Agreement Reached: Governance Reassignment and Compensation

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

LCCEA and LCC have reached an agreement on reassignment time and compensation for shared governance. Please see the MOA here.



The Memorandum of Agreement provides:* One course release per term up to .25 FTE* for chairs of governance councils, including Faculty Council;* Commensurate compensation for part-time faculty serving as chairs;* Compensation for part-time faculty serving on governance councils but not as chairs at the rate of 2 hours at regular rates for every 1 hour of meeting attendance (to account for additional committee work outside of meeting time).

*For faculty whose individual courses exceed .25 FTE, consistent with current contract language, this may mean that a faculty member has release for two terms instead of three with any remaining / unused release FTE paid as overload.

We find this agreement to be reasonable and demonstrative of a renewed commitment to the shared governance system.

Your LCCEA Bargaining Team

Kelly Collins

Joseph Colton

Adrienne Mitchell

Nancy Wood

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LCCEA President’s Update Oct 4, 2021

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

I hope your first week of Fall term went smoothly, especially for so many faculty who are navigating recent changes to their course modalities.

I’m writing with updates regarding the vaccine requirement implementation, LCC presidential search, SB 551, public service loan forgiveness, and labor relations issues.

Vaccine Requirement Implementation

As confirmed at the September 15 Board meeting, the vaccine requirement for LCC students and employees will be fully implemented no later than October 25. IT is working on a new process for submission of proof of vaccination status (e.g., photo of vaccine card) and submission of documents required for anyone seeking a medical or religious exemption. Please see OHA forms at the end of this message, which will be required for requests for medical or religious exemptions. No other exemption types will be available.

The system will go “live” sometime later in October, and employees will have only five working days to submit documents. Please note that a healthcare provider signature is required on the medical exemption request form, so it is recommended that any employees or students seeking a medical exemption start now by making an appointment with their healthcare provider. Faculty members needing assistance with the process should contact LCCEA for support.

Current plans include placing holds on student winter term registration until their documents have been submitted, reviewed, and approved. Because student registration for Winter term begins November 1, this will likely require a very quick turnaround for document submission and verification, and the administration may ask for faculty assistance in communicating with students later in October.

Other Safety and Working Conditions Updates

For more details on safety requirements and other MOA provisions in effect for this year, including required notice of COVID exposure in a classroom, MERV-13 filters installed in the campus HVAC systems, prioritization of in-person instruction for faculty who wish to teach in-person, flexible workplace accommodation requests, curriculum development funding for part-time faculty, and more, please review the September 19 communication from your LCCEA Bargaining Team at: https://lccea.org/2021/09/19/1587/ and the full 2021-2022 COVID MOA at: https://lccea.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/signed-covid-moa-9-18-21-lcc.pdf  Please do not hesitate to contact your LCCEA Bargaining Team members and elected officers with any questions you may have. A full list of LCCEA committee members and reps is at: https://lccea.org/committees/

The COVID page on the LCC website at: https://www.lanecc.edu/covid19 provides additional information, including links to official college communications to students and employees, the campus COVID case dashboard with information on current and cumulative cases associated with LCC since June 21, 2021, as well as details on voluntary testing (for asymptomatic individuals) available on campus every Tuesday 9 – 4 through October. Periodic testing may be required in the future for unvaccinated and/or vaccinated students and employees.

Facilities is making progress fixing outstanding ventilation issues in a few buildings in order to proceed with balancing/engineering firm consultation to confirm ventilation rates, outside air damper operation, room airflow, etc. Outstanding repairs remain in buildings 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, 16, 17, and 19. (Please see attachments provided 9/19 for a complete list, many of which have been addressed.) Through Summer 2022, faculty will be provided HEPA filters upon request for classrooms, shared offices, and any other shared spaces on campus as an additional measure to mitigate risk of COVID transmission.

Search for a New LCC President

After President Hamilton announced her retirement in June, the Board of Education began planning the presidential search. The Board retains hiring authority for the position and will have a significant role in interviewing finalists and selecting the next president. The initial stages of the search allow for community input via forums and a survey, followed by the work of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee to screen candidates and recommend semi-finalists.

Faculty are encouraged to attend one of the forums this week to help shape the vision for the president and/or to participate in the survey, which is open through 3:00 p.m. on October 12 at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/lane-community-college-presidential-search

Forums for LCC employees are scheduled this week as follows.
Wednesday, Oct. 6, noon to 1 p.m. https://lanecc.zoom.us/j/96677086566 
Friday, Oct. 8, 2-3 p.m. https://lanecc.zoom.us/j/92790324709 

In addition, plans for public forums with finalists are tentatively scheduled for the week of March 7, 2022.

