name from our recently-mailed AFT-Oregon convention ballot, and want to make sure that everyone is aware that he is a delegate candidate. If you’re going to vote (I hope you will!), please add Barry’s name to your ballot before turning it in/mailing it. If you want to change your vote, please clearly mark your ballot so we can be sure who you’re voting for. Sorry for the error, we do want to ensure everyone has an equal chance. If you’d like a new ballot contact Michael Cannarella and we’ll get one to you.
Second, Teri Mills, PCC Nursing instructor, has worked tirelessly to move the National Nurse campaign forward, and it is picking up steam in Congress! National Nurse is doing a fundraiser in Portland, along with the Portland Timbers soccer team, on March 1, and they have tickets left for that match. If you’d like to attend, with part of your ticket dollars going to support National Nurse, contact Teri (971-722-4057). For $20 you get a double-header, AIK vs. San Jose at 5pm, then the Timbers vs. Chivas USA at 7:30. Great double-bill for soccer fans, and $8 per ticket goes to National Nurse (join National Nurse on Facebook).
Finally, we celebrated a busy “Strong Schools, Strong Oregon” lobby day on Monday with a “let the good times roll” celebration on Tuesday, but the work is far from done. With one week left in the Legislative session we still have a chance for the 3.5% cut to community college budgets to be restored. It is still important to contact our legislators about this—phone call or email, or a personal visit—asking that funds in the annual Ending Balance be used to replace this funding. I’m attaching my personal “talking points” that I provided for my state Rep and Senator on Monday, and hope you find them useful. PCC can weather this $4 million hit, but our brothers and sisters at Oregon’s other 16 community colleges will have a much harder time. Two Reps who are currently jamming things up are Bruce Hanna (Dist 7—Roseburg) and Dennis Richardson (Dist 4—Central Point). If you have friends/colleagues at Umpqua or Rogue Community Colleges, ask them to contact these legislators with information about how the 3.5% cut will affect their schools. Thanks to all who participated on Monday, and those who’ll jump in over the next few days.
Important “current events” in Education, February 2012:
· President Obama has proposed $8 billion for tech education for community colleges. When those funds are available, colleges that have ramped up their CTE programs will be in an excellent position to greatly enhance those programs, providing a highly skilled workforce to be on hand as our economy/region/state move forward.
Just a few short, but significant, items today. First, of course, I’m writing this on the evening of a national holiday and, even more importantly, a “day of service,” as we commemorate the birth of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. As someone who come of age in the 60s, I very clearly remember who he was and what he contributed to the American experience.
Among Dr. King’s many profound speeches, the “I Have a Dream” is considered among the most powerful. You can hear the speech, posted on this site as one of the 100 greatest American speeches: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm. Wikipedia does an analysis of the speech, which provides an interesting background to it, and discussion of it, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Have_a_Dream
Second, as many of you know Oregon is undergoing some significant changes to education, including higher education. The body charged with leading much of that change, the Oregon Education Investment Board (on which PCC part-time instructor, and AFT-Oregon president, David Rives serves), is holding a series of statewide meetings to have a “conversation” with stakeholders. Many of us believe that faculty are badly under-represented on that board (David notwithstanding), when compared to the business community, and have concerns about upcoming initiatives like “achievement compacts,” and the effect a full-bore push on tying funding to “outcomes” may have on higher ed, including PCC.
The opening session of these meetings is tomorrow, Tuesday, at 6:30, on our own Rock Creek Campus, Bldg 9 Event Center. Here’s the outline:
· Welcome by lead facilitator Carol Turner. (5 minutes)
I hope to see many faculty and APs there tomorrow to address these questions and provide the OEIB with important information about our students and the work we do. Shuttles can get you to RC, and there'll probably be interesting conversations on the trips back to your campus.
Finally, ballots in CD 1’s special election should be in voters’ hands tomorrow. Suzanne Bonamici is the clear choice, endorsed by the three major district papers (Oregonian, WW and Astorian, http://www.bonamiciforcongress.com/) as well as AFT-Oregon. There is a phone bank for Suzanne Wednesday evening at the new AFL headquarters near Cleveland High School. Suzanne will drop by, as well as Michael Dembrow. Starts 6pm, you’ll only be calling union members to remind them to get their ballots in (Due Jan 31), and there’ll be food! 3645 SE 32nd Ave (just south of Powell Blvd). For questions, check with our Political Action veep, Jaime Rodriguez (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I hope you had a chance to get in the PCC 50th spirit today and do a little volunteer work, or it would be great if you come out Wednesday evening for Suzanne.
We are one: Together, we make a difference!
We are one: Together we make a difference!
I’m writing this on the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the “Day of Infamy” which saw America, including my father and millions of others of that Greatest Generation, answer the call to duty that reshaped the world. My father was a senior in high school, in Minneapolis. A year later he’d be in the Pacific—including Bouganville and Guadalcanal, where he fought, and was wounded multiple times. I remember him, and all those who served, on this day.
Holiday Party on Saturday! This Saturday, noon to 3pm, Upper CC Mall at Sylvania. It’s been moved to Saturday so more families could attend, and features wonderful live music, great food (catered by Madison’s, including those sinful chocolates), Santa and his bottomless bag of gifts for your kids, and lots more activities for those same kids. Wonderful family event for both Federations, so please join our Classified brothers and sisters at this once-a-year celebration.
Related, we’re working with Classified to identify Federation families in need. Caralee Angell (email@example.com) has seven or eight families, and if you’re willing to offer assistance, please get in touch with her. Reaching out to co-workers is what it means to be in a union, and this is a great opportunity to extend your hand.
