Administration Assault on Our College

LCC Faculty,

Regardless of your plans tomorrow (Wednesday) night, CANCEL THEM and ATTEND the LCC BOARD of EDUCATION MEETING at 6:30 p.m.

It is not hyperbole to say that the future of our college, and perhaps all of our programs, depends on it.

We met last Friday and again yesterday morning with Interim Vice President Dawn DeWolf, Vice Presidnet Brian Kelly, and HR Executive Director Dennis Carr to discuss their “rationale” for their proposal to eliminate our Medical Office Assistance (MOA), Auto Body and Paint, and Electronics programs, but what we learned was far more outrageous than their goal of killing these programs. When we challenged their claims for “savings” in the program cuts (e.g. their fantastical claim that “75%” of students that would come to LCC for these programs would come anyhow), they made clear that their real motivation was their “concern about the quality” of the programs and the ability of graduates to get jobs. When we responded that 100% of the MOA students pass their required tests and 100% get jobs right away, we were told that the Administration had “done a survey” and that “employers” had questioned the currency of the programs. When we asked if the faculty in the programs were involved in the surveys, involved in the analysis of their program quality, or even aware of the “survey”, the answer was no, the Administration had done a secret survey on their own. With no notice to anyone, the “leadership” of our college decided to go out and ask “at least three local employers” about how they thought LCC was doing, and then these same “leaders”, supposedly based upon the “responses” and other state data, simply decided to eliminate two of the programs (Auto Body and Paint, and Electronics), and to “suspend” the MOA program.

Incredulous, we asked, “Seriously? This is how the Administration wants to work with the faculty of our college? You do secret “surveys” of possible employers, with no involvement of the faculty in the program, you conclude based upon that “survey” that the program should be eliminated (or, in MOA’s case, “suspended” until the current faculty have retired or lost their recall rights, then re-open the program and hire new faculty), then you claim that you’re closing the program to “save money” as part of the budget balancing process, and make up numbers that ignore much of the revenue the program brings in, and then assume fantastical percentages of the program’s students will come here despite closing the program they wanted to study?” The Administration’s answer is “yes.”

It gets worse.

We requested a copy of this “survey”, which you’ll find attached (though they did not provide the actual results of the survey, only their summary of the responses; we’ve asked for the former and will provide those upon receipt). One doesn’t need to be a sociologist to quickly discern the quality of the “survey”, which speaks for itself: interviewing two to four employers per program (so much for having a valid sample size), and choosing “local large employers” (rather than interviewing actual employers of our graduates), apparently talking with whomever agreed to answer the questions (in at least one case, it was the Office Manager who knows next to nothing about LCC), asking a few general questions (only one of which asks questions about their perception of the quality of LCC students and is a very general question at that), and then the conductor of the “survey” (former LCC Executive Dean Andrea Newton) leaps to general conclusions about whether programs should be closed, suspended, moved to “continuing education,” etc., apparently based in part upon the “responses” and additional State Employment Department data projecting future job availability.

And perhaps worst of all:

The final “Recommendations” of the “study” identify the Administration plans for our college, which include: converting “programs that do not need degrees… to continuing education” format; moving classes to “non-credit certificate” format and have students later “convert it to credit”; “constructing common ‘packages’ of courses for students to “complete … in summers, nights, or breaks” (which apparently means that the Administration wants our students to teach themselves without us); offering several programs (i.e., “Auto Body, Aviation Maintenance, Flight Tech, and Computer Programming”) “less often if there’s a cost savings”, etc. Many of these “strategies” are simply ways of moving instruction from LCC faculty to “continuing education” teachers that the Administration could pay what they choose, or other means to reduce the role of faculty in instruction and our college.

In summary…

So, rather than work with the faculty, or have faculty work with the Administration in the new “Program Review” process that the Administration has been promoting, and faculty members have been helping turn into appropriate academic/collegiate framework, the Administration somehow develops concerns about some programs (which in some cases is clearly just retaliation against faculty members by the division dean or other administrators for standing up for their rights), does a secret survey of a few large businesses rather than actual employers of Lane graduates, doesn’t interview our former students to see if they’ve found work but instead relies upon very limited state employment projections, develops strategies to turn our programs over to continuing education teachers or self-teaching modules, then claims our programs aren’t up to par and need to be cut and faculty laid off “in order to balance the books,” based upon fantastical claims about the projected “savings.”

Do know that Association Representatives pointed out each of the problems to the Administration, urged them as strongly as possible to avoid this path, and implored them to work with the faculty if they have concerns for program quality or ideas on how to restructure our curriculum in order to promote student success. Our pleas fell on absolutely deaf ears.

It’s now up to all of us, together, to stand up to this embarrassingly bad “management” of our college, to make clear that such actions may be how management works in the private industry, but we’re a college and faculty are and must be at the center of curriculum evaluation, decisions, and planning.

Start by coming to the Board Meeting this Wednesday night (April 8, 6:30 p.m.), and demand far better, for our colleagues, for our programs, for our students, and for our college. Because the current Management plan for our college is a nightmare.

Jim Salt
LCCEA President

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Posted in Action Team

LCCEA Update – April 1, 2015

LCC Faculty Colleagues,
I hope this finds you well and that you were able to get some rest and had some fun last week. I’m writing to report on a number of matters, and once again will divide this report into a few “editions.” Today’s topics:

1.  College Budget / Administration Notice of Layoff Plans / Program Closures
2.  State Funding for Community Colleges
3.  Enrollment Capacity MOA Revision Agreement
4.  Grievances/Arbitration Update

1.  College Budget / Administration Notice of Layoff Plans / Program Closures
Once again this year the Administration formally notified the Association of their intention to layoff contracted faculty members, effective this September (or next). As provided in Article 10.2, Association and Administration representatives met on March 13 to “discuss the general subject and possible alternatives.” We were informed that the Administration intends to propose eliminating “three professional technical programs” that would result in laying off “four contracted faculty members”; no doubt that would also eliminate the jobs of part-time and temporary contracted faculty.

We immediately submitted a formal information request asking for the names of the programs and all affected faculty members; data on the programs’ expenses, revenues, anticipated effects of the proposed closures on college expenses and revenues; and the data that the Administration reportedly used to select the programs it is proposing closing. We reached agreement that the College would provide us the list of the programs on March 20th (after they’d notified LCC Board of Education members) and that the College would notify the affected faculty members individually by Friday, April 3 (Article 10.17, below, gives the College until May 1 to notify affected employees). Late on Friday of Finals week, the College provided us the list of programs it is proposing be eliminated, and we’ve received some of the additional data that we’ve requested; we’ve begun studying the data and requesting clarifications and additional information. Once the individual faculty have been notified by the College, we will organize a meeting of all faculty in the affected departments to discuss the matter and continue to build upon our planned response. As we noted previously, we are highly dubious that virtually any program reductions would actually result in net savings to our college (President Spilde herself has publicly noted that virtually all of our programs bring in more revenues than they cost). While the last Administration program eliminations and layoffs (2002) were based upon projected “savings” that entirely ignored the impact on college revenues, when one does factor in the lost tuition, lost differential tuition charges, lost fees, and lost state student FTE reimbursement, cutting programs virtually guarantees a negative impact on the college bottom line. We are confident that such an accounting of the actual budget impact of the Administration’s proposal, along with making public the impact of such cuts on our students and our community, will result in either the Administration itself recognizing the strategic error of its plan, or the Board of Education will recognize the folly of closing professional technical programs that educate and provide jobs to our community, and that help the bottom line of our college budget. More on this as it develops.

10.2  Association Notice. Whenever the College determines that a retrenchment is necessary and the retrenchment will affect employees beginning with the new academic year in the fall, then the College by no later than March 15 of the preceding academic year shall schedule a meeting with the Association to discuss the general subject and possible alternatives. Whenever the College determines that a retrenchment is necessary at any other time, then at least sixty (60) calendar days before its implementation, the College shall schedule a meeting with the Association to discuss the general subject and possible alternatives.

10.17  Retrenchment Notice to Employee. The College will provide notice of layoff to the affected employee by no later than May 1 of the same academic year for any employee affected by a retrenchment which the College was required to discuss with the Association by March 15 in Section 10.2. The College will provide at least sixty (60) calendar days’ notice of layoff which is at least thirty (30) calendar days after the sixty (60)-day notice to the Association in Section 10.2, to the affected employees for retrenchments that occur at any other time of the year.

2.  State Funding for Community Colleges and LCC Budget for FY16
On a related note, the state budget process for the 2015-2017 Biennia is picking up this week. I’ll be in Salem today and tomorrow along with other community college supporters, meeting with legislators and testifying on the need for public funding for our community colleges. We’re starting off somewhat better than we have in recent years, with strong support from many legislators and a Ways and Means Committee Co-Chair’s proposal of up to $550M for the Community College Support Fund, which would would represent an 8.5% increase from the current biennia’s (revised) allocation. However, the Co-Chair’s proposal did link that amount to increased state revenues that may be lost if the “kicker” kicks, and it still would only get us back to just above where we originally were in the 2007-2009 budget, ignoring the approximately 13% inflation since then.

The formal aspects of the college budget process are kicking off this week as well, with a meeting of the College Council’s Budget and Finance Subcommittee tomorrow. The Administration has already provided the Board of Education a “hypothetical” budget, that addresses the approximately $4M projected deficit for FY16 by tapping into the current $10M Ending Fund Balance, building into the budget a recognition of regularly occurring vacancies that can be anticipated (both moves that the Association has been strongly promoting in recent years), and other steps. It appears that our calls have been heard for a more reasonable budget process that doesn’t project massive deficits and unnecessarily pit students and employees against each other. The key objectionable item in the Administration’s “hypothetical plan” is the inclusion of approximately one million dollars in “savings” from program elimination and reductions, “savings” that, as we noted above, are not realistic and would seve only to deprive our students and our community of these programs, while actually resulting in increasing the deficit after factoring in the impact on college revenue. We need to maintain our revenue sources, not cut them, and maintain our commitment to our students, our community, and our faculty and staff. More on this as it develops as well.

3.  Enrollment Capacity MOA Revision Agreement
Consistent with Step 3 of the Enrollment Capacity Agreement Implementation Process agreement (below), the Association and College reviewed the data on the Enrollment Capacity implementation, and on March 18 we reached a Tentative Agreement with the Administration regarding several revisions to the Implementation Plan, which we confirmed with the Administration yesterday. Part of that Agreement provides that the College and Association collaborate on communicating it to the faculty, so please look for a joint communication later today or tomorrow.

            Enrollment Capacity Implementation Process
 
The following constitutes the College – Association agreed upon process for implementing Article 3 of the MOA: WORKLOAD, CLASS CANCELLATION, AND ENROLLMENT CAPACITY (see below) for the 2014 -2015 year:

1.  The attached class enrollment capacities spreadsheet for FY15 identifies current class sizes and sizes enhanced in recognition of anticipated attrition.

2.  Enhanced class sizes will be set at these numbers during each term schedule build for FY15, excluding Summer 2014. All enhanced sections will be z-coded by the College by 8 a.m. of the Friday of the first week of each term.
 
3.  The College and the Association will jointly review course enrollments on Monday of Week 5 in each Academic term (F14, W15, P15). This information will be used for annual review; the College and Association may agree to revise this plan on a term by term basis during the FY15 year that results in the same total savings.

4.  The College and the Association will review this operationalizing process during the fifth week of winter term for implementation for the next fiscal year and annually thereafter.

4.  Arbitrations Update
Last week we (finally) received the Arbitrator’s decision on the Insurance Deductions Arbitration. While the Arbitrator rejected the College’s attempt to have our case thrown out on procedural grounds, he did rule that there was sufficient ambiguity in the evidence about the original Agreement that he could not sustain our grievance, as the moving party in the matter  We believe his ruling overlooks the clear evidence about the intent of the agreement, i.e., that the College was to pick up 17% points of the 24% rate hike that year, not raise the College’s previous contribution by 17%, which is what they did. When asked where the “17%” referenced in the Agreement came from, the Administration couldn’t answer, claiming they “don’t know”; as we testified, we made clear that we proposed it, as the product of our proposal to “waive the cost neutrality language” and apply the current language requiring the College to pick up the first 10% points of any rate hikes and split the remaining (thus 10% plus 7% of the remaining 14%, resulting in picking up 17% points of the 24% hike that year). Why the Arbitrator found that “ambiguous” is difficult to understand. Nonetheless, as we’ve seen before, with the Administration challenging the agreements we’ve reached, and with us as the moving party required (apparently) to disprove beyond any doubt the Administration’s actions/claims, we have found no relief from this violation of our Agreement. This will be a matter to take up in future bargaining. Please do note that the actual impact on faculty members was quite low, given our other bargainings and steps taken regarding insurance; many faculty pay nothing out of paycheck, so the relief would have been very limited for many. We took this matter to arbitration both because the difference between what we bargained and what the College implemented would carry over into the future if not corrected, and because as a matter of principle we should be able to expect that the College implements our Agreements fully and accurately, an expectation we will continue to maintain.

We submitted the written brief on the Part-time Faculty Steps Arbitration last week. That Arbitration holds that, as above, the College failed to implement the Agreement that we agreed to, with all faculty members, contracted and part-time, provided the “catch up half-steps” at the end of the year in which they’d only received half of the steps that they’d earned. The College did provide the catch up steps for contracted faculty, but failed to do so for part-time faculty, and has refused to correct the error. The Administration falsely claimed that this was not the original agreement and came up with literally incredible explanations for the written evidence demonstrating that this was the intent, as demonstrated in their own documents. We look forward to the Arbitrator’s ruling, which he promised to provide in a fairly quick fashion.

We have one more arbitration hearing scheduled this year (May 7th), over the College’s refusal to adhere to the contractual guidelines in complaint investigations. They’ve apparently waived their right to contest their refusal to recognize the requirement to request additional time to complete investigations, but are still arguing that Article 25.9.4’s provision that faculty members facing a complaint “shall include an opportunity for the faculty member to … respond to and/or rebut the evidence” somehow doesn’t require them to provide the evidence and an opportunity to respond and rebut it. We look forward to protecting all faculty members’ rights to actually see and respond to the “evidence” that the Administration gathers in such complaint investigations.

Finally, regarding Brother Jim O’Brien’s interpretation of the Faculty Vacancy Arbitration, while we wish that he was correct in seeing limited effects of the ruling, that was not the intent or the effect of the ruling. Jim’s key reading is that “… the denial affirmed that the article prohibits dividing a retrenched position among part-time assignments,” but the denial clearly limited such a prohibition to retrenchments. Similarly, while the Arbitrator sustained Article 12.5, which provides that the College must inform us of their plans to not fill vacancies that have occurred (e.g. due to retirement), the language does not require them to actually fill the positions, as it allows them to notify us that they don’t plan to do so. Our argument was that they are required to provide an actual “plan” to fill the positions, and that “we’ll fill it when we can afford to do so” isn’t a “plan,” but with current examples of such positions open for as long as eight years, it’s clear that the Arbitrator’s ruling does not require the College to actually fill the vacated positions. Had that been his position, he would have required the College to fill some or all of the vacancies currently backfilled with part-time assignments.

Also, please note that some of the quotes portrayed in Jim’s analysis as “the Arbitrator’s conclusion” were in fact the portion of the opinion where the Arbitrator was summarizing the College’s position. These include Jim’s statement that in addition, the arbiter found that the Association failed to contest the College’s stated intention to use part-time faculty as a means to protect student choice for access to needed credit hours; as well as the claim that no [overall] erosion of full-time positions since 2006, and the Association failed to show that “any of the 16 positions constituted a full-time assignment in 2013 – 2014 or that the courses taught by the departed full-time faculty assigned to part-time faculty exceeded .5 full-time equivalent.” These are College claims, not Arbitrator’s conclusions, and we fully rebutted them, in testimony and in our brief. The Arbitrator’s positions are in the following section of the ruling, under “FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS.”

More on other matters tomorrow!

Best,
Jim Salt
LCCEA President

Posted in President's Updates

Organizing for Education Opportunities

Hello Colleagues,
I would like to let you know of a few upcoming opportunities to get involved in efforts to better organize ourselves, and the State of Oregon towards much needed funding reform for education. There are four opportunities for engagement listed below.

OPPORTUNITY #1
Members of the higher ed/community college coalition are helping the Oregon Student Association with a lobby day and rally on February 12 focused on a push to restore university and community college funding.

There will be a rally on the State Capitol steps at 12:00 noon Thursday February 12, to call for investing in higher ed.  I’ve pasted a draft agenda for the full day below.

We have been asked to help with the following:
•  Help spread the word and turn out our members for the rally
•  Help find an instructor who could make brief (2-3 minute) remarks about the impacts in their CC classroom. (Ideally a member of an underrepresented community, as their existing slate of speakers doesn’t have much diversity)
•  Encourage CC faculty members to excuse from class those students who will be absent in order to participate in the rally/lobby day.

Draft Schedule
8:00 AM: Student Lobby Teams Arrive and Check-In at HR 50
9:00 — 9:45 AM: Welcome and Overview of Day, Lobby Team Breakout
10:00 — 11:30 AM: Morning Lobby Visits
11:30 AM: Buses with Students Arrive at Capitol
12:00 PM: Rally to Restore Funding to Higher Education (Emceed by University and Community College Students, with guests Rep. Buckley, Rep. Johnson, an unconfirmed SEIU member, and an  unconfirmed faculty member.)
1:00 — 4:00 PM: Afternoon Lobby Visits
4:00 — 5:00 PM: Clean Up and Head Home

OPPORTUNITY #2
OEA ORGANIZING SUMMIT: “Fighting For the Schools our Students Deserve” http://www.oregoned.org/whats-new/attend-oeas-organizing-summit

We would like to bring a contingent of faculty at Lane to this event in order to strengthen our level of local and regional organizational effectiveness.

When: March 13, 14 and 15 ( Friday through Sunday Morning)
Where: Eugene Hilton
Who: OEA members who are committed to strengthening local and statewide organizing through practical skill-building and truing on proven organizing techniques.
Why: Creating the Schools our Students Deserve will require some challenging organizing as we work to reform State-wide educational funding in the 2016 elections.

OPPORTUNITY #3
OEA STATEWIDE LOBBY DAY:
Bring your voice to Salem on the issues that matter most to you and your students. Our lobby day will begin with a morning training at the Salem Convention Center; we’ll move to the State Capitol where you’ll have the chance to meet with your legislators and lobby them on our pro-public education agenda. It would be great to have a strong showing of faculty and students having their voices heard. We will make plans for carpooling and/or vans.        
            
When: March 23, 2015 (all day)
Where: The Capitol Building in Salem

OPPORTUNITY #4
Signature Gathering: The OEA and Partner organizations are working through OUR OREGON to develop a ballot measure intended to shore up Statewide revenue through tax reform, and ensure funding for education K-12 through Higher Ed.

Please take a moment to sign initiative forms intended to test the best verbiage for the measure, or better yet, volunteer to help as a signature gatherer. Also, the final Ballot Initiative language should be finalized this fall, and ready for circulation. Keep your eyes open for organizing opportunities as that time draws near so that we can best mobilize ourselves and our local community behind these efforts.

Please let me know if you would like more information about these opportunities, or would like to volunteer your time towards one or more effort.

