Bargaining Update: Potential loss of $500,000 – $700,000 per year in new state funds

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

Your LCCEA Bargaining Team met with the College yesterday regarding the impacts of SB551, new legislation and funding for part-time faculty healthcare.

The new funding available to LCC will amount to approximately $500,000 – $700,000 per year, according to both LCCEA and College estimates. As you may be aware, savings resulting from this bill are reserved for labor relations under the law.

In order to maximize the reimbursements to LCC, however, the College and Association must reach an agreement that will streamline the process for automatically designating LCC as the “home institution” for eligible part-time faculty (with an opt-out option for rare instances, if any, of part-time faculty electing a different public institution of higher education).

The College had previously indicated that their interest is in an agreement where only the actual, realized savings are included. Given the reasonableness of the College request, LCCEA proposed utilizing only actual, realized savings (i.e. reimbursements from the new state fund to LCC resulting from the new law). (As a reminder, please see the explanation below this message regarding the LCCEA proposal for use of the savings.)

However, yesterday, the College informed your LCCEA representatives that they are not willing to negotiate to direct the use of any of the savings at this time. This is despite the fact that LCCEA has made a proposal limited to the actual savings in alignment with the College’s request and despite the fact that the savings are expressly reserved for labor relations (i.e. negotiations) under the law. Because the LCCEA proposal is tied to the actual reimbursements to LCC, there is no risk to the College of making a commitment that cannot be fulfilled.

Without an agreement to a streamlined process with LCCEA, it will be impossible for LCC to receive reimbursements from the new state fund of $500,000 – $700,000 per year.

We struggle to understand why the College would take such a position and have asked the College to reconsider, reminding College representatives of their obligation under the new law, the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act, and the requirements of good faith bargaining.

We look forward to meeting with the College again next week and expect that the College will recognize that it is not in our mutual interests to squander the opportunity to work together to receive this substantial amount of additional state funding and to negotiate in good faith over its use.

Your LCCEA Bargaining Team:

Kelly Collins

Joseph Colton

Adrienne Mitchell

Nancy Wood

LCCEA proposed using the savings as follows:

  1. Increasing College contributions for participating part-time faculty members’ Sec 125 accounts by $640/ year to $1340/ year for employee+ spouse/partner and employee + child(ren) tiers and increasing College contributions by $960/ year to $1860 / year for full family. This would apply to all part-time faculty who are eligible and participating in Section 125 medical reimbursement accounts in order to help reduce out-of-pocket insurance expenses beyond the employee-only tier.
  2. Language to ensure that more part-time faculty are able to maintain insurance as follows.
    1. Correcting some contractual issues by modifying the eligibility language for part-time faculty insurance to prevent some part-time faculty from losing insurance for one term only to re-qualify in a subsequent term. (The 1.2 term FTE eligibility threshold for insurance maintenance would apply to any two of four terms and allow a part-time faculty member to maintain insurance for all four terms as long as they work 1.2 term FTE over two terms. The .2 FTE/ term for insurance maintenance would also remain in effect as an alternative way to maintain insurance.)
    2. Eliminating the .5 FTE maximum limit on the amount of FTE for Summer term that can “count” toward insurance eligibility for part-time faculty.
  3. Providing all remaining savings from state reimbursements to LCC as annual lump sum payments to all faculty as a percentage of annual earnings such that contracted faculty receive a percentage and part-time faculty receive twice that percentage for the purpose of progress toward pay parity. For instance, if the percentage of salary paid as a lump sum payment is 1% to contracted faculty, the percentage would be 2% for part-time faculty. The percentages will be determined by a formula and depend on the actual amount of savings provided to LCC from the new state fund each year. Please note: these lump sums are separate from and in addition to regular cost of living adjustments and steps for all faculty as well as PT faculty pay parity adjustments already required under the contract.

About LCCEA

The Lane Community College Education Association
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