One year (plus), NO contract! Yep, our part-time colleagues at Clackamas CC have been without a contract for over a year. They’re asking for our assistance a week from today, Weds., Dec. 14, at a 5pm Rally and Pizza activity. They’ll gather at the Dye Learning Center, Room 104, for some talk and some dinner, then move to the Board meeting at 6:15. It would be great for some PCC folks to show up, in solidarity with part-timers who are not being treated fairly. If you’d like more information, or details on what management is trying to do to their part-timers, contact Jennifer Rueda, the president of the Clackamas Part-time Faculty Association, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Teach-In at Cascade: On a bit less somber note, five PCC instructors have penned thoughts for this Friday’s Teach-in for Occupy: “Everything you wanted to know about revolution but were afraid to ask.” John Farnum, Matt Stockton, Michael Sonnleitner, Justin Elardo and Ben Cushing provide insights for this interesting event at http://occupyportland.org/2011/12/04/dec-9-430pm-teach-in-occupy-everything-wanted-revolution-afraid-ask%E2%80%9D/
The Democratic Imagination: Studies in Revolutionary Consciousness
Thanks, and Happy Holidays!
We are one: Together, we make a difference!
Happy Thanksgiving Federation Colleagues;
I know that many of us—me included—will be checking emails today, responding to students’ queries, concerns, and attachments. Many will (wisely) stay offline, focusing on celebrating with families and giving thanks. A few courageous souls won’t check in until Sunday night, or even Monday morning. That range also reflects the range in attitudes about this season, so I want to take a moment to offer a few personal “thanks” and a couple recommendations.
Giving thanks, me: First, thanks to all of you for going the extra mile, often, in providing a quality educational experience for our tens of thousands of students. We are all privileged to do work we love, work that directly benefits others, in an environment where we do a pretty good job working cooperatively, and providing an environment that encourages creativity and excellence and personal development. So thank you for all you do.
Giving thanks, ya'll: Second, you can thank your Federation for the fact that you get tomorrow off, along with ten other paid vacation days (for full-timers--we'll keep working on it for part-timers). Unions have given us weekends and paid holidays and retirement and paid health care (we should be especially thankful that we’ve been able to keep that, given the massive losses many workers nationwide have experienced in employer-supported health insurance). When you see that 1.5% bonus in your checks, December 1 or 23rd, depending on whether you’re full-time or part-time (and worked Sept 2010-Aug 2011), remember that your Federation is always working to ensure that you are fairly compensated for the important work you do. Another thanks—from us—to the great Fed members on this year’s bargaining team for the gains we secured in a very difficult bargaining environment.
A shopping recommendation: If you join Americans expected to spend $466 billion this holiday season. Please check AFL Oregon’s “do not patronize” list (http://or.aflcio.org/index.cfm?action=article&articleID=39943a48-b5ec-4c93-9047-7702c3757e62) for companies who are anti-worker and should not receive our business. Walmart has headed that list for many years, due to their anti-worker, anti-community (http://www.amazon.com/Wal-Mart-Destroying-America-World-About/dp/1580082319) policies and the unfortunate reality that virtually nothing in their stores—except some groceries—is made in America.
Shopping recommendation II: If you are a Black Friday devotee (so named because it is theoretically the day that puts merchants in the black, though many people forced to leave their families at midnight tonight to go be “associates” at stores opening at strange hours on Friday may have a different idea about what it means), or a Buy Nothing Day devotee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buy_Nothing_Day ) who does some holiday shopping, you might consider joining the “shop local” folks who are patronizing small, local businesses for their holiday shopping. Check http://www.sbnportland.org/, and remember that buying things made locally, sold locally, keeps money circulating locally, promoting a healthy, vibrant economy.
And a final recommendation, this time a “presidential pick.” My friend and colleague, and fellow part-timer, Barry Edwards, is running to become president of Mt. Hood’s part-time union (PFTA). Barry’s a “freeway flyer,” teaching at both Mt. Hood, where he is an OEA member and activist, and at PCC, where he’s an AFT member and activist. Barry brings a clear commitment to quality teaching to the table, a wealth of experience as a PFTA officer (and a worksite leader for our Federation at SE campus), but most of all—for me—he will be strongly committed not just to representing his part-timers at Mt. Hood, but in finding ways for OEA’s locals and AFT’s locals to join forces to increase our effectiveness working to promote resources for community colleges in Oregon. I’ve worked with Barry many times as a delegate to our state AFT convention, and now through my participation as a ‘guest’ member of OEA’s community college group, where Barry's active. He’s smart, committed, and passionate about community college education—he’ll be a great president for Mt. Hood’s part-timers. Their election is coming up soon (officers’ terms are Jan thru December, an oddity Barry would like to work to change), so if you’re a part-timer at Mt. Hood I hope you’ll consider Barry—you can’t do any better.
And again, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone gets some R&R with loved ones, and returns to PCC next week refreshed and ready for a big finish to Fall term. And don't forget to mark your calendars for our December 10th (yes, Saturday!!) joint Federations Holiday Party at Sylvania--more to come on that.