Thank you,
Lee Imonen
OEA State Wide Organizing Taskforce Member
LCCEA Action Team chair

Posted in Action Team

LCCEA President’s Report: 2/3/15

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

A quick report on three matters:

1. Enrollment Capacity MOA Update
LCCEA representatives have had eight meetings with College representatives since the start of Fall term regarding the Enrollment Capacity MOA, focused on correcting errors in the implementation of the agreement, as well as negotiating changes to its implementation in order to mitigate the impact of class size overloads, consistent with the processes provided by the MOA.

On Monday, LCCEA representatives re-proposed reducing the number of additional students from 4 to 3 in cases where that would not result in the addition of course sections (approximately 60% of sections that had students added). In addition, the LCCEA re-proposed that the MOA be implemented proportionally such that smaller classes have a proportional amount of students added (e.g. less than 4), recognizing the pedagogical basis for smaller class sizes and distributing the additional students consistent with that principle. At our meeting yesterday, the College asked for more time to consider our proposals, and we expect to hear back from them within the next few days.

Please note that sections in thirty disciplines, and within fifteen departments/divisions, across the college are impacted by the agreement, with four additional students added to classes in these areas beginning in Fall. All courses for which there were sufficient sections such that the addition of students would result in a reduction in number of sections saw an increase of four students in their classes. The only exceptions were courses that had already been overloaded and disciplines that had other recent workload increases (e.g. hours/wk). The proposals we’ve made to the Administration would apply across the college.

2. LCC Board of Education Meeting: February 4th
The LCC Board of Education, which normally meets the second Wednesday of the month, is meeting tomorrow evening (Feb.4, 6:30 p.m. start). The HEPI tuition adjustment for inflation is expected to be brought up for a vote, and that there likely will be additional discussion of the college budget and the Board’s December request for major expense reduction proposals.

3. Oregon Educational Reform (“Deform”): Dual Credit expansion efforts
The OEA Community College Council (OEA CCC) has published a white paper analyzing various options for promoting so-called “dual credit” (a.k.a. “accelerated learning”) that are either currently under consideration or that could be considered. You can find the report and leave comments at OEA CCC’s Facebook page.

You can also read a pdf version of it here.

Best,
Jim Salt
LCCEA President

Posted in President's Updates

LCCEA President’s Report – 1/27/15

LCC Faculty Colleagues,
This is the second section of my report on current matters. Today’s topics:

1. Board of Education Meeting, College Budget, etc
2. Shared Governance and Diversity Education Policy (a.k.a. Cultural Competency “Training”)
3. Oregon Educational Reform (“Deform”): Dual Credit expansion efforts
4. Emails

1. Board of Education Meeting, College Budget, etc.
The Board of Education held its January meeting last Wednesday, at which President Spilde had been asked to provide a list of “expense reductions” in lieu of tuition adjustments and also to significantly reduce the size of the college in response to low enrollment projections (see my previous report for details). President Spilde responded by providing an Excel file that provides Board members some budget numbers and a means to project the effects of different choices used to balance next year’s budget, but did not provide specific expense reduction proposals. Mary also restated her support for passing the annual tuition inflation adjustment.

The Board received the report, but took no action on it and had little discussion of it (likely in part because three of the seven board members left the meeting before that agenda item). Therefore it’s difficult to know where the Board currently stands on its December calling for major cuts to the college. But with no clear change in their position, we will continue to prepare to educate the Board and the community about the value of our programs, and to organize to defend our college.

One step that we are preparing for is to bring together representatives of all divisions (and hopefully each department/program) to study the “economics” of the college so that each program has at least one faculty member that can demonstrate just how much tuition/fee revenues and state reimbursement it receives and how that compares with the costs of the program. While this certainly isn’t the only measure to be used in evaluating programs or determining their worth, since virtually all of our programs more than cover their costs through tuition and state reimbursement revenues, it literally makes no sense to try to “balance the budget” by cutting programs when it would reduce revenues more than it would expenses. And while you would think this would be an obvious point that all would accept, the Administration Excel file referenced above shows the Administration’s current thinking on the matter: see cell B19 where each program cut is estimated to save the college “$100,000”, which besides being incredibly simplistic*, clearly is inconsistent with this fact (*by that logic I guess that if one wanted to save $1,000,000 we’d just cut “ten programs.” Think how much we could save if we cut ALL our programs!).

Now, I don’t think that the Administration or the Board actually thinks the economics of program cuts is quite that simple, but we have years of arguments and similar tables from the administration that project the college holding onto all or most of the tuition and state revenue that programs generate even after closing them. Since the Administration continues to resist making this logical change, we need to SHOW the Board and our community how each of our programs helps the college’s bottom line, along with helping our students and community’s educational needs of course.

On a related issue, the Oregon legislative “Co-Chairs Proposed Budget” was released last week and it is a slight improvement on the governor’s proposal; the latter proposed only $500M for the Community College Support Fund for the FY15-16 biennium, while the former proposed $535M at a minimum and $550M if state revenue reports come in higher, as expected. This is still far below what is needed, just to cover the costs of inflation in recent years, let alone to reverse the “balancing of the books” on staff and students’ backs; but it is an improvement, both over the current biennium allocation and the “pro-education” governor’s proposal. Work to strengthen this proposal will start soon, with college and OEA efforts currently being organized. More on that as it develops. In the meantime, decent state funding and adjusting tuition rates for inflation should allow for reasonable processes this year to balance next year’s budget, without reactionary calls for massive cuts to the college, especially some of the cuts the Administration typically considers would actually hurt the bottom line.

Finally, you’ll notice in the Administration’s file that they label COLAs, steps, and insurance rate increases as college “investments” and break these out for special treatment. I note that they don’t break out paying for other types of inflation (which is what COLAs and higher insurance rate hikes are). As I’ve noted to Brian, protecting employee compensation from inflation should be a normal part of the budgeting process and not presented as an exceptional cost (let alone an opportunity to protect students from public cuts in education; employees should and can NOT be considered responsible for picking up the costs of public education for students).

In short, with some Board members unwilling to consider adjusting the tuition rate for inflation (the proposal is $1.50 per credit, or $48 a year or $2 a month for the average full time student), but willing to call for “massive” cuts in programs, and Administration budgeting practices that ignore the revenue that our programs bring in and falsely state that cutting programs saves $100k each, we have our work cut out for us this year.

