LCCEA President’s Update

Faculty Colleagues,

 

I hope that your return to campus after the winter storm has gone smoothly for both you and your students.  Many homes remain without power in Lane County, and some members of the LCC community continue to experience hardship. 

 

Mini-Grants for Your Students
Please keep in mind, especially at this time, that your LCCEA/OEA membership also provides an important resource for students – the OEA Foundation provides grants of up to $100 to students for needs such as clothing, books, transit, eyeglasses, medical care, etc. Any LCCEA member may apply for a grant to benefit any LCC student. The guidelines and short online application are available at: https://www.oregoned.org/oea-foundation/apply-for-a-grant . Please do not hesitate to contact the Association with any questions or concerns that you may have.

 

Important Association Announcements
As we approach the end of Winter term, I’m writing with some brief updates regarding the following:

  • an LCCEA membership meeting next week,
  • faculty rights,
  • part-time coaches,
  • compensation,
  • workload,
  • the college budget,
  • funding for community colleges,
  • part-time faculty spotlight,
  • LCC Board of Education endorsement, and more. 

 

LCCEA Membership Meeting: Thursday, March 14, 3:00-4:30 p.m. CEN 402

All LCCEA members are cordially invited to attend a meeting on Thursday, March 14, 3:00-4:30 in CEN 402. Topics will include bargaining and the college budget, among others.

 

Know Your Rights

Faculty members have a right to an Association representative at any meeting for which they have a reasonable belief that discipline may result. These rights, called Weingarten Rights, apply to any employee who is a member of a bargaining unit in the U.S. and to any type of meeting that may be investigatory in nature.

 

In addition, our contract provides in Article 25.10 that the College will provide notice about this right in any meeting that may lead to discipline. This provision also requires that the College will accommodate the Association and faculty member when scheduling such a meeting.

 

Through a formal information request, the Association has learned about some irregular meetings and contacts with faculty members, which would require notice of the right to representation.  The Association and College have reached a resolution such that the College will communicate with managers about the requirement to provide notice to the faculty member about the right to have a representative present. Faculty members may invoke this right any time they have a reasonable belief that discipline may result or that they are asked to any type of investigatory meeting.

 

Part-time Coaches Grievance Resolution

The Association collaboratively resolved a grievance stemming from the posting of part-time faculty coaching positions in a newly created “extra duty/ non-credit” category that was not negotiated. The agreement reached with the College provides that some FTE will be attributed to part-time coaching work and remedies concerns that part-time faculty coaches were being excluded from the bargaining unit and denied benefits and protections associated with faculty status. 

 

While the grievance resolution does not impact stipends for part-time coaches, which continue to be disproportionately low and paid at rates below the part-time faculty salary schedule, the Association intends to address compensation in bargaining. 

 

Overall, the resolution represents significant progress in labor-relations, both in substance and process.

 

Compensation 

In order to comply with the contract and state statutes, the College must pay salary to faculty members according to the collective bargaining agreement. Beyond curriculum development work and modest FPD stipends, the official salary schedules for part-time faculty, part-time Flight Tech faculty, and full-time faculty are the rates that apply to faculty members. If you receive any compensation that does not align with the current salary schedules, please do not hesitate to contact the Association.

 

All faculty members will receive compensation as if they had worked their regular schedules during the college closure last week. This includes part-time Flight Tech faculty, for whom the Association reached a resolution about snow day compensation today.

 

Workload 

The Joint Workload Taskforce continues to make progress codifying maximum assignable workloads for each department / program, albeit slowly. Changes in workload require mutual agreement of the College and Association. While an individual faculty member may decide to allow an additional student or two to register for a particular section, the college may not unilaterally increase workload for faculty members by any means, including by department decision or straw poll. Under state law, the employer and union must negotiate such changes.

 

College Budget

The College Budget, Finance, and Planning office is projecting a $6.8M deficit for next year. There are many moving pieces that contribute to uncertainty about the budget including: the total state allocation for community colleges, the percentage LCC will receive of that allocation, property taxes, OPE rates, and more. While $6.8M does represent a significant percentage of the College’s general fund (Funds I and IX), which totals $88-90M, the total College budget in all funds is approximately $209M. 