We are one: Together we make a difference
Good Morning Federation Colleagues;
I hope everyone survived Halloween unscathed. Numbers of scary, bag-toting visitors were up on our SE Portland street, including one amazing three-foot tall vampire, and they cleaned our candy basket out early. I taught until 7pm last night, so missed most of them, but loved Mini-Drac. Lots happening, but I’m saving some for next week. For now, two meaty issues and one training opportunity:
Part-time Issues: Campus Equity Week
Our part-timers teach 60 to 70% of the credit courses taught at PCC, depending on how you count, and this worrisome national trend (our own form of “outsourcing” higher education—away from full-time, benefitted, tenure-track faculty positions) is nationwide, prompting an annual Campus Equity Week, which unfortunately came and went last week without the attention we give it during election years. Next October we’ll be ramped up to make it a college-wide, and statewide, week of focusing on this huge issue, especially legislation to address it, which AFT is promoting through FACE (Faculty And College Excellence) legislation. http://www.aftface.org/ FACE legislation has been introduced in the past two Oregon legislative sessions, with moderate results (mostly tracking ratios statewide, which is a good start). Next Fall we’ll be working with legislators to get significant legislation promoting equity for part-timers, headed up by House 45 Rep. Michael Dembrow, who could chair a key education committee if pro-education voters take the House back next November.
An organization focusing on equity has emerged. The New Faculty Majority: The National Coalition for Adjunct and Contingent Faculty (http://www.newfacultymajority.info/national/campus-equity-week-2009) now represents part-time/contingent/adjunct (choose your demeaning title). I’ve joined this, since I am now officially “only” a part-time instructor for PCC. Their blurb:
NFM is dedicated to achieving professional equity and advancing academic freedom for all adjunct and contingent faculty in American colleges and universities through advocacy, education and litigation. NFM seeks the greatest possible degree of economic justice and academic freedom for all faculty and is committed to creating equitable, stable, non-exploitative academic environments that improve the quality of American higher education.
Back to AFT; their Higher Ed folks have produced a very useful publication, “Which College Is Right For You?” http://www.aftface.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=554&Itemid=98 I work with PCC students who are going to transfer, and I’ll use this publication, though I’ll have to adapt it a bit since it is focused on college seniors making this important choice. Still, the College Visit Report Card (http://www.aftface.org/storage/face/documents/reportcard-final.pdf) and College Ranking Tool (http://www.aftface.org/storage/face/documents/ranking-final.pdf) are important resources.
Lastly, each “even” year AFT joins with NEA to schedule a joint Higher Ed Conference, generally late March. Last year it was at San Jose State, so I’m guessing for 2012 it’ll move east (we’ve had it in Portland and Seattle in the last dozen years). When we get information on it we’ll get it to you.
Want to get more active?
Oregon AFL-CIO has scheduled a training for people who are considering getting more active in their unions, but have some concerns. Saturday, Nov 12, 9:30 to 2:30 (lunch included), at the IBEW Hall near the airport you can get the information you need. If you’ve thought about stepping up your participation, but aren’t quite ready to commit to the Council, or even being a Worksite Leader, this training could give you the basic information you might need to decide whether/how to become more active. The training is designed to enable you to:
· Create real change in your workplace
Unions built the middle class in America, and wages were at their highest in the late 50s/early 60s, when fully a third of Americans belonged to private sector unions and a single income could support a family. After three decades of corporate assault private union membership is single digits, and wages—as you know if you’re paying attention—have dropped 10% for the majority of working Americans over the past decade. Stronger unions means a stronger economy and stronger future for our kids and grandkids, and it takes an informed (I’m trying), active membership to create strength.
Your Council will be discussing what we might do to support the goals of the Occupy movement at our meeting on Friday, so I’ll feature this next week in the Memo. Stay tuned. But in the same vein:
Banxodus on Saturday
Saturday is Move Your Money day nationwide. I’ve personally wrestled with keeping my Bank of America account (20 years there), fearing that closing it would jeopardize my credit score. I do most of my banking at two credit unions, so the BofA account is more ‘habit’ than function. Research has determined in my case the credit score won’t be affected, so I’m “moving” on Saturday. It’ll be tough—I like the people at the branch, but BofA was one of three major banks (with Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase) to tack a monthly FEE on debit card use. They’ve backed down (can you say “Occupy”?), but those three, with three other major banks, have assets of over $10 trillion, and are “too big to fail,” allowing them a litany of abuses of customers. A recent piece by Naomi Prins (http://www.truth-out.org/ten-reasons-not-bank-or-bank-america/1319648479) convinced me that BofA didn’t reflect my values, so I’m joining Banxodus on Saturday.
If you’ve thought about “voting with your bankbook” you might want to check some sites. The MSN Money site is a great one that I recommend for my Financial Literacy students. Liz Wesson is their chief columnist, with perhaps ten money books to her credit, who now recommends credit unions over banks, for a long list of reasons.
Where you bank is your business, and I’m not asking you to change. I just hope you’ll find the sites useful.
Have a great week,
We are one: Together we make a difference!
Good morning Federation Colleagues:
A very interesting piece in the new Consumer Reports (November issue) rating health insurance providers nationwide. In Oregon the two we get through OEBB, Kaiser and ODS. Kaiser is rated highest in Oregon with 88 points, 21st nationwide (out of 390 plans rated). They lose points on customer satisfaction, which isn’t my (or my wife’s) experience, and ace ‘prevention’ and ‘treatment.’ ODS scores 78, placing them 293rd nationally, scoring lowest in ‘prevention’, and only slightly better (a not good 2 out of 5 score) in customer satisfaction and treatment. Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon gets 62 points, ranking 385th nationwide.
We don’t need no stinkin’ jobs!
Sociology prof Rowan Wolfe emailed me after last week’s Memo to clarify her status. Originally she thought she’d need a double transplant, lungs and heart, but docs are waiting to see whether the new lungs may allow her heart to do its’ job better. She’s stable and hopeful, and we’ll keep you updated on her progress.
Looks like two days of sunshine--Enjoy!
We are one: Together we make a difference
There’s lots going on nationwide, and worldwide, as countless millions begin to realize we may have a problem in a nation where 400 people control more of America’s wealth than 160 million (the bottom half)—can you say “Occupy”? Or, re Michael Moore’s prescient book title: “Dude, Where’s My Country?” Lots to attend to, so I’ll keep this week’s Memo short and PCC-focused.
