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Board and Federation Sign Four-Year Contract

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PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Community College Board of Directors and the federation representing faculty and educational specialists signed a four-year contract on April 26. The contract, retroactive to September 1, 2000, will be in effect until August 31, 2004. The new contract completes the merger of the bargaining unit for part-time faculty with the bargaining unit for full-time faculty and education specialists under a single contract. The college employs 500 full-time and as many as 1,200 part-time faculty in the course of a year. They provide instruction to 45,600 credit and 51,300 non-credit students each year.The contract provides the faculty and academic professionals with salary increases of 3.5 percent annually, plus additional compensation for part-time faculty to hold office hours for student consultations and an adjustment to bring part-time pay rates in line with competitor colleges. The agreement also makes some structural changes in the salary schedule and increases the pool for health insurance for some of the part-time faculty. Currently the college provides a $35,000 contribution to a trust fund maintained by the Federation for eligible part-time faculty who do not have access to health insurance through their families or other employment. That contribution will increase to $110,000 by the fourth year of the contract. The average annual cost of the contract is $2.3 million out of a general fund budget that exceeds $100 million. "The board is pleased that the contract provides additional benefits to the part-time faculty,"said board chair Karen McKinney. "As the college enrollment has increased in the past few years, so has our reliance on part-time faculty. They provide valuable services to the college and our students and we are recognizing in this contract the work they perform both inside and outside of the classroom." Faculty Federation President Michael Dembrow, who teaches English at the Cascade Campus, noted that the agreement makes progress in bringing part-time pay rates more into line with the rates paid by other colleges in the area and to full-time faculty. "By the fourth year of the contract, our part-time faculty will be paid 68 percent of what the full-timers are paid. It is less than what we hoped for, but certainly a step in the right direction."Other provisions of the contract include: A number of language changes that provide greater flexibility in work schedules and assignments.Maintenance of competitive salary levels for full-time faculty, allowing PCC to recruit top-quality faculty in all fields.An increase in the cap on the college’s monthly insurance contribution for full-time faculty and education specialists by $10 the first year and $20 each subsequent year.A regular schedule for assessments of part-time faculty, and agreement on part-time faculty class assignments and office hours.Language relating to a variety of issues about providing distance learning instruction.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »