LCCEA President’s Update May 5, 2021

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

I’m writing with a number updates on behalf of LCCEA regarding: bargaining, College communications about campus COVID cases, shared governance redesign, an important grievance resolution, May election endorsements, OEA updates, legislative updates, and compensation increases for next year.

Thank you to the more than 300 faculty members who participated in the LCCEA All-Faculty survey in April! Your voice is critical to ensuring LCCEA best represents faculty interests in negotiations regarding both hyflex* instruction and reopening as the campus transitions to more in-person offerings.

Summer Reopening MOA

Given that the pandemic continues to impact our campus and larger community, your LCCEA Bargaining Team (Kelly Collins, Adrienne Mitchell, and Nancy Wood) has proposed an extension of the current COVID-Working Conditions MOA for Summer term in order to protect the safety of faculty and provide adequate compensation for faculty working in Summer. Please see the draft below and look for an update to all faculty once we have received a response from the College.

Bargaining regarding impacts of “hyflex” teaching

Negotiations over the impacts of “hyflex,” streaming instruction are scheduled to begin today (Monday, May 5). Your LCCEA Bargaining Team had an initial meeting with the College on April 23 in order to gather information about the plan for a proposed hyflex* pilot. *Hyflex teaching is a modality that is a distinct version of hybrid courses. Like hybrid courses, the hyflex modality offers some face-to-face instructional time with the remainder of the course online. However, for the face-to-face time in hyflex courses, instructors teach live in a classroom with some students physically present while simultaneously teaching some students who are off campus via Zoom for the “in-person” portion of the course. Students decide on a day-to-day basis whether to attend in person or via Zoom.

Fall Reopening

Your LCCEA Bargaining Team will also negotiate over impacts to working conditions for Fall in order to best protect faculty interests as more instruction and services re-open in-person. We anticipate these negotiations will begin after an agreement is finalized for Summer term and revised OHA and CDC guidelines are announced.

Please keep an eye out for updates from your LCCEA Bargaining Team on negotiations regarding: Summer, hyflex, and Fall reopening.

College Communications Regarding COVID cases

As many faculty members may be aware from recent announcements and forums, LCC is not providing notice to employees and students when they have been physically present at a campus activity with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 unless Lane County Public Health determines that there was “close contact,” currently defined as less than 6’ social distancing for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period. This means, for instance, that if a student attending in-person tests positive but only attended classes where there was at least 6’ distancing in place with masks, the faculty member(s) and other students will not receive any notice. In the LCCEA all-faculty survey, faculty expressed overwhelming support for requiring notice in such circumstances, and you will see in the Summer MOA proposal attached that your Bargaining Team has included a requirement for such notice, and your LCCEA representatives will advocate for more transparent communication that also protects individual health privacy. For reference, case counts among students and employees can be viewed on the LCC COVID  dashboard .

Shared Governance Redesign

The LCC shared governance system has been undergoing a redesign process for several years, and the College Council approved the Governance Implementation Team’s recommendations and work plan at the April meeting. Changes include: making Faculty Council a formal council of the governance system as well as implementing a notice and comment process for new and revised policies. In addition, you will see that one of the recommendations is to “Support adequate compensation/release time for governance participants,” which will also be the subject of negotiations on behalf of faculty. Overall, these changes should promote greater transparency and help elevate faculty voices through formal inclusion of Faculty Council, which retains academic and grading policies within its purview.

The extent to which faculty voices and Faculty Council decisions will be honored is unclear. For example, at the most recent meeting, Faculty Council formed a Taskforce, which includes faculty from both Academic Technology and instructional departments, to revise definitions for teaching modalities (e.g. online, hybrid, etc). However, while the Taskforce is still conducting its work, the Provost announced modality definitions in an email to all employees. (Some members of Faculty Council also expressed concerns about the announced definitions, including that they do not account for the option of proctored testing for online courses. The need for proctored testing was reflected in the LCCEA All-Faculty survey results as well.)

Shared governance will only have efficacy and meaning if the Administration honors and respects the value and voice of faculty.

Grievance Resolution

Your LCCEA Grievance Team recently reached an important resolution with the College. A group of part-time faculty had been hired to do instructional work beginning in Fall 2020 without being properly classified as faculty, resulting in: no consideration of education or experience in salary placement, insufficient compensation below contractual salary schedule rates, and lack of rights and benefits under the contract. The resolution provides that the affected faculty are now retroactively correctly classified as part-time faculty, receiving full retroactive compensation and contractual benefits to the date of hire, including the ability to qualify for healthcare and part-time seniority over time.

