LCC Faculty Colleagues,
We are writing with news of a bargaining agreement on working conditions, safety, and other impacts due to COVID for Fall 2021 through Summer 2022.
In addition, we have critical updates for all faculty regarding the vaccine requirement implementation and updated timeline for requests to move remote for Fall.
New Deadline – Faculty may still make a request to move instruction to remote format for one week from the date the new MOA was signed, which was late last night (Saturday 9/18). Please contact your dean and fill out the HR request form at: https://www.lanecc.edu/hr/flex-workplace-arrangements as soon as possible if you wish to request to teach remotely for the Fall term.
Vaccine Requirement Implementation Delayed
As you are likely aware, the Board of Education provided clarification to the Administration at their work session on September 1 that: proof of vaccine status must be required; documentation of medical or religious exemptions must be provided to and reviewed by LCC; and the philosophical exemption should be disallowed.
After the announcement to all campus on September 2 of these changes, the Administration paused the process by which students and employees were to submit the vaccine self-reporting form. The Administration also cancelled the vaccine implementation team meetings and cancelled all but one COVID Advisory Committee meeting.
The LCCEA and LCCEF Bargaining Teams continued to meet with the College on safety and working conditions negotiations; however, on Tuesday, September 14, the College cancelled the bargaining session. Administrative representatives explained that they anticipated that they would ask the Board of Education in a closed Executive Session to revisit the vaccine implementation with specific questions and concerns around the elimination of the philosophical exemption and the timing of implementing the vaccine requirement. During the public September 15 Board meeting, the Board of Education made clear that they do expect that the College will continue with plans as directed on September 1 to: require proof of vaccine status, allow only the legally-required medical and religious exemptions, and require documentation and a review process for the exemptions. The Board also indicated that the Administration must take action to implement the vaccine requirement, which had been delayed, by October 24 in time for winter registration, which begins November 1.
We anticipate that an announcement about changes to the vaccine requirement implementation timeline to all campus via the Weekly or Titan Download is still forthcoming. Until then, please know that the requirement process is delayed but must be fully implemented in advance of Winter term registration.
This means that, outside of specific programs (e.g. Health Professions, LCC health clinic) that have external vaccine mandates and/or requirements for clinical locations for faculty, classified, and students, other students and employees on campus are not required to submit forms regarding vaccine status until the new implementation system is developed. We anticipate the system will be available by mid-October and no later than October 25.
Given the postponement of the vaccine implementation, your LCCEA Bargaining Team jointly with the LCCEF negotiated that faculty and classified employees will have one additional week to make a request to move classes or other work to remote format for the Fall term.
For faculty who intend to seek a medical or religious exemption to the vaccine requirement, the forms are not yet finalized, but it is likely that the College will use existing OHA forms for this purpose. Please see below for examples of the types of forms that may be required, but please wait until there is a formal announcement about required forms. Please do reach out to LCCEA for any support needed with the process once announced.
Reopening Working Conditions MOA for Fall 2021 through Summer 2022 Summary
With many confirmed changes to the vaccine implementation with implications for Fall working conditions after last Wednesday night’s Board meeting, the LCCEF-LCCEA joint teams scheduled two bargaining sessions with the College Friday and negotiated for many hours and into the evening. We provided our final offer to the College at 9 p.m. Friday, and the College accepted yesterday and signed last night (Saturday). (See MOA Below.)
The agreement is comprehensive in its protections for faculty, classified, and the broader campus community. You will find one joint section that applies to both faculty and classified as well as sections with specific provisions for each employee group. We encourage all faculty to read the MOA in full.
