Black Lives Matter

The Lane Community College Education Association (LCCEA) expresses deep sadness about the senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky; Ahmaud Aubery in Brunswick, Georgia; and so many others. We stand in solidarity with those demanding swift justice and with the Black community, affirming that Black lives do matter. We are committed to advocating for the well-being of our colleagues, students, campus, and community members who are victims of racism, violence, and oppression, as well as supporting the eradication of institutional racism, inequity, and injustice in all their forms.

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Update for Faculty on Proposed Speech Restriction policy

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

We are writing with an update regarding the proposed Board policy to restrict speech on campus.

The Chair of the LCC Board of Education indicated in an email to LCCEA officers that the Board may renew its consideration of a speech restriction policy on the premise that the College might be vulnerable if it does not restrict the speech of internal groups such as faculty, LCCEA, and students in the same manner that external groups are restricted in the existing COPPS policy

OEA-appointed attorney Aruna Masih analyzed the proposed Board policy and the claim that the College must restrict the speech of internal groups in the same manner as as external groups who have no affiliation with Lane Community College. She concludes as follows. 

“We write to provide the Association guidance regarding its member speech and organizing rights to allow it to analyze the legality of policies being proposed by the Lane Community College. Of particular interest to the Association at this time is: (1) whether the college is constitutionally required to apply the same time, place, and manner policy restrictions to speech of the Association and students which it applies to the speech of external groups and (2) whether the college may lawfully enact policies restricting the speech and advocacy rights of the Association and its members protected by the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA), ORS 243.650-243.806. The answer to both questions is “no” as explained further below.”

The full memo with complete legal analysis is attached.

Your Association

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NEW MOA – Section 125/FSA

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

Your LCCEA Bargaining Team has reached an agreement regarding College contributions to Section 125 medical reimbursement accounts, effective with the current open enrollment for the 2023 calendar year.  The deadline to enroll for 2023 is November 29, 2022.

As reported previously, IRS rules changed, which is why the parties negotiated over this issue at this time.

The complete agreement is here. You will also find a summary below.

For all faculty who participate in Sec. 125 medical reimbursement accounts, the $240 minimum faculty contribution per calendar year remains the same.

For faculty with employee-only insurance, the College will continue to contribute $450 per year to Sec. 125 for participating faculty members.

For faculty with employee plus partner/spouse or employee plus child(ren) insurance, College contributions and payments will be as follows.

  1. For faculty contributing up to $500, the College will contribute $500, and faculty will also receive a stipend of $160.
  2. For faculty contributing $501- $699.99, the College will match the faculty member’s contribution up to $699.99. In addition, the faculty member will receive a stipend, based on the formula: ($700 – faculty member’s contribution) divided by 1.25. For example, if a faculty member contributes $600, the stipend will be $80. (700-600)/1.25 = 80.
  3. For faculty contributing $700 or more, the College will contribute $700.

For faculty with full family insurance, College contributions and payments will be as follows. 

  1. For faculty contributing up to $500, the College will contribute $500, and faculty will also receive a stipend of $320.
  2. For faculty contributing $501- $899.99, the College will match the faculty member’s contribution up to $899.99. In addition, the faculty member will receive a stipend, based on the formula: ($600 – faculty member’s contribution) divided by 1.25. For example, if a faculty member contributes $600, the stipend will be $240. (900-600)/1.25 =240.
  3. For faculty contributing $900 or more, the College will contribute $900.

Open enrollment is taking place now for Section 125 accounts for the 2023 calendar year. Please see updates from HR for details or visit the HR website at: https://www.lanecc.edu/administration/human-resources/employee-benefits/section-125 

Also, please remember that any contributions to Section 125 accounts that are not used by March 15 of the subsequent year are forfeited, so it is important to keep that in mind when deciding the amount to contribute.

Your LCCEA Bargaining Team

Cynthia Campos

Adrienne Mitchell

Nancy Wood

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Update on Proposed Board Policies

Dear colleagues,

I am proud and humbled to stand together with you all, to work with you as faculty colleagues, and to collaborate with our classified colleagues.

Last night, the Board of Education changed course and removed the speech restriction policy from their agenda after hearing numerous eloquent and compelling speakers over the better part of an hour of public testimony. In addition, the Board postponed consideration of the copyright and intellectual property rights policies in order to allow for more time for deliberation.

