Attend the upcoming board meeting!!

LCC Faculty Colleagues,
 
We’ve just been notified of this time change.  Join us this Monday, November 18, for the board meeting from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. and wear red.  For a free meal before the meeting, come to the cafeteria at 5:00 p.m.  We will walk over to the board meeting together at 5:45 p.m.
The top 10 reasons to attend the board meeting are to:
10. Support the hard work of your Bargaining Team – Kelly Collins, Adrienne Mitchell, Russell Shitabata and Nancy Wood.
9. Get a free meal from Cafe’ Yumm before the meeting.
8. Show off your red t-shirts/outfits. There will be a prize for the best “dressed in red.”
7. Stand with a record number of faculty, classified staff and community members in packing the Board room.
6. Socialize with your colleagues and solve all the world’s other problems.
5. Take a break from the NFL because the football game will be a blow out anyway.
4. Celebrate National Vichyssoise Day!
3. Have a really good reason to hit the pause button on your grading.
2. Support pay equity for part-time faculty.
1. Observe the look on the faces of the Board Members when they receive special gifts.
Also, if you haven’t yet, please take a few moments to send a letter to the Board/President Hamilton.  Here’s the link https://actionnetwork.org/letters/send-a-fair-faculty-contract-message-to-the-lcc-board  
You will be asked to enter your email address, name, and address, but you can simply use 4000 E 30th Ave for the address (LCC’s address) if you would like.

You will have the option to send a pre-written message, and it only takes literally seconds to send, OR you can edit the subject line and message by clicking in the fields and typing a message.
In appreciation and solidarity,

Wendy Simmons & Lee Imonen, LCCEA Action Team Co-Chairs
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Update for Faculty 3.18.19

18 October 2019

Dear Colleagues,
 
I’m writing with a quick update from Wednesday’s tremendous action at the Board meeting. About 65 faculty members attended — filling the Boardroom seats, aisle, and spilling into the hallway. Faculty members delivered the life-sized “Fair Contract Now” letter to the Board and College Administration with more than 120 faculty signatures. (We lost count! Photos below.)
 
Fourteen faculty members spoke sharing compelling stories of hardships faced by part-time faculty, the impact of large class sizes on student success and retention, the disparities and inequities of the two-tiered faculty system, the continued decrease in full-time positions at LCC, the College’s (still incomplete) contractual obligation to document workload, the numerous financial sacrifices made by faculty over recent years, the problems of the college’s proposals such as undermining part-time seniority, and the reasonableness of the faculty proposal.
 
The Wednesday evening action was inspiring and moving and an excellent step toward ensuring that the Board and Administration hear this important faculty message. 
 
Over several years, the College has effectively disinvested in the mission by dedicating a decreasing proportion of operating expenditures to instruction from 40.0% in FY16 to 37.2% in FY17, and 35.1% in FY18, well below the national average of 41.6% for public community colleges. 
 
Your LCCEA proposals in bargaining help shift the college to begin to reinvest in faculty, in instruction, and back toward the central mission of Lane Community College, underscoring the critical importance of this bargain for the overall health of the institution and, ultimately, for students we serve.
 
Standing together, we are making an impact. At the end of the meeting, Board members called for an Executive Session to discuss collective bargaining and address questions stemming from the testimony provided by faculty, and there has been renewed attention to our proposals and bargaining by the administration.
 
Thank you to all who came, to all who spoke, to all who shared your stories so that they could be read publicly, and to our amazing Action Team Chairs, Wendy Simmons and Lee Imonen. And thank you to the dozens of faculty who sent messages of support even though you were teaching or away from campus and could not attend.
 
The next bargaining session is scheduled for October 28, and we expect a reasonable proposal from the College at that time. 
 
In the meantime, LCCEA will conduct a survey of all faculty, which will be more focused than our most recent bargaining survey. Please keep an eye out for the survey next week. As always, the faculty goals and interests guide the Bargaining Team, so your input is important. The Action Team, Department reps, and Action reps will continue to organize and share ways for you to get involved.
 
My best,
Adrienne
 
p.s. If you have any photos from the event or photos of yourself in red, please send them to lcceaaction@lanecc.edu

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President’s Update 11.4.19

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.

Standing Together
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!

