PSU-AAUP: 2016–a very successful year

Posted by  Margaret Butler   in       Dec 18, 2016     1052 Views     Comments Off on PSU-AAUP: 2016–a very successful year  

by José Padín, President, PSU-AAUP

At Portland State University, the AAUP chapter ends the year with a lot to be proud about.

I will share some highlights here, but just in case I lose you midway, I want to start with thanks.

Many thanks to all the members of the Executive Council — all volunteer member-leaders — those who ended their terms in April, and those currently on the EC. Many thanks to all of our members serving on task forces.

Here are some highlights from our year 2016.

Our membership is at an historic high of 83 percent of all faculty and academic professionals.

We concluded a new collective bargaining agreement that makes wonderful strides for PSU. Non-Tenure Track faculty now qualify for continuous appointments, and the guidelines for peer review have been completed. A new sick leave bank was established. Sabbaticals have better funding, and all faculty and academic professionals now have individual personal development accounts. Those are just some of the highlights. Much credit to our Collective Bargaining Team of volunteer member-leaders; to Pam Miller (Social Work faculty), who finished her term as President in April; and to Leanne Serbulo (University Studies faculty), who finished her term as Vice President for Collective Bargaining. Thanks Pam and Leanne!

Many thanks to our new VP for Collective Bargaining, David Hansen, for successfully leading our new Collective Bargaining Team, and the various task forces and workgroups that have been working on Equity and Compensation, Non-Tenure Track Faculty review, intellectual property rights, and much more.

This year we created a new position of Vice-President for Membership and Organizing, a deliberate effort to make our governance structure reflect our strategic priorities. Kellie Gallagher (Intensive English Language Program faculty) was elected our first VP for Membership and Organizing and we have felt her thunder immediately, with the start of a new faculty conversations series that has already galvanized women faculty and academic professionals, and faculty and academic professionals of color. We look forward to caucuses for these groups of colleagues forming inside our union, and to the two conversations scheduled for next term (LGBTQ and parents). Thank you Kellie!

In 2016 we also say a successful roll-out of a new Post-Tenure Review process offering much needed mid-career recognition and rewards for faculty. PTR provides an excellent illustration of the strongest form of faculty and academic professional shared-governance in action: our Faculty Senate developed the review criteria, while our AAUP union helped refine the process for fairness and is here to defend faculty members when they perceive there has been an irregularity in their review.

We look forward to a successful 2017 and wish the same to all PSU academic professionals and faculty.