Who We Are
The Portland State University Faculty Association (PSUFA) is a democratic union that provides member advocacy; negotiates pay and benefits through collective bargaining; administers benefits for adjunct faculty; and seeks to improve their position at the University. Our work, on behalf of all part-time faculty and researchers, is supported by member dues, the university budget, and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
PSUFA negotiated one of the first labor contracts in the nation for part-time faculty at a four-year college in 1979 (1). As of Fall 2016, 47% of the faculty at PSU work as adjunct faculty. We represent approximately 1,500 part-time faculty members over the course of an academic year; of that number we have 40.8% active members (2). “Fair-share” fees are automatically deducted from all faculty paychecks; becoming an active member ("Due-share") requires no additional financial contribution. Complete a membership form to become a "Due-share" member (PDF).
PSUFA is affiliated on a national level with AFT and the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations). On the state level, we are affiliated with AFT-Oregon. For nearly 40 years, we have worked together to establish the rights of part-time faculty for fair treatment in pay and working conditions as well as access to health care, job security, education, professional development, and academic freedom. Our first contract negotiations in 1979 produced a 25% wage increase, strengthened grievance procedures, increased job security, and assured faculty participation in teacher evaluation (3). Since that time, we have won additional benefits, the right to longer contracts, and pay increases that reflect faculty members’ years of service at the University.
The AFT has documented the decline of tenured faculty positions in higher education and has played a leading role in seeking to counter the negative implications of that trend. AFT is active in organizing part-time and other tenured, non-tenured, and contingent faculty in the belief that improving the pay, benefits, and working conditions for all faculty will help to end administrators’ reliance on “cheap labor” to maintain an ailing university system. In the long-run AFT and PSUFA contribute to an enriched and more stable learning environment for students and advocate for economic fairness in the university community.
1 Oregon Journal, Oct. 25, 1979, p. 19.
2 PSUFA records, July 18, 2016.
3 Oregon Journal, op. cit.
PSUFA Mission Statement. Our mission is:
- to represent part-time faculty and researchers at Portland State University and to facilitate communication between them and full-time faculty, staff and administrators at both Portland State University and within the Oregon State System of Higher Education.
- to improve the status of part-time faculty and researchers at Portland State University, and to cooperate with other organizations to better the conditions of academic workers generally so as to promote excellence in education, teaching and research.
- to negotiate and administer the collective bargaining agreement between the PSU Faculty Association and Portland State University.
AFT Mission Statement: The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.
AFT-OR Mission Statement: AFT-Oregon, a labor organization composed of autonomous locals with shared interests will:
- Provide coordinated advice, resources and education to affiliated locals;
- Be a strong unified voice in the labor movement, civic affairs and political action;
- Continue to bring new members into the labor movement;
In order to improve the quality of people’s working and personal lives through commitments to quality education, social justice and a powerful progressive labor movement.