2. Shared Governance and Diversity Education Policy (a.k.a. Cultural Competency “Training”)
The Administration and Board have taken another step in undermining “shared governance” within the college governance system with the Board passing a policy last week (see attached) that would give the Administration even greater ability to simply ignore shared governance processes at our college. Under this policy, written by President Spilde and reflecting “Board concerns” that were based almost entirely on (self-serving) Administration claims about the governance system, Administration representatives on governance councils would be even more able to stonewall issues, then unilaterally declare a “lack of consensus” and decide for themselves what to do. It’s one more nail in the shared governance coffin, with the Administration walking further away from its commitment to make the governance system the base of key college decision making. In this case, the Administration exploited (and exacerbated) the tensions in the debates over the proposed diversity education policy, an examination of which is necessary, both to update faculty and to clarify how the Administration used it to divide students and faculty and to weaken the shared governance system.

We’ve reported on this issue numerous times in the past; a summary of the history of this policy debate can be found here.

Update
After the Administration blocked passage of the Diversity Education Task Force’s proposal last spring, the Association proposed that the College Council commit to finally resolving this matter this year, but President Spilde opposed even including this issue on the College Council’s Work Plan for the year, and the Administration is proceeding unilaterally to create its own program, which is ignoring all elements of the task force proposal that we all agreed to. The only aspect of the Task Force’s proposed policy that the Administration opposed was its provision that the diversity education program be a joint program between the Administration, faculty and other parties. Formal faculty involvement in the program is key part of that proposal, for several reasons, including:

•  Faculty professional development, which “diversity education” clearly is, is the responsibility of the faculty, including the Faculty Professional Development program; the faculty must be structural partners in this work, not simply individual members in an Administration chartered program.
•  While members of all employee and non-employee groups on our campus have vital contributions to make to this program, faculty members are the primary group on campus whose formal education and professional jobs make us experts in the core subjects of this program, which are central topics within many of our disciplines and the courses that we teach. Compare that with the way that many people calling for this program have framed it: “The Administration needs to provide required diversity training of faculty members,” a model that comes straight out of corporate America, and which makes no sense at all at college.
•  Research shows that these corporate “you shall attend” models simply don’t achieve their goals, and can actually undermine them; employee work group participation in the work is vital.
•  Students calling for a “required training policy” cited only faculty members as “the problem.” Certainly, if what is mainly driving this proposed policy is student concerns about faculty members, we must, structurally, be part of the “solution,” especially since the majority of the examples of problems that students cited took place in classrooms, settings that are primarily our responsibility. Such calls for the “Administration to provide faculty members training,” while our only responsibility would be to attend such “trainings,” grossly misunderstands the role that the faculty and the administration play in a college and our classrooms.

Nonetheless, Association demands for inclusion as partners in this work have consistently met a simple “No” from President Spilde, who then says “trust me, it will be participatory.” But “input” and “participation” in an Administration structure is a far cry from a joint program between faculty, the Administration, students, and other parties, not to mention the record of previous Administration “participatory processes” which simply meant “get together and talk and then the Administration will decide what to do.” The idea of giving the Administration unilateral authority over a faculty professional development program while agreeing that faculty members can be required to attend it “X hours per month” is not only inconsistent with our contract and our roles as professionals and faculty members of our college; given the Administration’s record on “participation” it would be incredibly naive.

The Association recognizes, of course, that a number of people have joined the committee that the Administration established, including several faculty members with significant expertise in this matter; the issue is NOT whether there are faculty members on the committee, and certainly not what they can individually bring to the work. The issue is the structure of the committee, the program, and who makes decisions over such matters, especially when they impact the classroom. The Association has asked Adrienne Mitchell to attend committee meetings and represent faculty interests, given her role as Faculty Professional Development Coordinator and Vice Chair of the Association Bargaining Team. But with the Administration preventing the Association from being a partner in designing and developing this program, the Association has reminded the Administration that without changes to our Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Administration cannot simply add “18 (or whatever) additional hours of work” to our workloads each year, as was proposed, and that by contract faculty members individually control what “non-teaching work” they do:

Article 35.2: “Voluntary Nature of Non-Teaching Work.  The workload of contracted teaching faculty is intended to include an amount of non-teaching work. The choice of specific non-teaching faculty work shall be the decision of the faculty member and can be made without prejudice…”

The Board may pass any policy it wants, but contract language is controlling over all College and Board policies. The Administration can exclude the Association from being partners in a program it develops; but they have no authority to compel faculty attendance at it when doing so would the workload language in our contract. And they’ve made a very bad start if they’re hoping to negotiate changes to such language when they have continued to refuse to include the Association (and Federation) as partners in this work, while continually portraying our opposition to a proposal because it excludes us, as opposition to establishing a program.

We do hope, as we have always hoped, that the faculty members who have chosen to work on the committee can, along with others, do great work and build programs that many faculty members will want to attend; but the Administration cannot support claims that the faculty are “the problem,” oppose Association participation in the “solution,” and then expect us to agree to compulsory attendance, especially of an educational program whose subject many of us teach here, and that addresses practices that take place in our classroom.

Finally, this position is not simply the position of “one person,” as the Administration and other anti-union critics continually claim; it’s been the unanimous position of the Association Executive Committee, the Faculty Professional Development Oversight Committee, the Association committee charged with developing a policy proposal supporting diversity education, many members and leaders of the Faculty Council, and many other faculty members and others involved in this policy deliberation. We respect the views of others to disagree with our approach, but we ask that our position be respected as well and not maligned as being evidence of “unions being a barrier to change” or worse, as they consistently claim. Those questioning our position should review what we have actually proposed, the positions we’ve taken in writing, rather than relying upon claims from union critics that our position has been unreasonable, let alone one of opposition.

3. Oregon Educational Reform (“Deform”): Dual Credit expansion efforts.
Recent years have seen significant interest in Salem to increase “dual-credit” programs and outcomes in Oregon, programs in which high school students earn college credits while still in high school. While there is broad support for having students getting a “head start” on college, the actual practices involved in such programs are another matter. While there are a number of good options available to Oregon to increase high school student earning of community college credits, several of the options being promoted have serious downsides; the OEA Community College Council (of which I serve as president) will be publishing a paper this week that examines the various options, ranks them in terms of their strengths and weaknesses, and makes recommendations on how to make some the options succeed. We will forward this document when it is published, and encourage all to read and consider it, and find ways to help ensure that efforts to expand “accelerated learning” actually does accelerate “learning,” and doesn’t undermine educational quality in our schools and state.

As part of that effort, we are also concerned about an effort being led by the governor’s office to strip authority from colleges and faculty members to establish the minimum qualifications for faculty that teach its courses; the governor’s office (Ben Cannon and others) is proposing a “maximum minimum” (my term) that the state would set for determining high school faculty qualification to teach community college courses. They argue that high school faculty are discouraged from teaching dual credit courses when they are judged “qualified” at one community college, but “not qualified” at another, due to different qualification standards at the schools, and so are proposing legislation that would set a “maximum minimum” that would be set by HECC (Higher Education Coordinating Commission) that no school could exceed. Such interference in the centuries-long recognized right of college faculty to establish the standards for collegiate teachers is a false solution to a false problem. Part-time community college faculty have long accepted that minimum qualification standards vary from school to school; while it can create challenges, the solution can never be that the State steps in to set faculty qualifications.