 

The College Council Budget Development Subcommittee (BDS) has been meeting weekly and working collaboratively to develop a consensus budget proposal that would balance the budget without involuntary layoffs. Committee representatives read a unanimous statement on behalf of the committee to the Board of Education at the meeting in February (attached).

 

On a positive note, LCC’s enrollment has been holding steady at 1.5% down from last year. At the same time other large community colleges in the state have seen much more significant enrollment decreases this year (4% or more). This will ultimately result in an increase in LCC’s percentage of the state allocation in the future. In addition, numerous vacant positions are built into the budget and comprise approximately $3.6M of the $6.8 M deficit. The projected deficit also includes increased emergency major maintenance funding carried over from this year into next year, which, once adjusted to regular levels, will mitigate the deficit.

 

Please attend the LCCEA membership meeting next week for more on the college budget.

 

Advocacy for Funding for Community Colleges

Advocating for community college funding is critical at this time. The legislature will be in session through June determining funding for the next two years. While Governor Kate Brown’s investment budget would provide a significant boost for community colleges with an allocation of $646.7M, the base budget proposal is only $543M, which represents a 4.7% decrease for community colleges. Increasing state revenue is crucial.

 

The LCC Board of Education is collaborating with the LCCEA and passed a resolution for increased revenue and increased community college funding by unanimous vote. This resolution (attached) is part of a coordinated statewide effort of the OEA to increase funding for education – numerous K-12 and community college boards are passing similar resolutions.

 

In addition, a good number of LCC faculty attended the March for Education along with 5,000 education supporters in the state capitol on President’s Day. LCC Administrators, President Marge Hamilton and Vice President Paul Jarrell along with Board members, Lisa Fragala, Matt Keating, and Rosie Pryor, joined part-time and full-time faculty, among others from Lane, in this historic event. Administrators, board members, and ASLCC leaders also joined faculty for afternoon meetings with Governor Kate Brown and state senators and representatives. (Photos attached — please note the administrators and board members joined faculty in wearing OEA #RedforEd t-shirts at the rally!)

 

We shared information (attached) about the need for increased funding for community colleges, highlighting the impacts on students, programs, and staff of potential budget cuts, and emphasizing the working conditions of part-time faculty in the state. We also provided copies of the LCC Board’s resolution.

 

Part-time Faculty SpotlightJoe Bowles

Part-time Chemistry faculty member, Joe Bowles was OEA’s featured educator last month. Joe shared his story in order to help OEA advocate for community college funding and faculty interests. OEA staff featured Joe’s story (attached), sharing it with legislators at the Capitol. To share your own story in order to advocate for community college funding, please do so at: https://www.oregoned.org/action-center/featured-educator-project 

 

Endorsement – Lisa Fragala for LCC Board of Education!

The LCCEA Legislative Action Committee and Executive Council members voted unanimously to endorse Lisa Fragala for LCC Board of Education. Lisa is a Eugene elementary school teacher, who is active in the Eugene Education Association and serves on the OEA Board. Lisa maintains a strong commitment to equity and the community college mission and is already advocating for community college funding with state legislators. For more information about her candidacy and impressive list of endorsements, please see: https://www.lisafragala.com/ 

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Upcoming LCCEA Dates and Deadlines

Part-Time Faculty: Know Your Contract

Know your contract” information for part-time faculty
https://bit.ly/2EAgk4G


March Deadlines and Events
Deadline:
Friday, 
March 8
Extended deadline for contracted faculty members to turn in separation incentive form to Human Resources

 

Demo: OER and Barnes and Noble
Monday, March 11 at noon in the Library (inside the Center Bldg). Lane’s OER Faculty Librarian, Meggie Wright, has scheduled a demo of Barnes & Noble’s “LoudCloud” LMS that they advertise as being “advanced OER.” Meggie reports that that the platform charges students a fee to access OER that has been remixed with some “value-added,” proprietary content. (The Board of Ed will vote at their next meeting on whether the College will pursue outsourcing of the college bookstore to Barnes & Noble.)

 

Hearing on Part-Time Faculty Insurance
M
onday, March 11 at 1:00 p.m. Legislative hearing on a bill to provide insurance for part-time faculty statewide. SB 852 would also increase funding for LCC. To attend the hearing before the Senate Education Committee, provide written or oral testimony, or support colleagues without insurance, please fill out this form at: https://bit.ly/2EzHpVH or contact OEA Government Relations staff member for community colleges, Kelli Horvath, at: kelli.horvath@oregoned.org 

 

Forum: Barnes and Noble at Lane?
Wednesday March 13, 10:00-11:30 a.m. College Administration’s Forum for faculty about possible outsourcing of the campus bookstore to the Barnes and Noble corporation.

LCCEA Meeting

Thursday, March 14, 3:00-4:30, LCCEA meeting for members, location CEN 402

 

Register to Lobby in Salem
March 25, OEA educator Lobby days in Salem. Register at: https://www.oregoned.org/action-center/events/lobby-day 

 

Spring Events

April 26-7, OEA Representative Assembly (OEA-RA) in Portland with LCCEA delegates to be elected by the membership soon. Several items of interest to community college faculty will be decided by a vote of delegates at the OEA-RA, including a resolution for pay equity for part-time faculty. Contact: LCCEA Secretary, Berri Hsiao hsiaob@lanecc.edu 

OEA Summer Leadership Conference – July 30-August 1, 2019 in Bend

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Update: Tentative Agreement, Voluntary Separation, March for Oregon Students

Board Signs Tentative Agreement

The Board of Education voted on Saturday February 3 to ratify the LCC-LCCEA Tentative Agreement reached for 2018-2019, so the contract for this academic year is now official!

Compensation is Being Processed

The payroll manager in HR has been diligently working on calculating retroactive and prospective salary adjustments and has provided the following information. “Pay changes (salary schedule adjustments/step increases for those step eligible) will reflect on the February 8th paycheck (1/16/19-1/31/19 payroll period). Retroactive compensation (7/1/18-7/15/18 pp through 1/1/19-1/15/19 pp) will reflect on the February 25th paycheck.”

Voluntary Separation Incentive

The College and Association have also reached agreement on a voluntary separation incentive for contracted faculty members. LCCEA-Vol-Sep-Incentive-2019Signed

The incentive provides:
* a one-time payment of $10,000 in addition to early retirement benefits outlined in Article 41 (if eligible)
* a choice between $10,000 and up to one year of employee-only medical insurance for those who are not eligible for early retirement benefits in Article 41

In order to be eligible, a faculty member must:
* be a current contracted faculty member
* be at least 55 years of age by June 30, 2019
* have been hired into a faculty position at LCC before January 2009 with at least seven years’ service as a contracted faculty member at LCC
* complete the voluntary separation form and submit to the Human Resources department by March 1, 2019 (Communication from HR with the form will be forthcoming.)

March for Our Students

OEA is sponsoring a “March for Our Students” in Salem on February 18 (President’s Day). More than 1,000 OEA members and have already signed up. Please see details attached and register online to join educators from across Oregon at this important event to advocate for increased funding for schools and community colleges at: bit.ly/RallyForStudents Please watch for additional information from the LCCEA Legislative Action Committee.

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President’s Update: Tentative Agreement, Budget, Outsourcing, Action Committee Events

Faculty Colleagues,

I hope your term is going well thus far.

I’m writing with brief some updates regarding: the tentative agreement, college budget, possible outsourcing of the campus bookstore and other services, statewide legislative issues, and more.

Tentative Agreement – Ratification Vote and Bargaining

As you likely have read, the faculty ratified the tentative agreement! Next, the Board of Education must also vote to ratify before retroactive compensation is processed. They will most likely conduct their vote at their retreat on January 26.

Please join me in thanking fellow LCCEA Bargaining Team members for their dedication to service to the faculty and work on reaching this agreement: Kelly Collins, Jim Salt, and Russell Shitabata! Also, we welcome Nancy Wood, LCCEA Vice President for Part-time faculty, who will be joining the team for the round of negotiations for the next contract (to take effect July 1, 2019), and Jim Salt will step off in order to pursue professional development while on sabbatical.

College Budget and Fund Structure

The College Council Budget Development Subcommittee (BDS), including your LCCEA representatives Lee Imonen and Adrienne Mitchell, is meeting weekly in order to prepare the annual college budget to present to the Board of Education.

You will find a plethora of data shared with the LCC Board of Education and the BDS at: https://www.lanecc.edu/budget/19-20-budget-development . The College has not yet released a final estimate for next year’s projected budget deficit, but it is likely that it will be roughly in the $6-$7 million range. Given that the general fund budget (Funds I and IX) is approximately $90 million, this represents a significant percentage. The projected deficit is, and will continue to be, somewhat of a moving target because it will be impacted by a number of factors including the allocation by the legislature to community colleges as well as the percentage that LCC receives of that total allocation. Oregon’s Community College Support Funding formula is based on enrollment, so Lane’s enrollment relative to other community colleges will ultimately determine our funding level.

Your LCCEA representatives and other committee members have made a number of information requests about the budget, many of which have been posted online already. The committee is exploring questions about the general fund budget as well as the overall fund structure because the general fund comprises only approximately 40% of the total college budget from all funds (with a total over $200 million). Some of funds have restricted uses such as financial aid, so they will not impact the use of general fund dollars for instruction and student services. (See graphic of fund structure sent in email to all Lane faculty.)

Your LCCEA representatives will continue to advocate for transparency regarding the fund structure as well as for information about revenues and expenditures for all individual funds, including Fund VIII. In addition, we will continue to advocate for systemic changes that will help obviate the perennial budget deficit and align expenditures with the college mission.

Possible Outsourcing – Lane’s Bookstore and other Services

Given the projected deficit, the Board of Education has begun to consider outsourcing the Bookstore (Titan Store) and Food Services. In addition to the myriad concerns about corporatizing these essential services and the impact on classified staff, there are significant implications for faculty and students, especially with a potential outsourcing of the bookstore to Barnes and Noble.

Only one community college in Oregon (Clackamas CC) has outsourced its bookstore. The contract between Clackamas and Barnes and Noble is problematic for a number of reasons including language that limits academic freedom and instructor use of OERs (open educational resources). I shared the relevant sections of the Clackamas/Barnes and Noble contract with the Board of Education (attached in an email to all Lane faculty), expressing concerns about the impact on the use of OERs and the potential of such an agreement to violate the faculty contract. Lane’s OER Faculty Librarian, Meggie Wright, is leading an effort to advocate against outsourcing of the bookstore.

Managers of both Titan Store and Food Services have been discussing restructuring options with LCCEF — those options might include: reassigning contracted staff to other areas of the college, changes in days and times of operations, closing the downtown Titan store. Please see: https://lccef.org/category/food-services-cml-titan-store/ for updates from the LCCEF and details on how you can demonstrate solidarity with classified staff.

Legislative Session

The Oregon legislative session begins next week, and with a democratic governor and democratic supermajorities in both the state House and Senate, there is optimism that new revenue for education is possible. I, along with LCC President Marge Hamilton, Board of Ed member Matt Keating, and LCC’s Governmental Relations representative Brett Rowlett, had a collaborative meeting local legislator, John Lively, in order to advocate for increased funding for community colleges. Another collaborative meeting is planned with LCCEA, Lane’s VP Paul Jarrell, and State Representative Julie Fahey.

In addition, the LCC Board of Education is considering passing a resolution to call for increased revenue for community colleges. The resolution is part of a coordinated, statewide effort of the OEA in which K-12 and Community College Boards across the state are passing similar resolutions.

Increasing funding for community colleges is paramount. There are a number of ways for faculty members to participate in advocating for new revenue. OEA is organizing a March for Education on President’s Day. Join faculty and education colleagues from across the state to help demonstrate the need for ample funding for public education. Sign up online at: https://www.oregoned.org/action-center/events/lobby-day There will also be an education lobby day at the capitol on March 25, so please consider participating. (Sign up at link above.)

Announcements and dates:

The LCCEA is seeking additional volunteers for our Legislative Action Committee – please contact me at: mitchella@lanecc.edu or Alexandra Geddes at geddesa@lanecc.edu if you are interested in participating.