New Contract is now online
Choosing a vendor for student evals
One of the items in our new Contract calls for faculty to be evaluated by students, every class, each term. We’re close to an agreement with a vendor on what the potential online tool might look like. Ed Degrauw, with several Fed Council members and EAC members, is working with management (Scott Huff at CA is heading this up) and the vendor--CollegeNet and their "what do you think" software, to ensure that several key issues are addressed before we sign a contract. If you have concerns, contact Ed or myself, or Minoo Marashi at SE, Jane Zunkel at CA, or Nancy Pitzer at RC—all of whom are very interested in the final product the college adopts.
Finally, good news about a colleague
Sociology prof Rowan Wolfe, you’ll remember, is battling an unusual and potentially fatal disease. We did some fund-raising for her earlier this year, and will be doing more this Fall, as Rowan’s lung transplant has gone well, and she’s resting up, waiting for a heart to become available. She was able to return to Portland recently after a lengthy recuperation after surgery at Stanford. We’ll let you know when Rowan’s ready for messages, but meantime, keep her in your thoughts—a good teacher, good Fed member, and good person, fighting a good fight.
We’ll look more at the Occupy movement, and our January Congressional District 1 election, later this month. Enjoy the sunshine!
We are one: Together we make a difference
Good Morning Federation Colleagues;
PCC news first…Timbers this Friday
Caralee asks as many of our 100 members and families attending this Friday’s Timbers match to arrive as early as possible. Gametime is 7:30, gates open at 6pm. We’re in general admission, so as early as possible will help us get seats together. First one in save 100 seats…we’re meeting at the East entrance (closest to the max line). Should be fun. And if you missed tickets for the Timbers, we’ll have a couple Winterhawks hockey games down the road. I’ll announce them in the Memo, or you can check in regularly on our website: www.pccffap.org
Update on the 1.5% salary bonus
We’re in pretty constant touch with HR on this, but we still seem to be looking at Classified receiving theirs on their December check, and faculty and APs with their January check. For PT faculty (like myself) it would be—we believe—first January check. If that changes, we’ll let you know asap. And a few items leaning toward the "political"...
Federal funds for PCC? How about a Bake Sale?
In support of Pres. Obama’s American Jobs Act we’re going to hold two bake sales: Wednesday at Sylvania, CC Upper Mall, and Thursday at Cascade, SC Free Speech area. Both are 11 to 2. Come by for a baked goodie—donations only. We’ll be providing information about what members (and students) can do to promote a job-creating bill that will send millions to Oregon to support K-12—hiring teachers who’ve been laid off by district budget cuts—and community colleges. AFT national sent out this information, showing the Jobs Act could include over $1 million for PCC:
Did you know that President Obama’s American Jobs Act includes $5 billion in funds to modernize, renovate or repair community college facilities? The provision is designed to ensure students have quality facilities to meet the needs of our fast-growing technology fields. It’s just part of a proposal that includes $30 billion to prevent 280,000 teacher layoffs, creates new jobs in education, provides incentives for hiring unemployed and wounded warrior veterans, and pays for these programs by limiting tax deductions for high earners.
TAKE ACTION NOW! Contact Congress to urge passage of the American Jobs Act
I hope you’ll stop by the Bake Sales at SY and CA, grab a treat, and pick up the handout with information about the Jobs Act and what we can do to support its’ passage. AFT is fully behind it, and it is great for PCC and for our K-12 schools in Oregon.
In the new issue of Harper’s Christopher Beha went underground as a student at Phoenix, and produced a piece called “Leveling the Field: What I learned from for-profit education.” He was interviewed yesterday on NPR, and if you don’t read the Harper’s article, his interview is worth listening to:
Undercover Student Tests A For-Profit College
October 9, 2011
For-profit colleges have 10% of students nationwide, and get 25% of federal funding. Phoenix gets 86% of revenue from the government. Peter Beha visited Phoenix as a student, and concluded that “it is not a good value” for the money spent—by the taxpayers and by the students. “For society as a whole this is not a good investment of our resources, at a time when our resources are scarce.”
Lately, for-profit colleges like DeVry, Kaplan and the University of Phoenix have been subject to scrutiny and new regulations for allegedly deceptive recruiting tactics and the high number of federal loan defaults among their students. Host Audie Cornish talks to Christopher Beha, who discreetly enrolled as a student at the University of Phoenix, and wrote about it in a piece in this month's issue of Harper's Magazine.
Beha is less than sanguine about the value of for-profit education—and Phoenix is one of the “better” among the growing pool of for-profits, some owned/funded by Wall Street investment firms.
Election News: We have one next month in Oregon Congressional District 1!
Yes, Oregon’s Congressional District 1, Washington County to the coast, will choose two candidates next month to run against each other in January. Amid the ongoing soap opera follies of the Republican presidential nomination process, and Congress’ increasing inability to deal with the massive challenges facing our nation, it is important to remember we have an election to replace David Wu and send a Rep from NW Oregon to D.C. All of PCC’s venues in Washington County, and many students and staff, reside in the district, so a quick update. For those who want to vote in November’s primary, here is some hopefully useful information. AFT-Oregon, and Oregon AFL-CIO, both have decided to recommend the three main Democratic candidates, and will wait until after the November 8 election to endorse a candidate.
Not sure you’re in the 1st CD? To find your district: http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/
Primary is November 8, so deadline to register is Oct. 18.