On a related topic, we hope to soon see the state’s proposal regarding “performance based funding” (a.k.a. “outcomes funding”) for community colleges. Unlike dual credit programs, performance based funding has no upside; it’s a zero sum game, where some win and some lose, based upon specious measures, and “justified” by the claim that colleges and its employees “don’t care about student success” because state funding isn’t based upon it. Once we have a chance to see and analyze the actual proposal from the “pro-education” governor’s office (a proposal that the public and college faculty have been kept in the dark about), we will analyze the proposal and publish a similar white paper and will invite public input into the program. If Oregon wants to expand education in Oregon, it needs to fund it, not use funding gimmicks that offer no analysis or support for actually improving “outcomes,” that in fact threaten educational quality.

4. Emails
I’d like to quickly make two points in response to issues raised in some recent critical emails:

First, it’s become clear in recent emails that what has been motivating a number of “critics” are concerns about the Enrollment Capacity MOA. In a separate report we will provide some more background on that topic, and address a number of questions and arguments that have been raised. In the meantime, please know that we believe that while a number of the claims regarding that issue are simply inaccurate, nonetheless the concern is genuine, the issues are real, and that the Association shares such concerns about the agreement and its implementation and that we have been pursuing and advocating for changes in its implementation. We are scheduled to meet with the College on February 2nd to continue to negotiate changes to protect faculty and our classes, and we will continue to work with faculty, as we have been, to address the concerns and issues raised by faculty and by the Association.

Second, there’s no question that we are all facing many challenges these days, at many levels; from concerns about the Enrollment Capacity MOA to the many assaults on faculty (and staff) from the increasingly neoliberal policies pursued by even “pro-education” politicians like our Governor; to increasing numbers of “professional Administrators” that have little or no background as educators and who have little respect for the role of the faculty in our departments and our college; to Board members (and Administrators) who want to run our colleges like businesses and who (understandably) want to protect students from higher tuition costs but do so by supporting Administration efforts to drive down our wages and turn faculty jobs into part-time assignments at much lower wages and benefits; etc., etc., etc. These and many other challenges (which by no means are unique to Lane or Oregon) absolutely require that we continually strengthen our union and continually critique and revise our strategies to defend our college and our rights. I believe we are always doing so, and I am extremely proud of the work of our committees, our representatives, our union Board, and the work that we all do together. I also welcome calls and proposals on ways we can do better, just as the union always welcomes and encourages all faculty members to become more active in our union. The more members we have involved, the more earnest debate we have about how we can improve our work, the stronger and more effective our union will be. And of course I don’t expect that everyone will agree with all union actions, that everyone will support all of our positions and efforts, let alone that all members will support me and everyone of my efforts. I think everyone understands that comes with the position, and I have defended the right of members to think and speak and write critically of our work.

However, I also hope and ask that members use methods of doing so that strengthen us as a union, and that are fair and respectful to all parties. I suspect that most members will agree that expecting union representatives to respond to every mass emailed claim, no matter how inaccurate (or defamatory), would set a terrible precedent for all union committee members, elected officials, and appointed representatives, requiring one to continually prove one’s integrity and value in “trials by email flame.” Surely, few can think that’s a reasonable or productive model for a union. Similarly, I ask that everyone avoid anything remotely ad hominem, and address each other as colleagues and union brothers and sisters. As previously noted, we have very serious issues confronting us, from layoff threats to contract issues to “deformist” college and state policies and practices that threaten our disciplines and the integrity of our programs and our work, etc., etc. We need to work together, and develop common methods to respond to these challenges, if we hope to successfully address them. I ask that we all commit to doing so.

Finally, we will, immediately, work on reestablishing the LCCEA listserv that includes only LCCEA members and allows members to remove themselves and otherwise control how they receive emails sent to the listserv. I ask those who want to engage in this conversation to hold their emails until we have announced that the listserv is operating.

Thank you,
Jim Salt
LCCEA President

Posted in President's Updates

LCCEA President’s Report: Board threatens layoffs; Enrollment capacity; Arbitrations

Jan. 14, 2015
LCC Faculty Colleagues,

I am writing to report on a number of matters, and will divide this report into different editions. Today’s topics:

1. Board of Education Threatening Major Faculty and Staff Cuts
2. WORKLOAD, CLASS CANCELLATION, AND ENROLLMENT CAPACITY MOA
3. Arbitrations and Unfair Labor Practice against the College

1.  Board of Education Threatening Major Faculty and Staff Cuts
At last month’s Board of Education meeting the Board was scheduled to approve the annual inflation adjustment to the college tuition rate, something they have done annually for over 10 years; instead, they voted to table the proposal and directed the college president to identify a list of major expense reductions for their consideration tonight, apparently both to offset tuition adjustments as well as to significantly reduce the size of the college and our programs in response to enrollment reductions this year. At the time, the Administration was reporting a reduction of 26% in enrollment for Winter term compared with the previous year, which one Board member responded to by concluding that the college therefore needed to similarly reduce the size of the college by 1/4.

As I argued to the Board then: the apparent 26% enrollment reduction for Winter term would very likely be reduced as enrollment proceeded (and it has, with the reduction falling to less than 17% the very next week), and there simply is no need start cutting programs and nor cutting our college by 1/4 or anything like it. Yes, enrollment is down, but only back to where we were in 2008, when we were virtually the same college we are now, since the vast majority of staff increases in response to the Great Recession’s student surge were hired on a temporary basis. We’ve already budgeted for a 12% reduction this year, and our enrollment this year is essentially the same as it was in 2008, before the recession and student surge. Simply working through the normal budget processes, lobbying in Salem this winter/spring and working together with others across the state for revenue reform is where we should strategically put our attention (in addition to responding to the opening created by President Obama’s call for “free community college educations for all” this week. While Obama’s particular proposal is highly problematic, it is raising attention and interest in doing something significant about providing greater public support for community colleges).

