18 October 2019
I’m writing with a quick update from Wednesday’s tremendous action at the Board meeting. About 65 faculty members attended — filling the Boardroom seats, aisle, and spilling into the hallway. Faculty members delivered the life-sized “Fair Contract Now” letter to the Board and College Administration with more than 120 faculty signatures. (We lost count! Photos below.)
Fourteen faculty members spoke sharing compelling stories of hardships faced by part-time faculty, the impact of large class sizes on student success and retention, the disparities and inequities of the two-tiered faculty system, the continued decrease in full-time positions at LCC, the College’s (still incomplete) contractual obligation to document workload, the numerous financial sacrifices made by faculty over recent years, the problems of the college’s proposals such as undermining part-time seniority, and the reasonableness of the faculty proposal.
The Wednesday evening action was inspiring and moving and an excellent step toward ensuring that the Board and Administration hear this important faculty message.
Over several years, the College has effectively disinvested in the mission by dedicating a decreasing proportion of operating expenditures to instruction from 40.0% in FY16 to 37.2% in FY17, and 35.1% in FY18, well below the national average of 41.6% for public community colleges.
Your LCCEA proposals in bargaining help shift the college to begin to reinvest in faculty, in instruction, and back toward the central mission of Lane Community College, underscoring the critical importance of this bargain for the overall health of the institution and, ultimately, for students we serve.
Standing together, we are making an impact. At the end of the meeting, Board members called for an Executive Session to discuss collective bargaining and address questions stemming from the testimony provided by faculty, and there has been renewed attention to our proposals and bargaining by the administration.
Thank you to all who came, to all who spoke, to all who shared your stories so that they could be read publicly, and to our amazing Action Team Chairs, Wendy Simmons and Lee Imonen. And thank you to the dozens of faculty who sent messages of support even though you were teaching or away from campus and could not attend.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for October 28, and we expect a reasonable proposal from the College at that time.
In the meantime, LCCEA will conduct a survey of all faculty, which will be more focused than our most recent bargaining survey. Please keep an eye out for the survey next week. As always, the faculty goals and interests guide the Bargaining Team, so your input is important. The Action Team, Department reps, and Action reps will continue to organize and share ways for you to get involved.
p.s. If you have any photos from the event or photos of yourself in red, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org