General election for the seat is January 31, so deadline to register is Jan 10—the SECOND DAY of Winter term. So we will be active toward the end of this term to get students (and staff) in CD1 registered. This is an important election. If you know you’re in CD1, please vote. If you’re in CD1 and not registered (you’ve moved recently, or haven’t voted for a while and been purged), please re-register. And faculty, please allow students to attend your class to talk (briefly) with students about the importance of registering and participating in the electoral process. ESPECIALLY important for Washington County students and staff.
Thanks to a PROGRESSIVE Secretary of State (Kate Brown), who—as opposed to some in other states who are working tirelessly to prevent the poor, minorities, and students from voting—believes that a healthy democracy required FULL participation, we have online voting in Oregon, at: http://www.oregonvotes.org/
Republicans have essentially united behind Rob Cornellis (who recently raised $500,000, according to the Oregonian) in CD1. The Democratic field is essentially three candidates, and if you’re interested there are a few ways to find out more about them. First, an Oregonian piece:
Democratic candidates in 1st Congressional District each have their unique selling points Published: Saturday, October 08, 2011.
And for a more “progressive” perspective, BlueOregon’s Carla Axtman interviewed, in depth, the three candidates and writes on each:
I hope our District 1 members find this information useful.
We are one—together we make a difference
Good Morning Federation Colleagues;
Apologies for extending the Monday Memo a couple days—I was waiting for a couple tidbits of information (as if there wasn’t enough happening already), so here we go. I won’t generally begin with a ‘political’ topic, but this one seems very timely:
Occupy Wall Street? Occupy Portland? What’s this about?
Occupy Wall Street is going national. Tomorrow, Thursday the 6th, starting at noon in Waterfront Park, Portland joins the growing movement with a rally and a march to pioneer courthouse square at 2:30. Unions are supporting this, though AFT may not be fully on board yet (we’ll keep you updated on this). Clearly there is massive unease in America, and one political faction seized on this and convinced millions (which became the “Tea Party”) to basically “blame the victim.” This new movement may be working to more accurately identify the problem, which is the only way to actually begin to create solutions. Columnist Nicholas Kristof has an interesting take on the ‘occupy’ movement in Saturday's NY Times: (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/opinion/sunday/kristof-the-bankers-and-the-revolutionaries.html?_r=1&ref=nicholasdkristof ) titled “The Bankers and the Revolutionaries.” He perhaps most concisely summarizing the feelings of many ‘occupiers’ about Wall Street’s culpability in our current economic crisis: “In effect, the banks socialized risk and privatized profits. Securitizing mortgages, for example, made many bankers wealthy while ultimately leaving governments indebted and citizens homeless.“ The article is worth reading if you’re interested in the unfolding events. Could be an interesting afternoon downtown tomorrow.
50th Kickoff Friday!
Closer to home, and one day later, PCC’s going public with our 50th celebration, also downtown! Friday, 11:30, Pioneer Square, Sen. Jeff Merkley will join Pres. Pulliams and alumni in beginning our year-long celebration. I’ll be there (until I have to leave for the Council meeting), hope to see you. http://news.pcc.edu/2011/09/50th-kickoff/
And related…PCC sets the bar for service:
Some of you may remember that at In-service I challenged faculty and APs to provide 20,000 of the 50,000 hours of service pledged to celebrate our 50th anniversary. We’ll be providing many opportunities for this, and here’s a great one (from Council member Heidi Edwards):
For our next service day on *Saturday, October 15th*, we will be removing English ivy from Tryon Creek State Park and Mt. Tabor Park with the help of Friends of Tryon Creek and Friends of Mt. Tabor. Transportation will be provided from Sylvania to Tryon Creek and Southeast to Mt. Tabor. The entire project will be from 9:30am-12:15pm, including transportation time.
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please sign up for a volunteer time slot in advance. You can register online at http://www.pcc.edu/resources/service-learning/PCCDaysofService.html
Quick Federation takes…
Caralee Angell, membership coordinator, assured the Council that she could get 100 Fed members (and families) to attend the Portland Timbers’ match on Oct 14. We were dubious, but authorized the tickets. Caralee reports that we have many more than 100 requests, so I look forward to joining 99 other Fed folks at that game. Nice job Caralee. And if you missed this one, we’ll have opportunities to attend Winterhawks’ games, in case you’re a hockey fan, down the road. Stay tuned for those.
Please join me in welcoming highly-respected Cascade writing instructor Jane Zunkel to your Fed Council. Jane will be the VP for FT Faculty representing Cascade, and I know she’ll do a great job. As with all the other Council members we’ve been lucky enough to bring in over the past 15 months, Jane is looking forward to stepping up her work with the Federation. We’re still recruiting two PT Faculty reps, one from CA and one from SY, as well as an AP veep from Sylvania, so I may be in touch…
Finally, kudos to part-time instructor David Rives, who, in addition to being a long-time Council member, bargaining team member, and state AFT-Oregon president, now adds Oregon AFL-CIO Exec Board to his resume. David was approved by acclamation at last week’s AFL-CIO convention in Eugene. Congratulations David.
Quick preview of next Monday’s Memo: Update on PCC’s search for a new HR director, and the Federations’ participation; some resources for members who live in House District 1, which has upcoming elections to replace David Wu; and probably some information on the upcoming redistricting of PCC’s Board of Directors. Until then,
We are one—Together we make a difference
Exec Chats are winding down, as the school year does. This week I'll be at CLIMB on Tuesday at noon (check the front board for the room). Peter and I were heading to Newberg for a construction update, but we've had to push that back a couple weeks. I plan to resume the chats in October, as we begin the 2011-12 school year. See you then!
