18 October 2019
4 November 2019
LCC Faculty Colleagues,
I’m writing with updates on workshops and required professional development, faculty survey results, bargaining, college budget, and more.
Workshops and required professional development
You may have read an email from the new Chief Human Resources Officer, Shane Turner, regarding required trainings and cultural competence professional development. You may have also received an email with links to a required “SafeCollege” video training on FERPA and possibly other topics. The college does wish to develop a list of new professional development requirements for faculty, but that list is not yet complete. The Association has committed to work collaboratively with the College to address professional development needs once that list has been finalized by the College. In the meantime, there are no new required workshops.
Regarding cultural competence professional development, LCCEA fully supports CCPD and has made proposals since April (and in past negotiations) that require the same professional development hours as those indicated by Greg Evans, AVP for Equity and Inclusion, in his recent memo to all employees. The College did not make any proposals about this issue (in this contract negotiation or previous ones) until Oct 28 when they incorporated some of our language into a new proposal but have yet to put in writing compensation for part-time faculty for any additional hours of professional development time, which is, of course, an equity issue in its own right. More information will be provided as it develops.
Results from the All-Faculty Survey
By and large, faculty members are fully engaged and committed in this bargaining process. 333 faculty members – a record number — participated in the survey between Oct 21 through Oct 28, 2019. Participants include all categories of faculty: contracted, temporary contracted, part-time, part-time flight tech, part-time coaches, and part-time faculty who are retired (from LCC or elsewhere) but who are working as part-time faculty at LCC as well as both members and non-members of LCCEA. (The previous survey maximum was 225 faculty participants.)
Results indicate overwhelming support for bargaining goals across all sectors of the faculty as well as exceptionally strong commitment to a fair contract and the steps it will take to achieve one.
One of the most notable trends in the survey is the broad support for goals, regardless of faculty status. For example, the survey indicates that both part-time and full-time faculty strongly support the goals of incrementally increasing part-time faculty salaries on a per credit basis and establishing a minimum number of full-time positions as well as movement of part-time faculty coaches to the part-time salary schedule.
Thus, broadly speaking, faculty demonstrate significant commitment to equity and fairness for all faculty, regardless of whether they stand to individually benefit from a particular goal (e.g. steps, for which a relatively small percentage are eligible due to large percentages already at the top of all the salary schedules).
Furthermore, the survey results underscore significant concerns among faculty about college budgetary expenditures and choices that are drifting further from the instructional and student services mission. For instance, more than 70% of faculty respondents oppose or strongly oppose the creation of new administration positions such as a third Vice President, College Attorney, and Chief of Staff manager with, by far, the largest number of faculty choosing “strongly oppose.”
The results also indicate the critical need to improve part-time faculty working conditions and compensation as evidenced by the following. Part-time faculty (all categories of PT faculty) juggle other jobs while working as a faculty members at LCC.
65.1% report having one or more other jobs.
36.9% report having one other job.
20.1% report having two other jobs.
8.1% report having three or more other jobs.
While working as a faculty member at LCC, part-time faculty report having relied on government assistance such as food stamps, unemployment, housing assistance, or other similar supports as follows.
22.6% of part-time faculty (all categories of PT faculty) report having relied on government assistance while working as a faculty member at LCC.
25.9% of part-time faculty (all categories of PT faculty EXCEPT retirees who are working as part-time faculty at LCC) report having relied on government assistance while working as a faculty member at LCC.
Part-time and full-time faculty alike suffer the burden of student debt.
5% of part-time faculty and 6.4% of contracted faculty report having current student debt of $100,000 or more.
13.2% of part-time faculty report current student debt of $50,000 or more.
18.2% of part-time faculty report current student debt of $30,000 or more.
6.8% of part-time faculty and 7.0% of contracted faculty report having previous student debt highest balances of $100,000 or more.
It is critical that we improve faculty working conditions and compensation in order to fully focus on serving our students.
Bargaining and Actions to Support a Fair Contract
As you are likely aware, the bargaining process took a glacial pace through early October. However, the College and Board of Education members are certainly taking note of the many actions and expressions of support by innumerable faculty at this point, from the Inservice day action to the October Board meeting to the campus signs and letters pouring into their email boxes. Take heart –we are having an impact. Thank you to everyone who has participated and continues to do so!
