LCC Faculty Colleagues,
I hope this message finds you well, safe, and healthy as we navigate the first week of Spring term remote instruction.
I’m writing with updates on the MOA reached regarding faculty work this term including compensation for part-time faculty, support for faculty and students including the OEA Relief Fund for part-time faculty who have experienced class cancellations and the LCCEA Emergency Fund, the College budget and enrollment, campus access, contracted faculty schedules, PT classified staff layoffs, and new Federal Emergency Sick Leave and expanded FMLA provisions.
Memorandum of Agreement
The College and Association have agreed to the terms on the attached MOA, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Compensation for part-time faculty – beginning the week of April 6, part-time faculty may claim 1.25 hours at the CD rate for every hour of scheduled class time per prep each week in Spring.
- A paid, non-scheduled day for all faculty for Spring Conference. Part-time faculty teaching in Spring may claim 8 hours paid time for professional development for online teaching using in-service hours or additional hours if in-service hours are exhausted. This is essentially a paid, non-working day for all faculty. This also means part-time faculty may claim up to 16 hours for professional development time if teaching in Spring, in addition to any remaining in-service hours from Fall.
- One additional paid, non-scheduled / non-working day during the 20-21 academic year, which will either be Tuesday of Fall Inservice or Spring Conference for FT and PT faculty.
- Online delivery may meet minimum standards required to maintain base level continuity*. Faculty are not required to meet all standards of best teaching practices for online teaching. Faculty are not required to cover the same amount of content and assessments that would typically take place during the first three weeks in a face-to-face format and may adjust schedules accordingly. All faculty teaching in Spring may have flexibility in course scheduling and may include non-instructional time equivalent to up to five days for the purpose of course preparation. Faculty may choose when to schedule the non-instructional time and are encouraged to build non-instructional time into the first two weeks of Spring by limiting instruction to a “continuity” model rather than fully developed online teaching. Faculty may incorporate week 11 as instructional time at their discretion.
- The College shall provide hardware and software for online teaching to faculty who do not have the necessary equipment.
- Committees shall meet (virtually) on a must-need basis only during the online teaching period for Spring term.
OEA Relief Fund for Part-time Faculty
Part-time faculty who are members of OEA/LCCEA and who have experienced loss of pay or class cancellation for Spring may apply for up to $1000. Faculty must have been LCCEA/OEA members as of March 2, 2020 and must submit documentation of expenses (e.g. housing payment, food, childcare, medical, etc.) and documentation of lost income (e.g. email from dean about class cancellation or statement by faculty member certifying they had a class cancelled). Apply at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OGmnyt_dBju21Qo5UhVTf3A1LdqhTfXfj0rKltN8XmQ/
LCCEA Emergency Fund for LCCEA Members
LCCEA members (part-time or full-time) with a financial need, which could be due a class cancellation, unanticipated medical expense, etc., may request up to $300 for emergency expenses. Please fill out the form at: https://forms.gle/7Exv618xDD9y9uU79 If you have questions about your membership status, please contact Membership Chair, Wendy Simmons, at email@example.com
OEA Foundation Funds – Grants for Students
Any LCCEA member may apply for grants for their students through a quick request process at: http://oeafoundation.oregoned.org/apply-for-a-grant These grants may be used directly for student expenses such as Chromebooks, textbooks, rent, utilities, or other basic needs. The maximum grant per student is usually $100, but faculty are encouraged to apply for up to $250 if the student needs a Chromebook.
Cards for Colleagues — Fill out a brief form, and LCCEA will send a card to a faculty colleague. Faculty members may request that a card be sent to a colleague for life events such as birth, adoption, or death in the family, marriage or domestic partnership, illness, or simply to cheer up or send well wishes to a colleague for any reason, facilitated by LCCEA Membership Committee.
College Budget, Enrollment, and Federal funding
In addition to spending that exceeded budgeted resources this year and deficits carried over from previous years, which still must be reconciled this year (e.g. Food Services and Bookstore), there are numerous additional strains on the College budget resulting from the pandemic, including the loss of significant rental revenue from the college-owned Titan Court apartment complex this term as well as the added expenses such as laptops for remote instruction.