Another huge "thanks" to the 20+ members who have donated over $1600 so far to help our sister, and sociology instructor, Rowan Wolf, with her heart-lung transplant. The Council was so gratified by members stepping up we voted to increase our "match" to $2000 at last Friday's meeting, so we hope to send $4,000 on Friday to help Rowan pay her $25,000 "co-pay" for her transplant procedure. We'll continue to take checks (CC ST 101) through Friday (June 10), then send them all to the foundation which assists individuals in paying for the costly operation, and subsequent treatments (for the cost over-and-above what health insurance covers). Still time to contribute, check made out to:
NTAF Northwest Heart/Lung Transplant Fund
Then in the memo line: In honor of Rowan Wolf
As I've said, a great opportunity to show what "union" means, and offer a hand to a long-time PCC instructor facing a daunting physical challenge. You can follow her path at http://rowansheart.wordpress.com/
I announced my retirement from my "day job" at the college (AP in Financial Aid) last week—though I'll continue as adjunct faculty (I've taught in the CG dept for several years) and president of your Federation. Turning in my paperwork let me experience what it's like to leave a job I've done, and loved, for many years, and I know it's important to acknowledge the many PCC faculty and APs who are also retiring this year, including our long-time president Michael Dembrow. Those joining me in my transition this year will be:
Faculty Academic Professionals
All of these colleagues have touched the lives of thousands of students over the decades. The college community owes them a well-earned "thanks," and hopefully some well-deserved R&R this summer.
I'll finish this year-end "chat" with three interesting items 'political' (below), if you'd like to check them out: the current situation in Salem with our community college budget, a faculty gender diversity report from AFT (both of which relate to aspects of our current bargaining), and a U.S. Dept of Ed report on Redefining Community College Success. Enjoy.
HB 5011 - Community College Budget
"On Tuesday, June 1, the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education held a work session on HB 5011, the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development budget bill. The bill includes funding for workforce operations, debt service on outstanding bonds, and the community college support fund. The 2011-13 funding level for community colleges is $410 million. However, the amount actually funded in the bill is $395.8 million, which includes the legislatively-mandated 3.5% holdback on all budgets that will be reinstated during the February 2012 session so long as the economy does not worsen. The committee also restored $550,000 for the skill centers at Portland Community College and the Sabin-Schellenberg Center that were cut in the Governor's budget.
During the work session, legislators expressed their disappointment with an inadequate community college budget. Sen. Rod Monroe (D-Portland) summed up sentiments shared by committee members. "This is going to be really a hard vote for me and I think for several others. This is not enough money. Community colleges are the instrument of workforce development in our state. When the economy is in the toilet, this is the place where people can go and get trained for a 21st century job and we are cutting the funding, and that troubles me greatly."
Sen. Chris Edwards (D-Eugene) did not mince words when he stated, "I think that the budget sucks." Rep. Bill Garrard (R-Klamath Falls) followed up by noting he would return to Klamath Falls and apologize to Gerald Hamilton, president of Klamath Community College. "I'm going to apologize for this budget and he's going to look at me and say, 'No, I understand what we're all up against.'"
Rep. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), a strong supporter of community colleges, wrapped up the comment period of the work session by stating, "…[I] certainly appreciate everything that the community colleges do and that's why this budget is so painful for me…[W]e need to look forward to better days and I hope that when better days come, we really do remember these words that at we are saying and put community colleges up at the front of the line because often, they do, even in good times, slip back to the back of the line because community colleges always make due."
Me again: You may have received the report on gender diversity from AFT. This came out on AFT-Online on Friday. One of management's "push backs" on our proposal for a "senior adjunct" classification is that it might harm PCC's ability to promote a diverse faculty. Personally I think this is nonsense: If anything, excellent minority instructors who want full-time jobs may leave PT teaching at PCC the first time a full-time job opens somewhere else. Having an actual "career ladder" for part-time faculty here would almost certainly enable us to retain many more good minority instructors, rather than decrease their vital presence in our ranks. If you haven't, yet, check out the AFT report:
Report Calls for Gender Diversity in College Faculty
And finally, from the informative online newsletter Inside Higher Ed comes this interesting piece on "community college success":
Redefining Community College Success
Though there was general agreement among the panel's members on crafting completion measures that, for example, count successful transfers to four-year institutions as well as those who earn associate degrees, there was strong disagreement about whether the government should require community colleges to report their students' employment outcomes.
This discussion was influenced heavily by the Education Department's recently released "gainful employment" regulations, which will hold many programs at for-profit colleges and certificate and vocational programs at nonprofit institutions to a new federal standard on student debt and employability.
The Committee on Measures of Student Success, a 15-member group consisting of college officials and policy experts, is charged with helping two-year colleges comply with a new federal requirement that degree-granting institutions report on their completion or graduation rates. The reporting requirement was included in the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, which also called for the creation of this advisory committee.
It's been quite a year. In some ways we've come a long way, in others—Bargaining, the Legislative session—it feels a little like we're stuck in neutral. We've lost a beloved friend and colleague, Deborah Evind, and we're there for another, Rowan Wolf, as she battles for her life.
So it almost seems anticlimactic for me to announce something so banal as: I'm retiring.
No, not completely from PCC, but from my full-time AP position in Financial Aid. I'm going to continue work as an adjunct in the CG department, teaching two classes I wrote, and may even teach a few more of them now that I have more time. And students do seem to find scholarship and financial literacy information pretty useful.
But more significant, it will allow me to not only continue my work as your president, but to fully expand the time I have available to actually to—at a higher level of quality—all the things that the president of the "flagship local" of the state AFT should be doing. And I won't be the first adjunct Fed president—we had one a decade ago for the year Michael Dembrow was in Africa on sabbatical.