With appreciation,
Adrienne

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LCC: A Diminishing Focus on Instruction

LCCEA Releases “Lane Community College: A Diminishing Focus on Instruction” Report by Independent Researcher

Daniel Morris, Ph.D., has identified key findings about trends at Lane Community College.
  • 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

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Bargaining Update June 10 2019

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:
Kelly Collins
Adrienne Mitchell
Russell Shitabata
Nancy Wood

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LCCEA President Updates on community college funding, bargaining, PERS, college budget, and more

LCC Faculty Colleagues,
I’m writing with updates on community college funding, bargaining, PERS, college budget, and more.
Community College Funding — Good News!
Today the legislature released amendments for HB5024 setting proposed funding levels for higher education in Oregon. The changes include an increased allocation to community colleges set at $640.9+ million. This represents an 8.5% increase over the $590M figure under consideration earlier this spring and a 12.3% increase over the $570M that community colleges received for 2017-2019.
This means that Lane Community College is slated to receive approximately $2 million more per year than projected.
Part-time faculty health care and LCC budget
Substantial momentum continues to build around SB 852. In addition to providing healthcare to part-time faculty throughout the state, the vast majority of whom receive no medical benefits, the bill would mitigate pressure on the LCC budget with a positive impact of $1 to $1.4 million per year because Lane is one of the three community colleges in Oregon where part-time faculty receive healthcare. In addition to a higher ed coalition of OEA, AAUP, AFT-O, and SEIU, thank you to our student leaders of ASLCC and OSA for supporting this bill as well!
PERS
The state Senate and House have passed SB 1049, which would divert a percentage of future contributions to retirement funds from all public employees’ individual accounts (IAP) to a separate fund in order to reduce the unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) that developed after the economic recession. OEA has been active in statewide efforts, in collaboration with other public employee unions and progressive organizations, to prevent this bill from passing. Other alternatives to address PERS are possible. See below:
If the governor does sign this reform into law, it is likely that it will be challenged in court. In the meantime, local bargaining teams for public employees statewide, including your LCCEA team, will be negotiating over the impacts of the law (should it go into effect).

 

College budget decisions
As a follow up to both the annual budget process and recent email conversations, please see graphs here: Contracted Employees Fifteen Year Comparison . It outlines some of the personnel trends and other factors impacting the college budget. For example, note that since 2005, contracted faculty positions have decreased by nearly one third; contracted classified staff positions have decreased by 30%, yet manager positions have increased by more than 9%. Also note the significant losses from the college-owned Titan Court apartment complex here: LossesfromProgramsAndTitan Court. Those losses total nearly $2.4 Million over the past three years, far exceeding losses from Food Services and the Bookstore, which are being outsourced, as well as some program and service cuts from 2017 affecting faculty.
While it is not possible to reverse some of the decisions from that past that have negatively and dramatically impacted the budget and services to students, it is certainly possible to make better decisions going forward. This includes filling positions on the basis of alignment with the college mission as well as via a college-wide staffing and needs analysis of all employee groups in all budget funds.
Email Communication
A reminder from last Fall regarding faculty discussions of controversial issues or expression of divergent viewpoints, the faculty contract protects these most precious gems — academic and professional freedom — the fundamental tenets upon which higher education and its goals are based. In addition, the contract protects the rights of the Association and faculty members to communicate via the faculty email list about Association matters.
Bargaining
The College continues to maintain a $0 offer to faculty. We hear that the College respects faculty and wishes to create a culture of support, and we hear that our College leaders recognize the central role that faculty play in the mission of the college.
Now is the time for the College to act affirmatively to demonstrate support for the work that we do in service of students.
With next year’s budget already balanced in early April and now news of an additional $2 million dollars per year for LCC from the state, it is clear that the college can afford to invest in faculty and faculty salaries. Hiring trends and decisions for vacant positions show that less than 58.5% of full-time faculty positions for next year will be filled, contributing to an overall decrease in full-time positions of more than 20% in five years and an additional decrease of 3-4% next year. At the same time, the college continues to hire new part-time faculty without living wage salaries. And Faculty Professional Development funding has dropped so much that conference funding ran out in Winter term this year.
With only one bargaining session remaining this term and our contract set to expire on June 30, it is time for the college to allocate funding in a manner consistent with the college mission in order to truly create a culture of support.
If you care about moving toward pay equity for part-time faculty, maintaining full-time positions, providing sufficient funding for professional development, maintaining reasonable workloads and reasonable cost of living adjustments and steps, please share your story at: bit.ly/FacultyStories. In addition, in order to support bargaining efforts, please fill out this two-minute LCCEA survey: http://bit.ly/TwoMinSurvey