Action Team Co-Chairs, Wendy Simmons and Lee Imonen, along with the Action Team and LCCEA Executive Council, have a number of upcoming activities planned. You will likely hear from the Action Team Reps, Faculty Organizers, your Department Reps and other union reps over the next few weeks.
Save the dates:
The Action Team has two dates reserved for upcoming events and will share details about these and other actions over the course of the rest of the term.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 – Stop by the LCCEA tables in the cafeteria between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a unique message and treat.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 – Plan to attend the Board of Education meeting wearing red. The Action Team will provide more details about dinner and child care reimbursement to help remove any barriers to attendance.
Community College Funding and College Budget
You are likely aware the legislature made an increased allocation to community colleges set at $640.9+ million. This means that Lane Community College will receive approximately $2.25 million more per year than projected.
In addition to the $2.25 Million from the state, which is on top of the already balanced budget for this year, the College and Board have noted several other new revenue sources – also coming in on top of the balanced budget — including the $500,000 sale of the old downtown center building, an approx. $400,000 offer for purchase of a parcel of college-owned land in Florence, a $2.2 Million Title III grant, a $1.2 Million deal with Pacific University, and no less than $300,000 this year from Follett, the outsourced bookstore operator.
At a time when funding is strong and enrollment has stabilized, instructional spending at LCC is still below the national average and continues to decrease while faculty salaries have fallen behind inflation by more than 8%, and one in four part-time faculty members has had to rely on government assistance while working at LCC, and the number of full-time faculty decreased again this year, it is clear that the direction of Lane Community College must change.
The College’s current offer to faculty is not sufficient to begin to remedy these concerns and appears out of step with the context of labor negotiations within the state and nation, the optimistic college budget, and the will of the legislature in awarding us more funding.
The faculty of Lane Community College – part-time and full-time faculty alike — are standing together in solidarity and are demonstrating a commitment to a fair contract that will help ensure that Lane carries on its mission into the future.
As a member of the faculty, I am deeply proud to stand together with all of you as colleagues.
Thank you for all that you have done to contribute to this effort and for all that you do as faculty every day!
LCCEA Releases “Lane Community College: A Diminishing Focus on Instruction” Report by Independent Researcher
Compared to other public, two year colleges in the U.S., LCC is below average for instructional spending. In FY2017, 35.4% of LCC’s spending was on instruction, compared to the national average of 42.6%.
While Management and Classified FTE have increased in recent years, faculty FTE trended downwards. Compared to FY2011-12, in FY2020 Managers FTE is 9% higher while full-time faculty FTE is 20% lower.
Among 367 part-time faculty instructors who worked the 2018-19 school year, median pay was $17,135. A full-time minimum wage worker in Lane County earns $23,400 a year.
65% of LCC’s part-time faculty work other jobs, and over one-in-four work two or more other jobs.
Excluding retirees who are working as part-time faculty, 26% of part-time faculty have relied on government assistance while working at LCC.
Morris’ analysis concludes, “Statewide enrollment decline and reduced funding have impacted college resources, but spending allocations that have failed to prioritize instruction and faculty have exacerbated these trends at LCC.”
After the legislature increased investment in community colleges by more than 12% this biennium, LCC has not allocated new funding to instruction to remedy these trends this year. Instead, LCC officials have created new management positions, including a third vice president, and have not shared plans of how they intend to spend the rest of the $2 – 2.25 million annual increase in state funding this year.
Faculty members at Lane Community College have been working without a contract since July 1 and tensions on campus are heating up. “Our salaries are already 8% behind inflation, and under the administration’s 1% offer / “step freeze” for this year, we would fall even farther behind.” says faculty member and LCC Education Association president Adrienne Mitchell. “But this contract is not just about wages. It’s about the future of Lane Community College and what is best for our students.”
The faculty call on LCC officials to adequately fund the instructional mission of the college.
See Full Report Here: LCCTrends_web
LCC Faculty Colleagues,
Your LCCEA Bargaining Team met again with the College on Monday. The three-hour meeting focused largely on a discussion of the college’s interests regarding evaluations.