Feb 18: OEA March for Education, sign up at: https://www.oregoned.org/action-center/events/lobby-day

Feb 23, OEA Symposium, “Creating Pathways toward Racial Justice for our Students’” Register by Feb 15 (free for members) See https://www.oregoned.org/action-center/events/oea-symposium

March 25, Educator Lobby days in Salem

April 26-7, OEA Representative Assembly (OEA-RA) in Portland with LCCEA delegates to be elected by the membership in Winter term. Please keep an eye out for emails from Berri Hsiao, LCCEA’s new Secretary, later this term for details about putting your name forward to serve as a delegate. Thank you to Tracy Henninger, who volunteered to serve as Secretary for an extra term in Fall.

My best,

Adrienne

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What’s at Stake in LA #RedforEd #WeareLA

la teachers strike

The LA Teachers Strike begins today. Use your social media connections to spread the word in support of LA Teachers.

About the stakes of the “meta-strike” from the American Prospect and The Nation

https://prospect.org/article/la-teachers-potential-meta-strike-reveals-battle-lines-us-public-education-war

https://www.thenation.com/article/los-angeles-teachers-strike-2019/

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This Week: Information Sessions on Tentative Agreement

Happy New Year!
Your LCCEA Bargaining Team reached a Tentative Agreement with the College over winter break. (See: SignedTA12112018.) This one-year agreement (with associated compensation increases) will be retroactive to July 1, 2018.
We will hold two information sessions, and an electronic ratification vote will begin this week as well.
Tuesday 1/8/19, 1:00-2:00 p.m. in CEN 303
Wednesday 1/9/19, 4:15-5:15 p.m. in CEN 303
Please stop by for information about the agreement or to share any questions or concerns you may have. Also, given that this T.A. is for a contract that will expire June 30, 2019, we will also begin negotiations soon for the next multi-year contract, so please feel free to bring any issues you wish to discuss for the next contract as well.
We hope you have a most wonderful first week of the term!
Your LCCEA Bargaining Team:
Kelly Collins
Adrienne Mitchell
Jim Salt
Russell Shitabata
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Tentative Agreement Reached!

In an attempt to reach an agreement with the College before the end of the year, your LCCEA Bargaining Team made a new supposal yesterday, which the College accepted this afternoon. (See SignedTA12112018.)
The agreement is for the period of July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019 and includes the following:

* 1.25% increase to all faculty salary schedules, retroactive to July 1, 2018
* Full steps for step-eligible part-time faculty as earned (Part-time faculty earn steps after teaching 21 credits rather than on an annual basis and have been receiving these, when earned, already this year.)
* 1/2 steps for step-eligible contracted faculty, retroactive to July 1, 2018; the second 1/2 step for step-eligible contracted faculty, effective Jan 1, 2019 (Step-eligible faculty are faculty members who were LCC faculty last year and who were not at the top of the salary schedule last year.)
* An additional 1/2 step added to the top of all faculty salary schedules, retroactive to July 1, creating a new step 14.5 for contracted faculty, a new step 15 for part-time faculty and a new step at the top for part-time flight tech faculty
* The same provisions for part-time flight tech faculty as for other part-time faculty
* A 5% increase to stipends for part-time head coaches
Please note — there were no changes to insurance language or faculty contributions for insurance because our current language remains in effect due to the fact that OEBB has maintained minimal insurance rate increases each year, and the premiums are still less than what they were 2015-16.
We believe this is a fair and equitable agreement. While step-eligible contracted faculty will not receive a full step for the full year, the second half step will be in effect for most of the year and will protect faculty salaries moving forward. We particularly appreciate the eminent reasonableness and collaborative spirit with which the College approached these last minute negotiations. We wholeheartedly recommend this agreement to the faculty for ratification.

Next steps:

The LCCEA will set up an electronic ratification vote, which will extend through the beginning of Winter term due to the fact that we are on winter break at present.
The LCCEA will also hold an information session about the T.A. and membership meeting during the first week of Winter term.
In addition, the Tentative Agreement will go to the LCC Board of Education for ratification, most likely in early January.
Assuming both parties ratify the Tentative Agreement, retroactive compensation will be processed shortly thereafter, exact date TBD, hopefully Jan 25.
Best wishes for a most wonderful winter break!
Your LCCEA Bargaining Team:
Kelly Collins
Adrienne Mitchell
Jim Salt
Russell Shitabata
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President’s Update Nov 18 2018

Faculty Colleagues,

I hope your term is going well. I’m writing with some updates regarding: membership, faculty survey results, workload, college budget and statewide legislative issues, policy/ contract questions, bargaining and more. This term has been an incredibly busy and also exciting time for the Association!