The answer is “not to run around cutting off our arms and legs” as I said to the Board last month; eliminating the programs that educate and support students, especially when the negative impact on college revenue would exceed the expense savings (something true for virtually ALL educational programs), is not only unnecessary, it would also be counterproductive. [* See below for additional detail on tuition and inflation rates]

However, that was also the case last spring, and we only stopped the Administration’s threatened layoffs with mere hours before faculty and staff were scheduled to receive layoff notices. While I do hope that the Board will table its consideration of such cuts at its meeting tonight, we can NOT assume that the Board will see the errors in their “logic”, or that the Administration will take the steps necessary to convince the Board of the great harm such a path would have. We need to take this threat very seriously and take all possible steps to protect our college from this assault. As such, the Association Board, Action Team, and Association representatives in the college budget processes are developing a comprehensive plan to protect our college from this looming disaster. Please plan on fully engaging this plan, and taking all necessary steps to protect our college from this latest attack. We will report on where matters stand after the Board meeting this evening.

2. Workload, Class Cancellation, and Enrollment Capacity MOA
As provided for in the “WORKLOAD, CLASS CANCELLATION, AND ENROLLMENT CAPACITY” MOA, Association representatives met with the Administration last fall, several times during winter break, and again yesterday morning, in order to review the implementation of the agreement and to identify and address concerns/issues. The Association made a number of proposals to the Administration based upon that review; these proposals and the Administrations’ response follow:

Association Proposal: Ensure that enhancements were not greater than agreed to, including classes increased above the number agreed to, and classes not on the agreed upon list that are above the assignable class sizes
College Response: Initially agreed; now opposing fixing the latter category

Association Proposal: Adjust for proportionality, including reducing the increase for classes of 24 or below to 3 students from the current 4.
College Response: Initially supported it, then vetoed by a higher ranked administrator.

Association Proposal: For winter and spring 2015, reduce all class size increases from “4” to “3”, recognizing the actual attrition levels of less than 50%; NOT required if would result in need to add additional sections
College Response: Administration initially said it would consider; apparently no longer willing to do so.

Association Proposal: Agree that departments may make adjustments to the initial plan that are consistent with the savings
College Response: Agreed

In summary, we’ve reached agreement on a couple of “process” elements, but where we proposed that details of the implementation plan be changed consistent with the spirit and the financial impact of the original agreement, the College either rejected the proposal, or initially supported it but had it rejected by higher ups. We continue and will continue to press for revisions to the implementation of the agreement this year.

Relatedly, a key part of the agreement calls for a workload survey to be completed this term of all departments, which will be followed by processes to resolve issues identified in the survey. This is vitally important work; we ask that all faculty members respond fully to requests for information they receive from either the Association — College Joint Workload Taskforce created by this MOA, or from their Association Department representatives as we complete this work this term. This is our opportunity to clarify and have codified in the contract all department workloads, a long time goal of the Association.

3. Arbitrations and Unfair Labor Practice against the College

a.    We’ve previously reported on the Faculty Vacancies Arbitration hearing held in early November; we currently await the Arbitrator’s ruling, and are optimistic that the College will be ordered to adhere to contract and not continue to turn contracted faculty positions into part-time assignments with lower wages, benefits, and working conditions.

b.    In early December we presented our case to an Arbitrator regarding the College’s failure to follow our Agreement regarding medical insurance deductions since 2010-2011, resulting in excessive deductions being made from many faculty members. Final briefs have been submitted this week and we await the arbitrator’s ruling on that matter as well.

c.    We have an arbitration scheduled for late February over the College’s failure to provide part-time faculty the “catch up half-steps” at the end of the year during 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, that were provided for in that year’s agreement and that came to light last spring. Our contract provided that faculty would only receive half-steps as they earned them those years, but ALL would receive the delayed half-steps at the end of the year so that the sacrifice was only a temporary one; the College provided the “catch up half-steps” to contracted faculty, but not to part-time faculty.

d.    We have two arbitrations currently being scheduled regarding the College’s failure to follow contract language regarding the complaint process, both by refusing to provide evidence gathered and a chance for the accused to respond, as explicitly provided for Article 25.9, as well as failing to adhere to the contract language on how long the College has to investigate a complaint, and (bizarrely) arguing that the twenty working day period to complete their investigation starts when the investigation is completed! We have also filed an Unfair Labor Practice against the College for egregiously and intentionally failing to follow our clear contract language on complaint processes and failing to respect the collective bargaining rights of the Association.

We will report on these matters as they proceed.

****************************
* Several members of the LCC Board also strongly opposed any adjustments to tuition, including simple adjustments for inflation, and called for cuts to the college instead. Such opposition to inflation adjustments of tuition ignores the “normal” nature of inflation and how institutions address it. Inflation is a regular part of capitalist economies, a principle that is recognized and accepted by almost all people and one that is built into to federal and state laws, contracts, budgets, etc. (if anyone even threatens to reduce social security inflation adjustments, they are immediately criticized for “attacking seniors and the disabled”). Similar to recent Administration and Board opposition to Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for faculty and staff, opposition to inflation adjustments of tuition simply ignores this normal component of our economy and the mechanisms all institutions use to deal with this, including the regular increases in federal financial aid awards in order to cover the costs of inflation.

Similarly problematic, several board members have opposed any tuition adjustments citing the economic challenges that our students face (one Board member said he wouldn’t “support an increase in the tuition rate of a single dollar in the future so long as there is one student in poverty”). While student poverty and debt are obviously very serious concerns today, budgeting based upon such a “principle” could never actually work in practice so long as the state and federal government refuse to fully fund education. Colleges would either have to keep cutting programs and services year after year, or declare college employees somehow responsible for funding students’ education, and cut our salaries and benefits year after year (or both, as the Administration has pursued in recent years). The appropriate strategy, of course, is to work to restore public funding for higher education, and until successful, balancing tuition increases necessary to make up for reduced public funding with financial aid, scholarships, and work study positions to protect students access to college, both financially and to the programs they come here to attend.

Jim Salt
LCCEA President

Posted in General

GTFF Strike Support Fund website

LCC Faculty Colleagues,
Some of you have asked how you can make a donation to the GTFF Strike Support Fund (besides sending money to us to get to them; thanks to those of you have already done so). The GTFF have now established a website where you can donate:

http://gtff3544.net/2014-bargaining/gtff-strike-fund-donations/

Thanks,
Jim Salt
LCCEA President

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Quick Update on the GTFF Strike

Barring a very last minute call by the UO Administration to return to the bargaining table (GTFF Representatives have made clear they are willing to bargain anytime), the strike will commence in a few hours. Here are many ways that LCC faculty can support the strike:

Most importantly, please do not accept any offers of employment for work that is designed to replace the work of striking GTFF members. As we noted earlier, the UO Administration specifically identified LCC faculty as a source for such scab labor; literally the least we can do to support our union sisters and brothers is to not take their jobs while they fight for a right to paid sick leave (the main sticking point at their table) and a fair contract. If anyone you know did accept such offers (possibly not understanding the function of the work), please encourage them to just walk away from any such UO administration offers. LCC faculty are not scabs; let’s all prove UO Administrators badly mistaken in looking to LCC to take the jobs of our fellow educators on strike.