Workload
You may recall from LCCEA reports in Fall that the College and Association were meeting again to complete the work of the Joint Workload Taskforce, as required by contract. The 2014 agreement allowed an increase in class sizes by up to four students in the majority of sections campus-wide. According to the College, this class size increase would produce $2 Million in net savings every year.
The Taskforce approached this work with renewed energy in October; however, the work has been stalled due to recent meeting cancellations by the College.
At the same time, the College has made a proposal in bargaining that would circumvent the Taskforce’s work and dramatically increase workload for faculty in the Arts, Cooperative Education, and Social Science as well as potentially throughout the college through the removal of all reference to class sizes. Not only would such a change dramatically impact workload for all faculty and reduce our ability to serve students in the classroom, it also would reduce the number of sections available to part-time faculty.
Your LCCEA Bargaining Team rejected the proposal, and your LCCEA representatives on the Joint Workload Taskforce scheduled two additional meetings (June 11 and 17) for the purpose of codifying assignable class sizes as required by contract.
As faculty, we continue to do our part in fulfilling the contract, taking on increased class sizes. It is our expectation that the College fully honor the binding written agreement and do its part as well.
A final note and thank you
The legislature’s substantial new investment in higher education did not happen in isolation. Community colleges will receive $70M more in funding because of the coordinated efforts of many — both at the state and local levels — including the OEA and the LCCEA with the support of the NEA, working together with students of ASLCC and OSA and collaboratively with staff and the AFT-O as well as administrators and Board members who have come together for unprecedented, unified advocacy this year.
This increased funding is a result of our collective efforts: at the President’s Day rally in Salem, in legislators’ offices, at town hall meetings, at the May 8 rally on campus and online, through letter writing campaigns, and testimony in Salem, to which so many faculty members from Lane have contributed, standing together with our colleagues in K-12 and beyond.
At the beginning of this year, the LCCEA – like public employee unions across the state and nation – faced the challenge of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision. As a faculty we reaffirmed our commitment to collective bargaining and the rights and benefits that unions bring to our members. With a resounding and definitive response, the faculty affirmed our membership, which has continued to grow steadily since Fall, with more than 480 active members now.
Being a union member is not only about our individual rights and benefits, it is about supporting the conditions that allow us to do our best work. And importantly, it is about ensuring that public institutions and critical services have sufficient funding to meet community needs.
As public employees we contribute to the common good. As faculty, we work every day to support our community college mission of access and social justice. We support the fundamental role of the community college institution in a healthy democracy. We provide an opportunity for higher education and social mobility that would not otherwise be possible.
We have advocated for the funding our colleges, our programs, and our students need.
And we have been successful.
And in so doing we have also demonstrated that the future viability of the public sector and public employee unions are inextricably linked. Our students and our communities depend on us. Our union helps ensure that we remain here to serve them and to serve them well.
Standing together with the 44,000 members of the OEA and with the support of the more than 3 million members of the NEA, we have made a substantial difference in future of public education in this state.
Thank you for everything that you have done to contribute to this effort and for all that you do as faculty every day!
My best,
Adrienne
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LCCEA OFFICER ELECTIONS

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.

To vote, you must use the link below, which is unique for each LCCEA member:

https://lccea.lanecc.edu/limesurvey/index.php?lang=en&sid=62879&token=ctzs7vaffq3r6tv

If you still have trouble voting, please email lccea@lanecc.edu

 

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May 8 Rally to Fund Our Future 11:45 am

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Join your LCCEA colleagues and all advocates of public education on Wednesday, May 8 for a “Fund Our Future” rally from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. This event is part of a statewide day of action. The event will take place on the north side of the Center Building. At LCC in particular we will focus on community college funding and provide instructions for an easy way to contact Oregon legislators on your cell phone. Wear red if you can, but come even if you can’t, as red t-shirts should be available! Visit LCCEA’s table, which will be one of several.
As part of our ongoing efforts around bargaining, we again invite part-time and full-time faculty to share relevant stories on this form:
John Groves
————————————
John Groves
Part-time faculty, ALS & ESL
LCCEA organizing representative
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Bargaining Response and Update

Colleagues,
Due to faculty members’ overwhelming negative responses to the College’s bargaining proposal, the LCCEA Action Team will be contacting faculty members and department reps about various means to demonstrate solidarity and to support the LCCEA Bargaining Team. Please continue to send your feedback and keep an eye out for communications. If you wish to join the LCCEA Action Team, please email lccea@lanecc.edu
In the meantime, all faculty members are invited to share their stories about: the challenges of working as a part-time faculty member, the impacts of compensation inequities, the effects of the continued reduction of contracted positions, and the importance of the Faculty Professional Development program, as well as responses to the college’s proposal on the form at: https://forms.gle/fx36VbNzhsP1cU8r5
In addition, LCCEA department reps who have not yet completed the department rep survey are asked to do so at: https://forms.gle/vhdJP8c5biZjpnYc8
Finally, additional information about the May 8 Statewide Day of Action will be forthcoming, including details about a campus-wide rally in Bristow Square focused on advocacy for state funding for community colleges from 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Please save the date!
Your Association
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President’s Update 4/17/19

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

I’m writing with more updates on bargaining, college budget, and statewide legislative issues.

Bargaining:

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

LCC Budget:

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

PERS

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.

My best,

Adrienne

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