LCCEA will, of course, stay abreast of these issues and will strive to notify faculty of any upcoming discussions about these policies and will continue to advocate to preserve speech rights on campus, to ensure hate speech continues to be prohibited, to protect faculty intellectual property rights, and to encourage development and unrestricted sharing of open educational resources.

In the meantime, please know that your voices, your statements, your presence, the Faculty Council statements, and LCCEF solidarity were impactful in changing the course of the Board at the meeting and in upholding some of the democratic principles we hold most dear, which are fundamental to an institution of higher education, and which we strive to foster in engagement with students.

In solidarity, with appreciation and humility,

Adrienne

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Statement from LCCEA and LCC OER Librarian on Proposed Copyright Policy

To: President Bulger and Board of Education Members

From: LCCEA and LCC OER Librarian

Date: October 27, 2022

Re: Proposed Copyright Policy

Dear President Bulger and members of the Board of Education,

We are writing as representatives of the 450 part-time and full-time faculty at Lane Community College to share our concerns about the proposed Board policy on copyright. 

First, it is not consistent with Article 18 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with faculty, which protects faculty members’ intellectual property rights. Our CBA (“contract”) between the LCC Board of Education and the LCCEA provides that faculty retain intellectual property rights over their work as long as they have not received compensation (e.g., curriculum development funding) or release time specifically for the development of the work. If the College does not compensate or provide release to faculty specifically to develop work such as curricular materials, lecture notes, etc., the faculty member retains rights for what they have created. In addition, if the faculty member is compensated or released specifically for the purpose of producing materials and the materials are later used commercially, the faculty member retains equity in the materials after the college recovers its investment. This protection for faculty intellectual property rights is a long-settled issue, which has been in place since at least 1985. 

It is unclear why there would be a proposal that the Board adopt a policy that could violate a contract with an employee group. Such a policy could not be enforced because contracts supersede policy.  We think it would send the wrong message and could be legally questionable for the Board to adopt a policy that would violate a collective bargaining agreement if implemented.

Second, copyrighting OERs (open educational resources) developed by faculty would contravene the entire purpose of OERs, which is to provide open access to free instructional materials to students and to share them among faculty within and across institutions. For OERs, a much more appropriate approach for faculty who create them and wish to share them would be to add open licenses to their works. Ensuring that LCC copyrights are not added to OERs is critical for keeping overall costs down for students here at LCC and anywhere OERs developed by LCC faculty are used.

Third, copyrighting the work of employees and students impacts many individuals beyond faculty. If such a policy were implemented, who would advocate for students and their rights to their own work? Is it appropriate for students’ artwork and writings to be owned by the College? 

We urge you to discontinue consideration of adopting the copyright policy and encourage you to consider what problems the policy seeks to solve and engage all stakeholder groups, including experts, in addressing the actual issues. If the Board nevertheless moves forward to adopt any copyright policy, we urge you to include language indicating it applies, “except as provided by collective bargaining agreements and any other agreements,” given that this issue is a mandatory subject of bargaining, which means negotiation is required, and at least one contract addresses this issue already.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this issue and your commitment to Lane Community College.

LCCEA Officers

Adrienne Mitchell, President

Aryn Bartley, Secretary

Marge Helzer, Treasurer

Christina Howard, Vice President for Career Technical Faculty

Rosa Lopez, Vice President for Faculty At-Large

Peggy Oberstaller, Vice President for Part-Time Faculty

Wendy Simmons, Vice President for Learning Advancement

Kate Sullivan, Vice President for Transfer Faculty

LCC Faculty OER Librarian

Meggie Wright

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LCCEF & LCCEA Statement on Proposed Speech Restriction Policy

To: President Bulger and Board of Education Members

From: LCCEF & LCCEA

Date: October 27, 2022

Re: Proposed Speech Restriction Policy

Dear President Bulger and Members of the Board of Education, 

We are sharing our concerns about the proposed speech restriction policy on behalf of the 200 full-time and 250 part-time faculty and 250 full-time and 150 part-time classified professionals of Lane Community College.

LCC already has a “time, place, and manner” restriction policy for external groups who come on campus (attached). Among other things, this existing policy was developed by a College Council Taskforce after an outside anti-abortion group with extra-large format photos set up a display on Bristow Square a few years ago. The Taskforce worked for a year to develop a policy that would not abrogate the Constitutional speech rights of outside groups, yet would provide some limitations on how, when, and where such speech could occur. The policy was fully supported by stakeholder groups, passed through the shared governance system, and also underwent a legal review.