In fact, let’s do them better than that. As I told the hundreds of rallying GTFF members Monday night: LCC faculty aren’t going to take your jobs; we aren’t going to cross your picket lines; we’re going to WALK your picket lines with you! Picketing starts tomorrow morning! Locations of pickets have not been announced (for strategic reasons), but you can either just head to campus and look for pickets, or head to Cafe Roma and find picket information there. We (LCCEA) have an arbitration tomorrow morning, but I’ll be on the picket lines bright and early before the arbitration to show our solidarity with their action. I hope many of you will join me on the picket lines tomorrow and/or for as long as the strike is going on. If all of us can find just one hour this week to walk their lines with them, we’ll add almost 600 people to their lines, and will help show their administration that the community, and LCC faculty, are behind the GTFF.

You and your friends and family etc can all sign the GTFF support petition at: http://gtff3544.net/

GTFF members will also benefit from funds to provide resources to those on the picket lines and those foregoing paychecks; I gave $50 at the rally and publicly encouraged everyone else with a job to match it or give what they can to support the strike. Money won’t win the strike, of course, but such support will no doubt help. I’m told there is a website one can make a donation to, but I haven’t located the site yet; in the meantime, if anyone wants to send a check or even cash, just get it to me (I’m assuming one should make checks out simply to “GTFF”), and I’ll make sure it gets to their support fund. And, of course, just showing up with hot drinks, food, umbrellas, words of encouragement, etc., are always welcome on a picket line, especially given the weather this week.

Thanks for supporting our friends in the GTFF.

Jim Salt
LCCEA President

Posted in General | Leave a comment

GTFF Strike likely: December 2nd (tomorrow)

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

I’m writing regarding the possible (likely) strike by our colleagues in the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation local union (GTFF) at the University of Oregon, possibly starting tomorrow. The LCCEA, and the OEA Community College Council, support the efforts of our GTFF union sisters and brothers in seeking fair wages and paid sick time for GTFs at UO. They have been without a contract since March, and have worked hard to reach an agreement with the University administration, but the administration has been intransigent, preferring to spend their money on attorneys that have prevented any agreement from being reached, rather than trying to negotiate one (e.g. instead of bargaining sick leave rights with GTF representatives, the administration has proposed only a small emergency fund that all employees could apply for help from, a far cry from the rights to be able to stay home with one’s sick child, a right that was recognized by the Eugene City Council this year, but which unfortunately didn’t cover university employees). If no agreement is reached today, I believe a strike will begin in tomorrow morning.

In order to try to make that unnecessary by showing strong public support for GTFs, there is a rally today at 5:00 p.m. at Johnson Hall at the UO campus; I hope many of us can attend and show our support for their action. Speakers will include politicians such as Kitty Piercy and our former LCCEA VP Claire Syrett, representatives of other local unions including the (new) university faculty union (United Academics), Bob Baldwin and myself, and student representatives, among others. A strong showing of community support will be very helpful to encourage the University administration to come back to the table prepared to reach an agreement, as well as to encourage GTFF members if the administration doesn’t heed the call and members have to start walking a picket line tomorrow. For more on the rally and other matters:
http://www.uomatters.com/2014/12/uo-hires-lawyer-to-negotiate-new-contract-with-gtff-union.html

Also, I know I don’t really need to say this, but I hope very much that any LCC faculty members that have been approached by the University or seen ads to work as so-called “replacement workers” (better known in the labor movement as “scabs”), have told the University what they think of taking the work from fellow workers walking a picket line. The University is specifically planning to “Hire LCC instructors or community subject experts” to take the jobs of striking GTFs (see UO strike planning document, #7, top of page 5). The gall that the University administration would even think to look to LCC faculty to work as scabs is, of course, outrageous. I invite all of you who share a similar revulsion to our school and faculty being treated as a source for scabs during a labor strike to respond to this email with your reaction, which I will share with our GTFF brothers and sisters at the rally today (or better yet, in addition to emailing them to me, also attend the rally and we’ll demonstrate our solidarity and our aversion to being seen as a strikebreaking force together!). I know that should we ever strike, we will want and expect such solidarity from GTFs and other faculty at the UO, and we must stand in solidarity today when they are on the picket line. And if anyone has been contacted by UO regarding such “replacement work” (and likely it would have been framed as simply “temporary work,” not “strikebreaking opportunity”) please do let me know so that I can share such information with our GTFF members (anonymously if you wish); and if you have any questions about such things, please don’t hesitate to call me.

Finally, there’s little doubt that we can expect the UO administration to try to pitch the strike as “harming UO Students,” who “will suffer if grades aren’t submitted on time” (grading is one of the key responsibilities of many GTFs). But that is up to the University administration to prevent by reaching an agreement with the GTFF this week. And observe that the GTFF obviously chose this week to begin to strike, rather than waiting until finals week when the effects would be greater, so that the Administration has time to recognize the only solution is to bargain an agreement in good faith before UO students are harmed by the Administration’s intransigence. The well-being of UO students is in the hands of the UO Administration; any effects of a lasting strike cannot be blamed on GTFs who already have worked almost nine months without a contract.

I hope to see many of you at Johnson Hall, UO, at 5:00 p.m. today.

Jim Salt
LCCEA President and proud former GTFF member!

Posted in General

Reminder: Rally for Public Education

Hello members of the Lane Community,

Reminder:
Please attend tomorrow’s Rally for Public Education Funding Reform.
This effort will take more than good intentions, but relies on community participation.

This Saturday, Eugene will be serving as the starting point for a state-wide, grassroots initiative with the goal of encouraging the legislature and voters to reform funding for public schools in Oregon.

All members of the community are encouraged to attend and lend their voice to this collaboration for proper support of our public schools. Help us get the word out. Bring your family and friends and join the community.

Event:  Oregon Education Association Week of Action Kickoff Event!
Celebrating students, pre-K through graduate school – with music, food, and information on joining the movement to give students the schools they deserve.
Date:  Saturday, October 11th
Time:  12:00 – 4:00
Location:  Kesey Square (Willamette and Broadway)

Tuesday, October 14th
Wear Red in Support of Public Ed!

Now is our chance to do more than talk about changing the funding dynamic in Salem, but to show up, be counted, and contribute to making it happen!

I hope to see you all there.

Sincerely,
Lee Imonen
Instructor of Art and Applied Design
OEA State Wide Organizing Task Force member

Posted in General