Oregon Education Association Updates

Congratulations to Enrique Farrera, who was elected to serve as Vice President of the OEA, our statewide union. Enrique is a community college member from Clackamas CC, who will help amplify the voice of the community college sector as a statewide leader.

The delegates to the statewide OEA Representative Assembly voted to approve a by-laws change to make dues for part-time faculty more affordable and equitable. OEA dues for PT faculty will be assessed based on salary rather than FTE beginning in Fall 2021. Many PT faculty will see a reduction in OEA dues deductions as a result of this change.

Legislative Advocacy

With the Oregon legislative session in full swing, your LCCEA and OEA representatives are engaged in advocacy around a number of goals in support of community college members.

These include: support for increased funding for the need-based Oregon Opportunity grant for students, advocacy for part-time faculty healthcare statewide, and increased funding for the CCSF (Community College Support Fund). Thank you to Welding faculty member, Doug Ford (pictured below), for testifying before the Joint Ways and Means Committee in support of $702M CCSF funding for the next biennium. Thank you also to Nursing Faculty member, Jeremy Kaufman, for additional testimony provided to the Ways and Means! You will find Doug’s testimonyJeremy’s testimony, and LCCEA testimony on the Oregon Legislature’s website for the hearing.

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May Elections and LCCEA Endorsements

LCCEA proudly endorses Austin Folnagy (Zone 4), Holli Johnson (Zone 1), and Steve Mital (Zone 5) for LCC Board of Education as well as Rose Wilde for Lane ESD Board for the upcoming election in May. Thank you to LCCEA Legislative Action Committee and Executive Council members for conducing the interviews and endorsement process.

In addition, LCCEA stands in solidarity with our colleagues in Eugene 4j in support of EEA-Endorsed candidates for the 4j school board: Tom Di Liberto, Laural O’Rourke, and Maya Rabasa and also supports Ashley Espinosa for Bethel Board. Ballots are due by May 18. 

Compensation Increases for 2021-2022

A reminder to all faculty – through the overwhelming organizing efforts and support of faculty in Fall 2019, salary schedule increases are coming for the 2021-2022 year as provided in our contract. Compensation will increase for all faculty as follows.

For part-time faculty:

Beginning in July, 1.5% COLA, plus 3% pay parity adjustment**, plus full steps (3.75%) as earned. For faculty at the top of the salary schedule, one half-step (1.875%) will be added, and the bottom step will be dropped. Total increases for step-eligible PT faculty: 8.25%. Total increases for PT faculty already at the top: 6.375%. **Pay parity adjustments make incremental change toward pay equity for part-time faculty; a long-term goal of the Association is to address the systemic inequity that affects part-time faculty at LCC and in community colleges nationwide.

For contracted (e.g. full-time) faculty:

First, in July, salaries for contracted faculty affected by furloughs this year will return to normal 2020-2021 levels. (2020-2021 salaries were reduced for ten months only to account for furlough days. Reductions were largely offset by tax-free reimbursements by Workshare through an agreement that moved six paid course preparation days to Summer 2020.)

Then, beginning in July for those working in Summer or September for those not working Summer: 1.5% COLA, plus full steps (3.75%). For faculty already at the top of the salary schedule, one half-step (1.875%) will be added, and the bottom step will be dropped. Total increases for step-eligible contracted faculty: 5.25% and for FT faculty already at the top: 3.375%. (Please note: the increase from current paychecks for faculty affected by furloughs will be 9.93% for step-eligible faculty and 7.92% for faculty already at the top.)

Coming up today, this month, and beyond:

* Today at 4:00 p.m, Know Your Contract Info Session: Calculating Instructional Workload, hosted by your LCCEA Grievance Team Register here. 

* May 7 and June 11: Contracted faculty furlough days; these are non-working, non-instructional days

* LCCEA Meeting, later this month, date TBD

* LCCEA Elections, the Treasurer and five Vice President positions will be up for election later this month

* June 10: last day of the Spring term work year

* September 21: first day of the contracted faculty work year for 21-22

* September 23: All campus in-service and All-Faculty LCCEA meeting

* September 27: first day of Fall term

My best,

Adrienne

About LCCEA

The Lane Community College Education Association
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