Year One of a PCCFFAP president's term is always a challenge, as we deal with an election (last November, if you remember, didn't go well—part of why things aren't going well in Salem), with Bargaining, and with a Legislative session. My biggest challenge, as I took office last July, was the eleven empty seats on our 27-member Council. I was able to recruit some great Council members, and bring us to 25, and a re-shaping of the Publicist position. We've lost four this Spring, including CA math instructor Ann Sitomer taking her professional leave—a pretty normal attrition; but have added SY part-timer Heather Dittmore as our new secretary, and Heidi Edwards as our new AP vp for Extended Campus. So we're still looking for a full-time and part-time instructor from CA to join the Council this Fall. If you're interested, get in touch and we'll talk—it's going to be a great year!
So what will we be doing next year? Plenty! As advertised, I've long been frustrated by PCC's inability to deal with poor managers. We have over 160, and most range from adequate to great. But a small handful occupy the vast majority of our labor rep Michael Cannarella's time, and that's wrong. The college needs a strong system for ensuring that poor (or worse) managers aren't retained, and that's a key initiative I want to work on next year.
We'll keep you updated on the end stages of Bargaining over the next few weeks, even for those who aren't around much in the summer. Lead negotiator Ed DeGrauw will send regular updates, and I'll post bi-weekly Memos until we all get back together in September.
Michael M., thanking you for your supporting your Federation. We Are One.
First, I want to start by saying "thanks!" We've done great work for tens of thousands of PCC students. In mere weeks we've seen revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa (some still happening, people dying). We've seen a full-scale assault on working people in America, by a handful of corporate zillionaires and the politicians they've purchased. And we've seen an unbelievably devastating disaster hit Japan. Trying times. We pay attention, and help when we can, but we also keep coming to work, doing what we love, teaching and supporting the students who—in trying times—need us, and have PCC as a refuge. We teach and we comfort. Good work. Thanks. And enjoy the break if you get one—you've earned it.
Second…HELP!!! If you're going to be in town next week (my AP colleagues notwithstanding, because, hey, we sure are!) I'm hoping we can get volunteers to head to Salem to testify on issues vital to community colleges. At this point it looks like FACE legislation (Faculty and College Excellence—our drive toward equity for part-timers) hearings will be Tuesday, and community college budget hearings on Weds and Thurs. We'll assist you with prepping testimony, and those who would rather not testify, but are willing to attend, will be most welcome. Here's the Tuesday lineup. If you're interested please get in touch with AFT-OR legislative director Rob Wagner at: T: 503/595-3880 C: 503/705-4158 F: 503/595-3887 E: email@example.com (and let the Federation know!).
Testimony is providing important information to legislators, telling our stories. For FACE legislation it would be great to get as many part-time faculty as possible involved. Check with AFT-OR President, and PCC part-timer, David Rives (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info on the process of providing testimony. We can also possibly arrange carpooling.
Tuesday, March 22 – FACE "Next Steps" Bills (1-3pm)
House Bill 3118 - Improved Reporting including office hours AND
Testifiers: We need a panel of AFT-Oregon members who can testify on all three bills as well as members willing to come provide support
I already donate, but given that one of my hats is Financial Aid's scholarship coordinator, and I work, face-to-face, with hundreds of financially strapped students (that's almost redundant), so I'm going to make an offer:
Exec Chats this week: I'm going to be visiting Willow Creek and Metro as we work with staff, mostly APs, who will be receiving layoff notices in the next few days. Peter will be at Cascade Wednesday, noon, for coffee/tea and conversation. I'll be at Rock Creek on Thursday, same time. Both are in the campus TLCs.
Bargaining: We had our second full meeting last Friday, focusing on AP issues. We're going to be working with a large set of Part-time issues over the next couple sessions. To keep members informed—and ideally involved—we're going to schedule member meetings next term, but we want you to have more ways to stay connected, so at our last Council meeting we began the process of organizing BAT's, Bargaining Action Teams, on each campus. They'll be Council members, Worksite Leaders, and others who want to be involved, keeping campus colleagues updated with what's happening in bargaining. Ed DeGrauw, our lead negotiator, will still send out regular information as things develop, and we'll post it on our snappy new website, but having members on each campus staying involved will be invaluable. I hope you'll consider joining up when we announce things formally the first week of next term.
WEBSITE: Speaking of our updated website, some members may not be aware that we changed the address a while ago when PCCFF became PCCFFAP, adding Academic Professionals to Faculty Federation. We're now at www.pccffap.org. CA part-timer Scott Mazariegos and Membership Coordinator (and PT German instructor) Caralee Angell are doing great work updating it, so please—have a look.
Good luck with grading (faculty colleagues). I hope everyone gets a little R&R next week, and takes time to value our good fortune as we keep the people of Japan in our thoughts. As unions respond to the tragedy in Japan we'll get that information out to you on how you can participate if you'd like to.
First, a housekeeping item. We migrated our website, to align it with our new local name including academic professionals. Our new site is www.pccffap.org. You'll want to check it regularly as we roll out the new site. If you thought the new Gathering is looking much improved (and many of you do), you're going to really like the website.
A longtime Federation supporter, and one of PCC's clearest and most effective voices for women, Women's Resource Center founder Deborah Evind, was feted on Saturday at a fundraiser in her name supporting a Women's Leadership Scholarship. Two hundred (plus) Friends of Deborah gathered at a Gala at Tiffany Center in SW Portland and raised well over $30,000 to support endowing that scholarship, with 20+ Federation members in attendance. Deborah's legacy will live in perpetuity at PCC, and the amazing work she did for women at PCC will live in many of our memories forever.
