April 6, 2014
PSU and faculty union reach tentative contract agreement that averts a strike
Portland State University and the American Association of University Professors reached a tentative contract settlement Sunday after marathon weekend negotiations that avoids a threatened faculty strike.
“We are pleased to announce that we have come to a fair agreement with the AAUP that offers salary increases for faculty for each of the next two years and settles the issue of the union’s role in tenure and promotion and post-tenure review guidelines,” said PSU President Wim Wiewel. “The agreement also is fiscally responsible for PSU, as our priority has been to balance our budget and protect academic and student programs.”
Mary King, PSU economics professor who is president of the campus chapter of the AAUP, said: “PSU faculty and academic professionals are very happy to have reached an agreement with the PSU administration that retains valued contract protections for the faculty role in university governance, increases the stability of the faculty by significantly increasing the proportion of full-time, non-tenure track faculty on two or three-year contracts, creates a clear mechanism for inclusive planning for academic quality and provides for a more equitable pay structure. We look forward to working more closely together with PSU students, part-time faculty, staff and administration to make PSU the university our students and city deserve.”
The agreement ends a year of contract negotiations with the AAUP, which represents 1,200 tenured and tenure-track professors, fixed-term faculty and academic professionals. Contract terms were hammered out with the help of state mediators after representatives for PSU and AAUP spent 32 hours in negotiations Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. The agreement must be ratified by AAUP-represented faculty later this month.
Under the contract terms, the largest increases go to the lowest paid AAUP-represented faculty and academic professionals. Details include:
· All salaries increased to at least $40,000.
· 2.5 percent salary increases effective at the beginning of both 2014 and 2015.
· An additional one-time salary increase of 1.5 percent for tenure, tenure track and fixed-term faculty in fiscal year 2014-15 to help faculty salaries move closer to their peers at comparative institutions.
· Better job security for non-tenure track faculty by increasing the length of contracts for the most senior faculty members and shortening time for eligibility.
· Agreement regarding promotion and tenure and post-tenure review guideline roles: the Faculty Senate will be responsible for drafting a new post-tenure review process and AAUP will retain a role in approving changes to promotion and tenure processes.
· For certain academic professionals, a one-time salary increase in fiscal year 2014-15, based on years of service, to address salary compression issues.
The agreement is the final contract settlement involving PSU’s represented employees. Part-time adjunct faculty represented by the American Federation of Teachers and classified staff represented by the Service Employees International Union approved contracts with PSU last year.
Portland State University is the largest and most diverse university in Oregon with 29,000 students.
“The PSU community – faculty, students, administration and staff – can now come together for a successful and uninterrupted spring term,” President Wiewel said.