The College declined to provide an updated economic offer despite the fact that the College budget has been balanced since early April and despite the overwhelmingly good news from Salem. The legislature is set to make allocations to community colleges at nearly $641 Million dollars, a $50 Million increase from February, which will result in an additional $2 Million in funding to LCC each year for the next two years.
The College’s offer remains at $0 with a 0% cost of living adjustment and a “step freeze.”
We will be back at the table in early October when the College has stated that they will provide an updated offer.
Your LCCEA Bargaining Team:
Elections for LCCEA Officers for 2019 – 2021 are now open.
The following nominations were received and accepted:
Vice President At-large: Russell Shitabata
Vice President for Learning Advancement: Wendy Simmons
Vice President for Part-Time Faculty: Nancy Wood
Vice President for Professional Technical Faculty: Christina Howard
Vice President for Transfer Credit: Lee Imonen
Treasurer: Marge Helzer
Voting is open through 5 p.m., Friday, June 7th, 2017.
If you still have trouble voting, please email email@example.com
LCC Faculty Colleagues,
I’m writing with more updates on bargaining, college budget, and statewide legislative issues.
If you have not done so, please read the bargaining update provided by your LCCEA Bargaining Team last week. The LCCEA presented extensive data including:
- the erosion of faculty salaries,
- the inadequate compensation of part-time faculty causing some to be eligible for food stamps even while working half-time
- the significant recent decrease in contracted faculty positions.
The LCCEA proposal would make substantial strides toward pay equity for part-time faculty as well as establish a threshold for contracted faculty positions.
The College presented an offer of $0 / 0% salary schedule increase (COLA) and zero steps for all faculty (a step “freeze”).
This is the worst offer the college has provided to the faculty in the forty-four year history of the LCCEA.
Please keep your eyes peeled for additional information from the Action Team, LCCEA Organizer John Groves, and your department rep(s) as we work toward a reasonable agreement with the college. In the meantime, please share your stories about how working part-time has impacted you or your students and/or how not filling vacant full-time positions has impacted you, your program, or your department at: https://forms.gle/Ey1io5hC197ENZDV8
While there was a significant projected deficit for next year, there is now a balanced budget proposal ready for Board of Education and Budget Committee approval. The Board voted last Thursday to outsource the campus bookstore and on April 1 to increase tuition, after an earlier vote to outsource Food Services as well. These changes will undoubtedly impact the campus community and especially students and staff. On a positive note, college administrators have made a commitment to involve faculty leaders in the evaluation of any proposed contract with Barnes and Noble in order to ensure that such a contract protects academic freedom as well as free, unfettered use of OERs.
Despite the substantial deficit that had been projected for next year, there are a number of factors impacting the budget positively. State funding is up slightly; tuition will be generate more revenue, and the projected deficit included $6.4 million in vacant positions as well as other expenses that had been carried over (e.g major maintenance funding) at levels exceeding regular allocations. In addition, enrollment has improved and is also much better relative to other mid-sized / large community colleges in the state, which will positively affect Lane’s percentage of the state allocation. All these factors combined portend a budget that is objectively better than many recent years.
The key to fiscal sustainability at LCC depends not only on state funding but also on reforming college budgeting practices and ensuring that allocations and expenditures align with the mission and the primary purpose of LCC as an institution of higher education.
Better choices are possible.
For instance, some pressure on the college budget stems from the college-owned Titan Court apartment building, which has expenses that exceed revenues by approximately $635K per year. That $635K net-loss is being paid out of the general fund this year. This reduces available funds for essential programs and student services. If the College continues with current practice by keeping the apartment complex, the annual payments will continue through 2036 in order to pay off the debt, which totals approximately $16M.
In addition, based on information provided to LCCEA, LCCCEF, and Management Steering Committee (MSC), it appears the College is now planning to fill 11 vacant or new manager positions, bringing the total up to 72 for next year. At the same time 13 full-time faculty positions are slated to be filled for a total of approximately 202, which will still result in a decrease in contracted positions for next year, continuing the recent practice of replacing contracted faculty vacancies by hiring new part-time members paid far less to teach the same classes.
