January 24th, Community Care listening session, sponsored by PSU-AAUP

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who was able to attend last Monday’s Community Care listening session, and to those who contributed statements or reached out in support of the event! During the event, we heard a lot of concern from folks about burnout, precarity, and PSU’s ongoing troubles with the retention of students, staff, and faculty members. These are issues largely resonant with the PSU CoLab’s January Jamboree Faculty/Staff Collaboration Session, which identified the following three concerns for PSU: improving communication; giving structure to cluster work; and aligning workloads to goals. One thing we heard again and again during the listening session: care cannot only be about individual actions; care needs to be structural to be sustainable.

During another semester deeply affected by COVID-19, the PSU-AAUP would like to extend its gratitude to the staff and faculty who are going above and beyond their job descriptions to care for our students and each other. We express our solidarity with everyone on (and off) campus. From faculty to staff to students, from in-person to remote workers, we are all overextended due to the extra work we’ve been shouldering. 

At the same time, we continue to face dwindling numbers in our staff and faculty ranks, as we notice the emptier parking lots, empty offices, and lonesome break rooms. The PSU-AAUP will continue to advocate for labor equity for all campus constituents, strive to develop a caring and compassionate work environment, and educate our community about how employee wellness supports our key mission of serving students. By working together we can get back some of the PSU that is our favorite place to work and to learn.

Later this month, you’ll hear more from our Membership Action Committee about the Community Care campaign, which will continue with a Work/Life Balance pledge that we hope will continue conversations about sustainable, structural care at PSU.

Solidarity,

The PSU-AAUP Executive Committee                       

Nic Helms (President)

Matthew Cheney (Secretary)

Alice Pearman (Treasurer)

Jennifer Kamorowski (At-Large)

Rebecca Noel (At-Large)

Elliott Gruner (Past President)

Scott Coykendall (Chief Negotiator)

Mark Fischler (Grievance Committee chair)Nick Sevigney (Membership Action Committee Chair, non-voting)   


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