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.
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!