On a positive note, LCC appears to be faring better than many community colleges in the state in terms of enrollment. While some colleges have reported enrollment drops of 15-20%, the first day enrollment at LCC indicates that, for credit courses, Spring enrollment is down 3.0%, total credits are essentially flat (up 0.1%), and FTE is down 1.6%. (See attached.) The figures that will most impact the college budget are total credits when tuition is assessed at the end of week 1 and FTE at the end of week 3. In addition to direct tuition revenue, LCC’s enrollment in relation to other community colleges is important because it will impact and could potentially increase our percentage allocation from the state Community College Support Fund.
In addition, the CARES Act passed by the U.S. Congress provides relief funding for higher education, including community colleges. An initial, rough estimate for LCC is that the college will receive $3.3M in additional funding to offset expenses and losses due to the pandemic. Learn more about funding for higher ed in the CARES Act at: https://ticas.org/affordability-2/whats-in-the-cares-act-higher-education-student-debt/
Contracted faculty schedules
In a very limited number of disciplines, contracted faculty may teach in Summer in lieu of Spring term, primarily due to external regulations requiring face-to-face instruction. The contract provides for such “exchanges” of academic terms in Article 9 as long as there is a three-party agreement between the College, Association, and individual faculty member. Please contact LCCEA as soon as possible if you are a contracted faculty member who anticipates teaching during summer as a result of required face-to-face instructional time.
Some faculty members have raised questions and concerns about campus access after receiving contradictory messages from administration and department deans. Faculty members should request permission from their dean to access campus and should also notify Public Safety when they arrive and depart. In addition, faculty are encouraged to plan in advance, but VP Jarrell confirmed that it should take no longer than 24 hours to receive permission to access campus. Please note that the College administration has also confirmed that it is recommended that faculty access campus between 8-5, but not required as it may not be possible in all circumstances. Please do continue to contact LCCEA for support if you experience delays or other challenges to accessing your office for necessary materials or for other work that cannot be accomplished remotely.
PT Classified Staff Layoffs
Our hearts go out to the 300+ PT staff who were laid off at the end of March. Since that time, LCCEA has advocated for staffing in areas that most directly support critical student needs. 78 PT classified staff members have since been restored, at least temporarily. LCCEA will continue to advocate for classified staff and work collaboratively with LCCEF to ensure classified staffing is provided in a manner consistent with both the LCCEF contract and Oregon’s Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act.
In addition to the impact of PT classified staff layoffs on programs and student success, LCCEA has surveyed department reps and found substantial impacts to faculty work in ABSE, ESL, International Program, Studio Art, Media Arts, Academic Technology, SHeD, Tutoring, Counseling, Science, Music, and Welding. If your department/discipline is not on this list but you anticipate impacts to faculty work if classified staffing is not restored once face-to-face classes resume, please contact your department rep and/or LCCEA directly.
New Federal Emergency Sick Leave and FMLA Expansion
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal government has provided for additional paid emergency sick leave as well as expanded guidelines for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). See attached guidance from OEA legal counsel for additional details. Please note that the new law provides 10 days paid emergency leave. This emergency paid sick time may be used prior to any existing paid leave. Employers are prohibited from requiring employees to use other paid leave first, and may not modify their existing paid leave policies to avoid being subject to this requirement.
Leave may be used only if the employee is unable to work (or telework) because of any of the following:
1. Employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to coronavirus;
2. Employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to coronavirus;
3. Employee is experiencing coronavirus symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;
4. Employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to coronavirus; or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to coronavirus Note: There does not appear to be any particular relationship requirement to this “caring for” provision
5. Employee is caring for a son or daughter if a school or place of care has been closed due to coronavirus, or the childcare provider of the son or daughter is unavailable due to coronavirus;
“Son or daughter,” as under the FMLA, includes a biological, foster, or adopted child, a stepchild, a child of a domestic partner, a legal ward, or the child of a person standing in loco parentis, under 18 years of age.
6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and Secretary of the Treasury.
You will also information on resources for faculty and others at: https://lccea.org/lccea-covid-19-response/
I hope your first week of remote delivery goes well for you and your students during these challenging circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with questions, concerns, or requests for union support.