Brief Summary of Provisions for All:
o College to follow most protective public health guidelines in effect according to CDC, OHA, OSHA, and/or Lane County Public Health
o Vaccine implementation process to be implemented such that students may not register for Winter without providing documentation of vaccine status or exemption request, which must be reviewed and approved prior to permission to register
o Employees must complete vaccine documentation process within 5 working days of notice that the system will accept documents for upload
o College to make reasonable efforts to ensure that individuals working or learning on campus in person in Fall have approved exemptions or vaccination status
o A weekly testing protocol will be established primarily for unvaccinated students and employees. Tests will be provided at no cost for Fall. If costs will be assessed in future terms, the College must provide notice during the term prior to implementation
o Campus vaccination rate to be published weekly
o Face coverings provided to anyone who needs one at any time they are required
o N95 masks provided for Health Professions whenever indicated by external public health guidelines or industry safety standards, and KN95 masks provided for at-risk individuals
o MERV 13 filters installed in HVAC systems throughout campus with daily outdoor air flush. (Evaluation of HVAC systems is ongoing. Please see Ventilation Report below for current issues to be remedied before next analysis takes place.)
o HEPA filters available upon request for classrooms and shared offices
o Opportunity for employees to request flexible workplace arrangements or remote work. Staggered scheduling, distancing, and other measures to be implemented when remote work is not possible. Option to utilize paid or unpaid leave if remote work not possible
o For Winter through Summer ’22, flexible workplace arrangements may be limited as COVID conditions improve.
o No loss of salary if leave is exhausted for COVID illness, quarantine, or isolation
o Confidentiality maintained for employees reporting illness or COVID-like symptoms
o Daily cleaning of high touch surfaces throughout campus
o Campus child care space available to employees after students. Employees pay costs
o Hardware and software provided for remote work as needed
o Weekly flush of water system on campus for safe conditions (e.g. avoiding legionella bacteria)
o Outdoor tents with tables and heaters for both student and employee use
o Employees not required to attend meetings in-person; virtual meeting options available
o One week extension for faculty to request remote work for Fall effective immediately
o College to prioritize assigning in-person instruction to faculty who wish to teach face-to-face
o Microphones available to in-person instructors upon request
o Curriculum development ($30/hr) compensation for part-time faculty at the rate of 1.25 hours for every 1 hour every week of asynchronous instruction for courses not taught in remote or online format previously. Faculty must have participated or participate in professional development through ATC to be eligible for funding. Options include: ATC workshops, teaching pairs, OSCQR training, or pre-pandemic online teaching experience at LCC
o Compensation at regular hourly rates for both PT and FT faculty or equivalent release time for FT faculty who must teach extra hours if course sections are split into subgroups due to social distancing
o In-person proctoring services shall be restored in the Instructional Testing Services as soon as reasonably possible. COVID conditions may reasonably limit service hours and offerings
o Faculty shall make reasonable efforts to support student success (e.g. make-ups, alternative assignments) when students cannot attend in-person
o Faculty right to move a class outside (if feasible) or cancel class session due to student noncompliance with mask or other safety requirements
o No required in-person office hours
o No limits to faculty access to campus
o Classes scheduled in rooms with windows that open whenever possible
Highlights of Provisions for Our Classified Colleagues from LCCEF:
o Protection against outsourcing for vaccine implementation system
o Rights to request remote work and same one week extension of deadline for such requests
o Expansion of remote delivery options for enrollment and student services, among other provisions
Overall, we find this agreement to be exceedingly strong in its protections for faculty and believe that the new safety measures required will help mitigate risk of COVID exposure on campus and contribute to public health broadly in the community.
It has been a great honor to work together in solidarity with our classified colleagues from LCCEF, including Frankie Cocanour, Buck Potter, and Fiora Starchild as well as AFT-O consultant Bryan Lally. We are truly stronger together, and we look forward to more collaboration in the future.
In addition, we are grateful for the tremendous support of faculty throughout campus who, together with classified employees, voiced their opinions through letters and statements to the Board of Education, advocating for better safety precautions and for the work of our Action Team in coordinating organizing efforts over the past month. We would also like to acknowledge the support of Cynthia Campos, our OEA consultant, as well as OEA-appointed attorneys, Aruna Masih and Margaret Olney of Bennett Hartmann Attorneys at Law, for their advice.
Your LCCEA Bargaining Team