SB 551 Implementation and Bargaining

The Oregon legislature passed SB 551, providing employee-only medical care to part-time faculty at public colleges and universities. Part-time faculty who work half time or more at least three terms/year at any combination of public institutions of higher education in the state now qualify for insurance with 90% of costs paid by a new state fund. This will be transformational for so many colleagues throughout the state. Thank you to our state union, OEA, and AFT-O for their longstanding advocacy on this issue!

Insurance benefits for part-time faculty at LCC provided through our contract are more generous, including vision and dental care, a lower threshold for eligibility, a 100% contribution for employee-only insurance, and options for coverage up to full family. Insurance benefits for LCC faculty will not change as a result of this new law.

The new law will provide reimbursements to LCC for eligible part-time faculty with savings reserved for labor relations (i.e., negotiations for the benefit of faculty in accordance with all faculty survey results), which we estimate at approximately $500,000 or more per year.

Your LCCEA Bargaining Team members (Kelly Collins, Joseph Colton, Adrienne Mitchell, and Nancy Wood) met with the College last week for an initial discussion regarding streamlining the implementation of the bill at LCC in order to maximize reimbursements to LCC while allowing an opt-out option for eligible individuals to select a different institution to provide healthcare benefits, if desired. We have two additional bargaining sessions scheduled this week and will provide more information as soon as possible.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness – Changes to calculations of working hours for Oregon higher ed faculty

The Oregon legislature also passed HB 3255, which is now in effect. The new law establishes requirements for public education institutions to inform employees of eligibility and provide information about public service loan forgiveness (PSLF). (See: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB3255/Enrolled )

Importantly, the law also requires a 3.35 factor be applied to every instructional hour when calculating full time equivalent work hours for the purpose of public service loan forgiveness. For instance, a faculty member teaching 10 hours per week in Oregon will receive credit for 33.5 hours of work for the purpose of qualifying for the federal public service loan forgiveness program.

This issue is very important to many faculty, especially part-time faculty who sometimes have faced challenges in qualifying for PSLF, who carry heavy student loan burdens from attaining the advanced degrees most often required to work as faculty. For example, our last survey on student debt carried by faculty was in Fall 2019. Results from 333 faculty respondents are below.

Student debt at time of survey

5% of part-time faculty and 6.4% of contracted faculty report having current student debt of $100,000 or more.

13.2% of part-time faculty report current student debt of $50,000 or more.

18.2% of part-time faculty report current student debt of $30,000 or more.

Highest previous balance of student debt

6.8% of part-time faculty and 7.0% of contracted faculty report having previous student debt with the highest balance of $100,000 or more.

Other Labor Relations and Contractual Issues

Contracted Faculty Positions

The College was required to ensure that contracted faculty positions and FTE (full-time equivalency) for the 2021-2022 year total at least 195.864 for Fall, which would then reduce to 193.864 for the remainder of the year after two December retirements; however, the contracted FTE as of September 25 was only 187.821 – a full 8 positions below the contractually required FTE. As you may be aware, numerous positions that were approved in April or earlier were not posted until June, July, or August. Most remain unfilled due to a dearth of applicants, resulting from last minute, off-cycle posting and abbreviated timelines.

These delays have had a significant impact on some programs and disciplines such as Health Information Management and Dental Hygiene, both of which need a faculty program coordinator to meet their external program accreditation requirements, as well as disciplines like Chemistry, which do not have sufficient full-time or part-time faculty to meet student demand for classes.

The College’s representative has apologized profusely, acknowledging that the College “wasn’t even close” to hiring sufficient faculty for this year, but did not provide an explanation as to why ASA (Academic and Student Affairs) had not authorized nor ensured posting of more positions in a more timely fashion.

LCCEA will seek a full remedy for this issue through the appropriate procedures.

Minimum Qualifications and Instructor Certification Procedures

ASA published final procedures for MQs and Instructor Certification in COPPS (College Online Policies and Procedures) and announced their publication via the September 28 Weekly e-mail newsletter. These procedures, which were also the subject of many faculty concerns at last year’s Faculty Council meetings, are inconsistent with the faculty contract and also represent potential unilateral changes to mandatory subjects of bargaining (issues about which negotiations are legally required). An analysis of the procedures by the LCCEA Executive Council and Grievance Team indicates that the procedures: contravene job security and assignment rights for both part-time and contracted faculty and also reduce the role of faculty in determining the minimum qualifications for their discipline.