Membership and LCCEA Executive Council

A brief update on membership — LCCEA currently has more than 91% of contracted faculty and more than 80% of part-time faculty as active members with, at last count, 411 active members working this term and 475 active members on our membership roster. According to OEA, the LCCEA’s membership increases outpaced all other community college locals in the state. Collectively, public employees across the nation renewed our commitment to collective action and to public service for the common good, and Lane faculty have done so unequivocally. Please thank your department reps as well as the Membership Committee: Chair Wendy Simmons, Aryn Bartley, Gerry Meenaghan, and Nancy Wood.

In upcoming terms, the Membership Committee and department reps will shift their focus to newly hired faculty each term. The Association also continues to welcome new department reps and new part-time reps, so please do not hesitate to let us know if you are interested in serving in this capacity, which has significant impact without requiring a huge time commitment. Also, if you are unsure of your membership status or if you have not updated your contact information, please contact Wendy at simmonsws@lanecc.edu.

In addition, the LCCEA Executive Council voted unanimously to appoint Membership Chair, Wendy Simmons to the vacant VP for Learning Advancement position through the next election. Welcome, Wendy!

Faculty Survey:

Faculty participation in the LCCEA’s survey in October was robust, with more than 225 faculty members submitting responses, including part- and full-time faculty, members and non-members. While LCCEA does not generally report survey results about issues that are likely to arise in bargaining, the results are used to inform goals in negotiations on behalf of faculty. In this survey, we requested feedback on a large number of matters and will strive to meet faculty interests, regarding frequency and preferred method of communication (email, for example) and topics of greatest interest to faculty (bargaining, grievances, budget, statewide legislative issues, for instance), including those specific to part-time faculty.

This survey also included a number of questions about the shared governance system at Lane. Key results from respondents include the following.

Shared Governance: 94% believe it is important or extremely important for the college to have a shared governance system that includes the faculty. However, only 50% think that the “important questions” impacting our college are being made within the governance system.

The Association’s Role in Governance: 82% value the role of LCCEA in making appointments to LCC governance councils highly or very highly.

The Association’s Role in Budget Development: 98% rated the LCCEA’s representation of faculty interests on the Budget Development Subcommittee (BDS) important or very important; the BDS is responsible for developing a balanced budget for the College annually.

The Role of Faculty Council: 85% rated as important or very important maintaining the authority of Faculty Council in decisions about grading policy, academic policy, and the campus-wide student evaluation instrument, as outlined in Article 39 of the contract

Other Association Work at the College: Also very highly rated (79-88%) were the role of faculty in decisions about: the College’s organizational structure, whether faculty positions are filled, whether new management positions are created, and ensuring that growth in faculty positions is commensurate with growth in management positions.

Joint Workload Taskforce

Your current LCCEA representatives on this Taskforce are: Workload Chair Marge Helzer, Adrienne Mitchell, Steve Selph, and Mel Stark. Jointly with the College, these faculty, along with past members — Chris Crosthwaite, Julie Pfaff, and Jim Salt — developed and conducted a survey of all faculty workloads and have been working for a number of years to document maximum assignable workload parameters for all programs in the college, including class size, in a binding MOA. The work was essentially on hold last year due to numerous changes in Administration, but began meeting again this year to complete the work as required by the Workload and Class Capacity MOA reached in 2014.

The College and Association representatives to the Joint Workload Taskforce have met several times this Fall with one more meeting scheduled for December. While the first couple of meetings were somewhat bumpy, the College representatives led by VP Paul Jarrell, have embraced the work after reaching an agreement on how to quantify and format workloads for the ultimate MOA. Your Association reps, working with program leads, have drafted and presented language for: Academic Learning Skills, Adult Basic Skills Education, Aviation Academy, Aviation Maintenance, Cooperative Education, Counseling, Dance, English, ESL, Health, Languages, Math and Engineering, Nursing, Social Science, Speech Communication, and Theater (with more in the works). Program leads and department reps, please keep an eye out for communications from your LCCEA reps on the Taskforce as we consult on language drafts for the remaining programs.

