LCCEA Bargaining Team Report: Contract status and related discussions with the Administration

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

We are writing to update you on our current contract status and related discussions with the Administration:

1.  In many years most of us would support a contract proposal that would provide at least full COLA, full steps, and 100% employer pickup of the insurance rate hike.

We actually now have that option available to us for next year.

In recognition of our contractual rights and economic interests, the Association notified the Administration that since neither party gave notice to the other of its desire to modify our current College Bargaining Agreement (CBA), that Article 2.2 (see below) provides that the CBA was “automatically renewed” for the 2015-2016 year.

As a result, all economic and non-economic language continues, with the sole exception of any agreements with an expiration date of June 30, 2015 (see below). This means that the provisions of Articles 26 and 33 apply (i.e., Salary and Insurance, respectively), which include full steps for all eligible faculty as earned (both contracted and part-time faculty), the employer picking up 100% of the insurance rate hike (rates still TBD, but preliminary information suggests 8.8% hikes), and a COLA equal to the current Consumer Price Index (CPI rate). The latter, due to recent deflation in energy costs, came in almost exactly at zero this year (-0.09%, to be precise), which means that the salary schedule remains essentially in place, which in turn causes the Cost Neutrality language in Article to kick in, with the result that the Employer picks up the full insurance rate hike.

So in short, the “automatic renewal” of our contract provides full COLA, full steps for all eligible faculty, and full employer pickup of the insurance hike (other economic agreements, such as the Section 125 language, FPD rate, etc, all remain the same).

This notification to the College is unanimously supported by the Association “Pre-Bargaining Team” and our Executive Committee, and the College has acknowledged this right of the Association and the provisions of Article 2.2, as we understand them.

2.  Given that the consumer inflation rate is virtually zero while Article 33 would provide 100% employer pick up of insurance rates, both the College and Association expressed a willingness to discuss possible modifications to renewed agreement for next year, which could include moving some of the monies that otherwise go to picking up the full insurance rate hike and instead move some of it to the salary schedule. We’ve also noted some possible mutual interest in other possible modifications, based upon other pressing issues and interests. Discussions over such possible modifications would be done under the provisions of Article 3.1 (below), which requires the College and Association to meet upon request to discuss possible revisions to the contact, but would not constitute formal bargaining. If no such agreements are reached, since the contract has already been renewed as is, it will be implemented as such.

3.  Several MOAs are currently slated to expire on June 30, 2015, including Article 41.6 “Teach Out”, “Overload Rights” for both part-time and contracted faculty, and the Teach Only MOA; the Assignment Rights MOU also expires, but it only integrates other agreements, including some of the expiring MOAs, and therefore needs updating anyhow. These MOAs could be included, or not, in any such “modification discussions”; any Association modification proposals will be determined by faculty discussion and survey responses (see below). Please know that the Association has pushed the Administration to renew/make permanent the “Teach Out” agreement (Article 41.6), but to date the Administration has rejected our proposal.

4.  This “automatic renewal” and any possible modifications will be discussed in detail at the Spring LCCEA Membership Meeting next week (date/time/location TBA shortly), and we may provide additional details in the next few days. Following the Membership meeting we will survey the faculty on these matters. Finally, if the Association and Administration do agree on any modifications of the renewed agreement, the modifications will be subject to a faculty Ratification vote.

2.2  Renewal of Agreement. This Agreement shall be automatically renewed from year to year unless the College or the Association gives written notice to the other after January 1 and not later than February 1 prior to the expiration date of its desire to modify the Agreement for a successive term or to terminate the Agreement. [highlight added]

3.1  Alteration of Agreement. The provisions of this Agreement or properly executed Memoranda of Agreements may be altered at any time upon the mutual consent of both the College and the Association except that neither party shall refuse to meet with the other for the purposes of alteration except as provided in this Agreement and Memoranda of Agreements.

Your Association “Pre-Bargaining” Team:
Adrienne Mitchell, Co-Chair
Jim Salt, Co-Chair
Dean Bergen
Kelly Collins
Deanna Murphy

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