Today, another 20+ Federation members traveled to Salem today to meet with legislators, listen to state officers, and rally with 600+ other unionists—including our co-sponsors for the day, the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA), at noon on the Capitol steps. We met with our legislators in groups of five to seven, making our case for support of community colleges and restoration of funding for Jobs (Steps to Success) programs at PCC. We'll keep you informed about that, and what you can do to weigh in, as things develop in Salem.
Exec Chat this week will focus on Southeast Campus, where Peter and I will meet with Fed members at 3:30 on Thursday in Mt. Scott 202. We'll be there until 5pm to talk bargaining, Bond, or anything else faculty and APs want to discuss. Coffee and tea provided, so please come by.
Finally, for those interested in what's happening in Wisconsin (and many of us are, as you've noted when contacting me), I'm going to offer a variety of ways (below, if you're interested) that will allow you to 1) get informed, 2) donate to support working people, and 3) physically participate in local activities. We're going to set up links on our website (yep, www.pccffap.org) that will keep you hooked up on a daily basis.
Wisconsin as Ground Zero for corporate billionaire's class war on working Americans:
Send a message of support to the Wisconsin 14, the Senate Democrats who've had to flee the state to halt the assault on public sector unions: http://www.weheartwisconsin.com/
On April 16, hundreds if not thousands of community members from all walks of life will join together to stand for jobs and benefits, not cuts. The march and rally will be in the spirit of Wisconsin – family friendly and strong in spirit.
Bring your friends and family. Bring your banners and signs. Wear your colors. Make your voice heard. Join us. Help get the word out. Please distribute this email widely. Become a sponsor. Distribute leaflets. Volunteer. Download our flyer and help distribute.
To sponsor, volunteer or for more information, call Chris at Jobs with Justice – 503.236.5573 or go to www.jwjpdx.org.
While the ongoing fight to preserve workers' rights in Wisconsin has dominated national headlines and inspired activism across the country, and even around the world, AFT members and our allies are engaged in similar struggles in many other states. Florida, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire and Ohio are among the places where we are fighting anti-union legislation—and seeing progress in restoring some sanity to public debates about how to deal with budget issues. Right-to-work legislation in Indiana, for example, has been tabled for now. And several Republican governors have said they do not want Wisconsin-type battles with public employee unions in their states.
To get state-by-state updates and find out how you can help, visit the AFT's new Web page: www.aft.org/difference. You'll find news updates, videos, online resources, links to social media and more.
AFL-CIO blogs regularly on what's going on in Wisconsin and other key states (like Ohio): http://blog.aflcio.org/
· New Tactic to Kill Faculty Unions March 3, 2011
Per your feedback, I'm going to stay focused on immediate Federation business for a while, so here's a quick list of what's going on:
Peter Seaman and I continue our Exec Chats. Peter will be at Metro this Wednesday, noon, (check with Rita White for particulars), and I'll be at SE on Thursday at noon (check with Minoo, Trina, Corrinne). We bring coffee and tea, you bring questions, ideas, peeves—we listen, sometimes give info, but always add all comments to our list of "things we are going to address."
The major upgrade of our website, by CA part-timer Scott Mazariegos and Caralee, is nearing completion (with "completion" referring to the current upgrade—we will be consistently tweaking the site to make it more effective). There will be a new Gathering posted in a week or so. If you haven't looked for a while, check out www.pccffap.org.
We have a record number of members attending this weekend's AFT Winter School in Newport, including several workplace reps, and I anticipate that we'll all come back with new ideas on a variety of topics (bargaining, grievances, organizing/serving membership) and energized with a new sense of commitment to strengthening our union—against new odds—in 2011. If you're thinking about increasing your membership commitment to the Federation, talk to a Council member at a membership meeting over the next two weeks to find out how.
And a quick reminder, Jan 31 is the deadline for the scholarships awarded through AFT. If you, or a child, will be attending college next year, have a look at the Shirley J. Gold, Carl J. Megel, and Albert F. Shanker Scholarships: http://or.aft.org/index.cfm?action=cat&categoryID=0810d54c-c1f7-47b9-9700-2ae0efe3238c
And, for those who still want a little information that extends beyond the PCC borders, but still affects us…
Also, there's a report on the American Graduation Initiative's (AGI) demise—it would have funneled $12 billion into community colleges to spur projects promoting much higher graduation rates, from Inside Higher Ed, Friday issue. A pared down Student Aid & Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) will provide a fraction of that, and not really produce much structural change in our ability to ramp up student success (via increased grad rates): http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/01/21/u_s_releases_guidelines_for_new_community_college_grant_program
| Become a part of AFT's lobbying team by joining the ACE program. Join with colleagues to lobby federal lawmakers on issues important to you and fellow members. Meet with members of Congress to discuss the economic stimulus package, the Employee Free Choice Act and other legislation that directly affects Oregon community colleges and higher education. To sign up for the program or request more information, contact Marcus Swift at AFT-Oregon.
Call 503-501-7669 or e-mail email@example.com
|Strength in the workplace and at the bargaining table requires strength in the political arena. The AFT-Oregon Political Action Fund helps to build political power. Contributions are eligible for Oregon's political tax credit, which means your state taxes can be reduced up to $50 for a single filer and $100 for joint filers.
Click here to make a voluntary contribution on your biweekly or monthly paycheck to AFT-Oregon PAF.
|AFT's Faculty and College Excellence (FACE) initiative is a national campaign to reverse the crisis in instructional staffing at our nation's colleges and universities. The campaign goals are designed to be phased in over time to ensure that there is no job loss for contingent faculty currently working at a college or university.
For more information about the FACE campaign, read our Call to Action.
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