The LCCEA has called for a college-wide staffing analysis of all employee groups from all funds in order to begin the process of aligning expenditures to the mission — to instruction and student services. Such an analysis and alignment of budget allocations with needs would preclude across-the-board cuts, which disparately impact some departments, especially instructional departments with growing enrollment. Share your voice in advocating for adding sections whenever classes are full and additional sections should be added — the college generally sets aside funding for sections based on demand, and your instructional deans can play an important role in accessing such funds. You will find here a list of additional strategies for fiscal sustainability that I presented to the Board of Education last week: Long-termStrategiesforSustainableBudget
Legislative and Statewide issues:
Community College Funding
While better choices are possible for the LCC budget, it is also true that additional funding is necessary from the state. When adjusted for inflation, state allocations for community colleges have remained stagnant and have placed additional burden on students to cover an increasing percentage of their educational costs.
There has been a significant push in advocacy for community college funding over the past two weeks, both locally and statewide. LCCEA has engaged Career Technical (CT) faculty in a letter-writing campaign to the governor and state legislators with a focus on increasing funding for the CCSF as well as advocacy for the $70M proposed for additional funding to expand CT programs at community colleges. Thank you to the many faculty who have participated, and a special thank you to Sharon Hagan and Christina Howard, who have shared their letters publicly. You can access them on the LCCEA website at: https://lccea.org/ In addition, LCCEA coordinated a statewide effort expanding the letter writing campaign to include community colleges throughout the state.
Read it in the Register Guard Today!
Finally, I had the great pleasure of collaborating with LCC’s student body President, Nick Keough, in writing an Op-Ed to advocate for CC funding — it was published in today’s Register-Guard, and you will find it at: https://www.registerguard.com/opinion/20190416/keough-and-mitchell-vital-community-colleges-forced-to-scale-back
You have likely read about Governor Brown’s proposed changes to PERS. She proposed that employees who are currently working and part of Tier 1 or 2 would have to dedicate 3% of earnings (after the first $20K) to a fund to offset the unfunded PERS balance for current retirees. This 3% would be diverted from individual retirement accounts to a separate fund for 14 years or until the time when the PERS system becomes fully funded. For OPSRP members (AKA Tier 3), the percentage diverted from individual accounts would be 1.5%. This proposal would certainly affect K-12. However, it is unclear at this time whether community college employees would be impacted. The governor made reference to a separate fund / similar system for public higher ed employees, but there are no details available as this would likely depend on any resulting legislation. Meanwhile, other legislators including Senate President Courtney and House Speaker Kotek have announced they are working on their own proposal.
The OEA has responded quickly and strongly to this potential change. In addition, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia has spoken with the governor to advocate on behalf of Oregon educators, asking if the governor wishes to be the only one in the nation to propose reducing teacher compensation at a time when public educators nationwide are increasingly engaged in campaigns to increase direly needed funding for education.
You may wish to contact the governor to express support for community college funding or to share your opinion on proposed PERS reforms at: https://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/share-your-opinion.aspx
Part-time faculty insurance
Senate Bill 852, which would provide insurance to part-time faculty statewide through OEBB and would result in a net increase to the LCC budget of approximately $1 – $1.4M, has been moved by the Senate to the Ways and Means Committee with a “do pass” recommendation. OEA, in coalition with AFT-O, AAUP, and other higher education alliance members, has strongly advocated for this bill an will continue this important effort.
Community College Member Interests
OEA is currently conducting a statewide survey of community college members. Your input is important. In addition, LCCEA welcomes any feedback you may have regarding communications you receive from OEA.
Board of Education Endorsement
A reminder — there are several positions on the Board of Education up for election in May. LCCEA endorses Lisa Fragala, who has been advocating consistently for community college funding at the state level and who continues to ask critical questions on the Board to ensure that the college budget is developed on a rational basis. All supporters are invited to a canvassing event this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at 224 E. 11th Ave.
Save the Date: Statewide Educator Day of Action May 8
Save the date for the statewide educator day of action! This will be an opportunity to publicly demonstrate the need for increased funding from the state.
Thank you for all that you do every day as faculty members at Lane.