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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or Alexandra Geddes at email@example.com 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.