College Budget, Enrollment, and Statewide Issues:

The College Council Budget Development Subcommittee (BDS), including your LCCEA representatives Lee Imonen and Adrienne Mitchell, began meeting in order to prepare the annual college budget. Data and information shared with the LCC Board of Education and the BDS can be found at: https://www.lanecc.edu/budget/19-20-budget-development . The College has not yet released an estimate for next year’s projected budget deficit, but it is likely that it will exceed the one for this year. Your LCCEA representatives have made a number of information requests about the budget, some of which have been posted online already, including a request for details about expenditures and revenue in funds both in- and outside the general fund.

LCC enrollment is down slightly this Fall, but it appears to track at a lower decline compared to other community colleges in the state, which according to data (attached here) from the state Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), averages -3.3% for student numbers and -3.6% for student FTE across the state. While any decrease in enrollment will place pressure on the College’s budget, of course, the fact that Lane’s enrollment is declining at a rate less than other community college is incredibly good news and represents a significant shift from recent years when the opposite was true. I believe this can be attributed, in part, to the work of the BDS last year in helping to shift paradigms for both: section management at the department level, allowing sections more time to fill and obviating unnecessary or detrimental class cancellations, as well as a focus on college-wide enrollment growth rather than program cuts as a means to balance the budget. (Also see attached HECC data on higher education staffing by institution in Oregon, but note that average salaries for part-time faculty at Lane are lower than the amounts reported on the attachment.)

The LCC Board of Education voted on Thursday night against adopting the HEPI (Higher Education Price Index) as the measure for inclusion in annual budget development. Their vote does not preclude another Board discussion of the HEPI, nor does it preclude a tuition increase for next year; however, it is unclear whether the Board will or will not discuss the matter further prior to budget discussions in early Spring. The Administration had recommended that the Board include the index as a reasonable placeholder, which would help fulfill the intent of the Board’s own policy to mitigate significant tuition increases in any single year. Without inclusion of the HEPI as both a placeholder and an actual nominal increase, there will be considerable additional pressure on the budget, and consequently, the budget development process. The Association supports the Administration’s recommendation and also advocated for adoption of the HEPI by the Board of Ed.

Your representatives will continue to advocate for a balanced college budget – one developed on a rational basis, which allows for fulfillment of the College mission – at both the BDS and the Board of Ed.

In the Oregon legislature, State Senator Michael Dembrow is leading a coalition of lawmakers and others, including the OEA, AFT, and AAUP, to support a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would provide medical insurance for part-time faculty across the state. The funding would be on top of the regular CCSF (Community College Support Fund). For this reason and because Lane is one of the few community colleges that provide health insurance for part-time faculty, we believe the net annual increase in the allocation from the state to LCC would be in the $1-1.5 million range. The OEA has made this one of its primary legislative goals this year, and the OEA Community College Council voted unanimously to support the forthcoming bill.

Questions regarding policy, contract, and law:

Following the recent all-faculty email discussion, you may have read VP Paul Jarrell’s email citing College policies. You may have also read LCCEA Grievance Chair Russell Shitabata’s email regarding contract language about faculty professional rights. Since then, I have received some questions about the contract and policies as well as about the interface between college policy, contract language, and law.

Briefly, contracts are legally-binding and supersede policy. Law, either as developed through the legislative process or as ruled on by the judiciary, supersedes both contracts and policy. To provide a hypothetical and an entirely unlikely example as a means to illustrate this, consider the following. If the College were to develop a policy that all employees must report to work six days per week, but the contracts required that employees report to work five days per week, but the state enacted a law that no employee shall be required to work more than four days per week, the four day per week rule would be controlling. Absent a conflicting law about number of workdays, the contract language would be controlling. This is, of course, an oversimplified example, because, in many instances, interpretation is much more nuanced because there are often questions as to what the language of a particular law, contract, and/or policy means. However, the principle is an important one. Our contract is legally binding, so if there are any conflicts between the contract and policy, the contract language supersedes the policy. And if there are any conflicts between the contract language and law, (e.g. the recently-revised Article 31 of our contract which had allowed fair share fee deductions), the law supersedes the contract.