What the new proposed Board policy would do is expand time, place and manner speech restrictions to everyone on campus, limiting speech by students, employees, employee unions, and anyone affiliated with LCC. Students and employees are already subject to disciplinary action if they were to take actions that are disruptive to the learning environment (e.g., shouting with a bullhorn into a math class – the example given in the Board meeting). According to our attorney, LCC is not legally required to adopt a new time, place, manner speech restriction policy that expands the existing policy, which governs outside groups, to now apply also to students and employees.

What the new proposed policy would mean is that the limited designated public fora would have restrictions that limit the time, place, and manner of speech (e.g., decibel level, poster size, timing). Speech such as student posters, union flyers, student government candidate signs for ASLCC representatives, etc. could be limited to posting in the public forum locations and within the guidelines established. We are especially concerned about the suggestion that Bristow Square would not be a public forum. It has long been the public heart of our campus with events such as: student-led voter registration, the Pow Wow, a memorial for victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting, a student-faculty-classified jointly sponsored rally with speakers from administration and the Board of Education about funding for higher education, and so many more. 

Furthermore, the remainder of campus would be explicitly designated as a non-public forum. This means the rest of campus could have more stringent restrictions on speech. For instance, a model Linn-Benton policy cited as an example for the Board limits the content and topics of expression (e.g. posters, speech, other types of expressive acts) in all non-public forum locations, including offices and classrooms. This is precisely the type of policy and legislation that is increasingly proposed across the country to limit speech that advocates for or protects marginalized groups. One example in Oregon is the Newberg School District, which prohibited students’ and employees’ display of pride flags and Black Lives Matter signs – which was the subject of a lawsuit that ultimately overturned the policy. See also the UCLA Critical Race Forward project tracking these efforts to ban symbols, language, and curriculum across the nation.

In addition, the proposed LCC Board policy also expressly protects students’ rights to wear buttons and badges and to post to bulletin boards, but allows no similar protections for employees. 

Furthermore, after consultation with our attorney, we believe the proposed policy and/or rules created as described in the work session would violate the rights of unions under Oregon’s Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act, which allow unions specific rights and protections to access facilities and employees, to meet, and to communicate, including through banners and signs – rights for public employee unions reinforced and supported by case law.

The proposed speech restriction policy also stands in stark contrast to another existing policy on the freedom of inquiry and the freedom of expression, which emphasizes the importance of democratic principles as foundational for an educational institution and student learning. This existing freedom of inquiry and expression policy also protects the rights of members of the campus community to “ freely and peaceably assemble and demonstrate in accordance with the exercise of constitutional rights, so long as such activity does not impede the rights and freedom of others” – rights which the proposed new Board policy would curtail.

In addition to all the reasons above, speech restrictions are strictly scrutinized by the Court and highly controversial. For this reason, they are likely to result in lawsuits. 

Furthermore, the new proposed policy undermines and circumvents our shared governance system, adding policies that contravene collectively determined and already approved and legally reviewed governance policies. 

In sum, we believe the new policy and its implications undermine the foundational principles of our vibrant democracy and the quintessential function of an institution of higher education.

Finally, while we have concerns about the proposed speech restriction policy, we wish to clarify that we strongly support a policy that prohibits hate speech. LCC does have a policy that prohibits hate speech and other types of bias incidents. (Please see: https://inside.lanecc.edu/copps/documents/bias-incident ).

We urge you to remove this proposal from your agenda, discontinue proposals to limit speech on campus, and ensure that campus stakeholders and the shared governance system are fully engaged in any other broad-reaching policy. Instead, we ask that you refocus efforts to encourage freedom of speech, expression, and the free exchange of ideas that are fundamental to our campus and all institutions of higher education and to ensure that bias incidents and hate speech continue to be prohibited.

Thank you for your consideration, your commitment to democratic principles, and your dedicated service on the Board of Education.

LCCEF Officers

Frankie Cocanour, President

Buck Potter, Vice President of Labor

Colin Vurek, Vice President of Organizing

Linda Reling, Treasurer

Dawn Rupp, Grievance Officer

Fiora Starchild-Wolf, COPE Officer

Marleena Pearson, Communications Officer

LCCEA Officers

Adrienne Mitchell, President

Aryn Bartley, Secretary

Marge Helzer, Treasurer

Christina Howard, Vice President for Career Technical Faculty

Rosa Lopez, Vice President for Faculty At-Large

Peggy Oberstaller, Vice President for Part-Time Faculty

Wendy Simmons, Vice President for Learning Advancement

Kate Sullivan, Vice President for Transfer Faculty

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