Oct 2, 2018
I hope you have had a most wonderful first week of the term. I’m writing with a few updates and a brief overview of LCCEA areas of focus for the year, which include: communication, member engagement, faculty working relationships, and part-time faculty issues. As you likely have noticed, this has been an incredibly busy and exciting time for the Association!
Membership and Janus response
Most notably, LCCEA Membership Chair, Wendy Simmons, along with Membership Committee, Executive Council, and department reps have been asking faculty across campus to verify their contact information and affirm their membership. More than 300 faculty members have done so in the past week and a half. In addition, more than fifty new members have joined – this includes new faculty members as well as faculty who had not been members in the past but have made the choice to join at this time. While LCCEA already had strong membership with 91% of contracted faculty and 76% of part-time faculty, adding more than fifty new members on top of that in a short time is a truly remarkable response. (We have approximately 500 faculty members, so fifty represents 10%. We have been so busy collecting new member forms, membership affirmation and contact information sheets, we have not yet calculated our total membership percentages.) Some departments are at 100% membership and 100% complete with updated contact forms.
This is a testament not only to the dedication of our faculty volunteers who serve in the union but also to all faculty members who responded with a resounding, “Yes” to our call. When the Janus decision came in over summer, and the conservative Freedom Foundation launched a campaign targeting the West Coast (and their paperwork literally showed up on our bargaining table!) with the goal of weakening not only public unions but also the voice of public employees and the very institutions where we work, where we teach, where we provide critical services vital to the community and paramount for the common good, we responded.
Individually and collectively, we stepped up. We renewed our commitment to collective action and to our service at pubic institutions – our schools, our fire stations, our public colleges and health clinics, which form the very fabric of society. As faculty, we reaffirmed our role in supporting the college mission and the fundamental role of the community college institution in a healthy democracy.
Our students and our communities depend on us. We said, “yes.” We are here to stay. We will continue to do this work for the public good. Thank you!
This work is not quite done! OEA Consultant, Steve Fraga, has been here on campus yesterday and today as we connect with faculty members and departments that have not yet had a chance to affirm membership. We also have planned visits to multiple sites including one with Flight Tech faculty members at the airport campus next week. Please do your part when you receive a call from Wendy or your department rep. Thank you! And please thank your department reps for their service!
Anne McGrail has graciously accepted the position of Communications Chair and volunteered to update the LCCEA website over the summer. You will find it at: https://lccea.org/ It is a work-in-progress, and we will continue to develop its functions in the coming weeks in order to establish communication systems via multiple formats, utilizing the blog function and linking to social media.
Faculty working relationships:
We’ve created a Peer Facilitation Team and are partnering with VP, Paul Jarrell, and FPD to offer professional development focused on improving faculty working relationships and communication. More on this soon…
Member Engagement and Interests:
The LCCEA is engaging our Department Rep system and expanding our part-time faculty rep system. Please contact me if you are interested in serving. This is an efficient way to volunteer and have a significant impact without dedicating too much time. Thank you to all the new reps who have joined this term!
In addition, we will conduct a survey of all faculty members, which will provide supplemental information to the bargaining survey conducted last spring. In addition to bargaining goals, we seek input from all faculty on upcoming issues, such as a redesign of the governance system and an exploration of a faculty department/program chair model. Please keep an eye out for the survey.
Part-time Faculty Issues:
Another goal is to increase awareness about part-time faculty issues as well as to increase opportunities for part-time faculty to engage in LCCEA activities. We will highlight the plight of part-time faculty coaches, who are paid without a salary schedule or transparent system at rates below regular part-time faculty salaries, when we approach economic bargaining this year.
Other LCCEA News:
Russell Shitabata, who brings both grievance and bargaining experience, has accepted the position of Grievance Chair. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with contract concerns or questions. Our goal is to resolve issues proactively and the lowest level, obviating formal grievances when possible.
Bargaining continues with plans for a one-year economic agreement for the period beginning July 1, 2018. Once an economic agreement is reached, the parties have mutually agreed to participate in interest-based bargaining workshops and commence bargaining a multi-year contract, negotiating both economic and non-economic terms, for the period beginning July 1, 2019. Please watch for regular updates from your LCCEA Bargaining Team.
The LCCEA Workload Committee, chaired by Marge Helzer, will be meeting with the College members of the Joint Workload Taskforce to make progress in earnest on codifying existing maximum assignable workloads, including class sizes, for all programs. The committee has accomplished a great deal but has much more to do. With VP Paul Jarrell heading up the team for the College, we are optimistic that we will meet in good faith and reach agreements one-by-one for each program.
Finally, all faculty members are cordially invited to the Fall Faculty Welcome Reception at 3:30 p.m. this Friday, October 5 in the Art Gallery in building 11. FPD and LCCEA are co-sponsoring this event for guests of honor: new faculty members and new VP, Paul Jarrell. I hope to see you there!
President, Lane Community College Education Association