As for faculty discussions of controversial issues or expression of divergent viewpoints, the faculty contract protects these most precious gems — academic and professional freedom, which are the fundamental tenets upon which higher education and its goals are based and whose importance becomes more salient with the backdrop of current political discourse at the national level. College policy on its face does not contradict these freedoms, nor could policy ever supersede contractual or legal rights. The Association, of course, fully supports the rights of faculty to engage in email discussions on subjects of interest. (Also, we note specifically that the college policy suggests considering using the BC field rather than the TO field in group emails but does not require it.)

Bargaining continues with plans for a one-year economic agreement for the period retroactive to July 1, 2018. Please watch for updates from your LCCEA Bargaining Team members: Kelly Collins, Adrienne Mitchell, Jim Salt, and Russell Shitabata. We anticipate progress this week and expect the College to come to the table in good faith by no longer proposing disparate treatment for faculty compared with other groups at the college.

Announcements and dates:

LCCEA is seeking volunteers for its Action Team as well as statements of interest from additional faculty interested in serving on Diversity, Finance, and Learning Councils.

LCCEA extends a warm thank you to Communications Chair, Anne McGrail, who has been updating our website (https://lccea.org/), connecting to social media (LCCEA Action Team on Facebook and LCCEA@college_lane on Twitter), and working with Graphic Design Instructor Tom Madison and his team on a new LCCEA logo (forthcoming).

Feb 18 and March 25, Educator Lobby days in Salem

April 26-7, OEA Representative Assembly (OEA-RA) in Portland with LCCEA delegates to be elected by the membership in Winter term.

I hope you all enjoy the upcoming four-day weekend.

My best,

Adrienne

 

Adrienne Mitchell, M.A., M.Ed.
President, Lane Community College Education Association
Faculty Member, Academic Learning Skills Department
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LCCEA Seeks Faculty Appointees to Governance Councils

Deadline October 31

LCCEA seeks statements from faculty members interested in serving as LCCEA appointees to:

Diversity Council, Finance Council, and Learning Council.

Diversity Council meets the third Friday of each month, 9-11 a.m.

Finance Council meets the first and third Thursday of each month, 2:00-3:30 p.m.

Learning Council meets the second and fourth Friday of each month, 1:10-2:50 p.m.

For more information about Lane’s governance system and the work of each council, please see: https://www.lanecc.edu/governance

Responsibilities for LCCEA appointees to governance councils include:

  • Attending (Diversity, Finance, or Learning) Council meetings;
  • Contacting an LCCEA Officer to arrange for a substitute for meetings you cannot attend;
  • Conferring with your LCCEA Officer liaison each month regarding issues arising in council;
  • Providing suggestions for inclusion of items on LCCEA all-faculty surveys regarding governance council matters;
  • Meeting with the LCCEA Officers should the need arise;
  • Representing LCCEA and all faculty in decision making on governance council; and
  • Providing a report to LCCEA Officers once per term.

For consideration, please submit a statement explaining your interest in and ability to serve as an LCCEA representative to one of the open Council positions. Please provide the statement of no more than two pages to lccea@lanecc.edu by Wednesday, October 31.

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LCCEA and VP for ASA Team up for FPD Opportunities

Respectful, effective workplace communications are essential for a productive learning environment.  The LCCEA and the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs are supporting professional development for faculty. This collaboration with Faculty Professional Development is new this year.

Workshop and Brown Bag

“Keeping Calm: Communication Skills to Manage Conflict and Improve Relationships”
Friday, November, 2, 1-3 p.m. CEN 437

Lunch & Learn Follow-up Brown Bag 
November 16, 1-2 p.m. CEN 437

Communication instructors Jay Frasier and Laura Pelletier, will offer workshops open to all faculty members. Brush up on or learn new communication skills and strategies. Sponsored jointly by ASA, FPD, and LCCEA.
To register, please email fpd@lanecc.edu.

Peer Facilitation Team

The LCCEA Peer Facilitation Team can provide assistance in resolving interpersonal conflicts between faculty members. Faculty Counselors Jessica Alvarado and Anthony Hampton, are available to facilitate discussions and consult regarding strategies for handling interpersonal conflicts with a colleague. All discussions will remain confidential.
Feel free to contact Jessica at alvaradoj@lanecc.edu and/or Anthony at hamptona@lanecc.edu.

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