The College did not meet requirements under the contract and the PECBA (Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act) to provide notice to the Association before implementing the new procedures even though LCCEA  provided numerous courtesy reminders regarding the College’s notice and labor relations obligations prior to implementation of new policies. LCCEA will address faculty concerns through all means with support from OEA-appointed legal counsel.

Resources for Faculty and Upcoming Events

Professional Development

A reminder that LCCEA members are invited to attend free professional learning events sponsored by OEA at any time. Upcoming opportunities include a Fall Conference beginning October 16, a workshop on student debt relief October 21, and an introduction to trauma-informed practices November 18.

Peer Mediation and Facilitation

Both LCCEA and OEA provide free, confidential peer mediation, facilitation, and consultation services to faculty. Faculty members may contact LCCEA Peer Facilitators, Counseling faculty members Jessica Alvarado or Anthony Hampton, for confidential assistance. In addition, faculty may seek peer mediation through OEA’s statewide mediation network.

All Faculty Survey

Please watch for a comprehensive all faculty survey later this term. The survey will be longer than many recent LCCEA surveys and will include questions that seek broad information on faculty working conditions at Lane, faculty interests, and recommendations set forth by the LCCEA Committee on Racial Equity and Social Justice for recruitment and retention of BIPOC faculty and for a more just campus.

Best wishes for a wonderful week 2 and ‘hope to see you at one of the presidential forums this week!

My best,

Adrienne

Attachments:

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Important Working Conditions Updates

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

For Faculty:

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

Kelly Collins

Adrienne Mitchell

Nancy Wood

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UPDATE regarding Vaccine Requirement Implementation


A legal opinion provided to LCCEA confirms that LCC must offer medical and religious exemptions to vaccine requirements. However, LCC and community colleges throughout Oregon are not legally required to allow philosophical / personal exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Please see attached memo from Aruna Masih of Bennett Hartmann Attorneys at Law. {See Memo Regarding Vaccination Exemptions below]

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Best,

Adrienne

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LCCEA President’s Update: Important Fall Faculty Info

Dear Colleagues,
I am writing with a very brief update.

Fall Plans And Staying Up-to-date

Please review your email frequently and regularly before Fall term. As COVID conditions have continued to worsen in Lane County, it is increasingly likely that changes and announcements will be provided to the campus community. Please communicate with your colleagues to ensure they are up-to-date as well.

Vaccine Implementation and Campus Safety
Thank you to the countless faculty who have written to the Board to express concerns with LCC’s plans for safety on campus this Fall. A special thank you to Wendy Simmons and Peggy Oberstaller for their work as Action Team Co-Chairs, coordinating faculty organizing efforts.
At their work session last night, the Board of Education members expressed concerns about: campus safety for Fall, including the lack of proof required for the vaccine mandate, questions on whether students who come to campus in Fall are required to fulfill the requirement or not, the inclusion of the personal/philosophical exemption, the lack of documentation required for exemptions, rising cases and full hospitals in Lane County, and the volume of in-person classes scheduled for Fall under these external and internal conditions. At the same time the Governor’s office is engaging community college and university leaders regarding safety and vaccines in higher education.

It is likely that new changes to the vaccine requirement will be announced at LCC, statewide, or both. It is also possible that LCC will seek to move additional courses to an online format. 

Important Deadlines for Faculty (For Now, Subject to Change)

September 7 — Deadline to Request Moving Remote: faculty members may request to move scheduled in-person Instruction and other Faculty Work to Remote Zoom instruction. Per Provost Jarrell, the process for making requests is: 

  1. Notify your Division Dean of the request you will be submitting so that they can begin processing this request.  There is a lot that goes into looking at consequences, and adjusting schedules, so the sooner they know, the quicker they can resolve.

AND

  1. Fill out and submit the request form provided by HR.  The form can be found at https://www.lanecc.edu/hr/flex-workplace-arrangements.  Employees with existing approved requests for Fall term do not need to resubmit.  

September 14 — Deadline to submit vaccination form for all College employees, regardless of whether working on campus or not. All faculty should complete the form at:  https://etcentral.lanecc.edu/#/form/347

September 15 — Deadline for OEBB insurance mandatory enrollment, required for all insurance-eligible faculty, including faculty who have double coverage and choose a monthly stipend in lieu of insurance. You can find information about open enrollment at: https://www.lanecc.edu/hr/benefits/open-enrollment and complete the open enrollment process at: https://myoebb.org/oebb/!pb.main

LCCEA representatives will work to support faculty in their requests to move online and should any other changes or requirements come about. 

My best,
Adrienne

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