LCC Faculty Colleagues,
I am writing with a few important, time sensitive updates for all faculty.
Contracted Faculty FTE and Implications for the Next Two Years
As reported in several LCCEA and faculty meetings, the College and LCCEA engaged in discussions regarding eight extra faculty positions that are required by a grievance settlement. These positions are in addition to the regular contractually required full-time faculty FTE. (Please note that there is no one-to-one correspondence between current faculty postings and these extra 8 positions nor the required contracted faculty FTE. )
Because the minimum faculty FTE is slated to decrease considerably in 2024-2025, postponing some of the extra positions from 23-24 to 24-25 would provide more continuity, stability in faculty FTE across the next two years and greater job security for both contracted and part-time faculty.
The Administration declined, reserving their rights to make retrenchments, noting, “retrenchments allow the College to make structural adjustments in response to student needs” even though postponing extra positions positions would result in savings, mitigate pressure on the budget, provide stability to programs across campus, and reduce the need for retrenchments and program cuts due to budgetary needs in the next two+ years.
In addition, the Administration declined all proposals to offer a retirement incentive this year – another fiscally responsible strategy which would have alleviated pressure from next year’s budget.
You likely recall a recent joint message from LCCEF, LCCEA, and Student Government citing concerns about the FY24 budget process. To date, (aside from the newly announced elimination of the health clinic), no information has been made available by the Administration about any plans for balancing the budget for next year even though the Board and its appointed Budget Committee are scheduled to have their first budget meeting next Wednesday, May 3 in accordance with Oregon public budget law. We remain deeply concerned about the lack of transparency as well as what could amount to effectively removing both campus stakeholders and the publicly elected Board of Education, who represent the people of Lane County, from any opportunities for meaningful input into the budget before the official (120+ page) budget document is drafted and presented for approval. This is unprecedented.
Planned Elimination of the Health Clinic
On Tuesday, Administrators informed the classified professionals and faculty working in the campus health clinic of their decision to close the clinic by or before the end of Fall term. While the meeting was taking place, the email to all campus went out with notification about the clinic and a note about “expanding” health services for students.
To be clear, the Administration stated that their plan is to permanently close the clinic and to explore the possibility of outsourcing with third-party companies to provide telehealth. The clinic does currently provide some services via telehealth and is ready to expand those services if allowed, and could break even or generate net revenue if, for instance, all credit students were assessed the clinic fee to access telehealth and/or in-person services, which could also be extended to non-credit students.
The process of administration notification about retrenchments (i.e., layoffs) has a specific timeline required by our faculty contract, which includes meeting(s) with LCCEA to discuss alternatives over a period of at least thirty days. This did not take place. Faculty working in the clinic and LCCEA representatives, along with classified professionals, were invited to the meeting shortly before it began. For this reason, Christina Howard and the LCCEA Grievance Team will take up this issue in order to better protect affected faculty and all faculty in the future.
Student Concerns About the Health Clinic
Student leaders are rallying to support the Health Clinic, a service they find critical. Please find below a message from Nikhar Ramlakhan, President of LCC’s Student Government. Nikhar is asking that faculty share the message with students in their classes and in Moodle announcements. Thank you for your support for students and for sharing this message from the Student Government leaders!
Message from Nikhar to share with your students —
Dear LCC Students,
The LCC Health Clinic may be shutting down at the end of the Fall 2023 term. I understand that the Health Clinic is important to many of you for its convenience and affordability. The Lane SGA and I are trying to prevent this decision and need your help. Please consider supporting us at the next Board Meeting on May 3rd at 6:00pm. If you are willing to offer your support in this matter, kindly fill out this form. Together, we can save the Health Clinic and ensure that it remains as a crucial service here on our campus.
Nikhar Ramlakhan | Lane SGA President
— End message
Faculty Meeting– Monday at Noon
LCCEA is holding a meeting Monday, May 1, noon – 12:50 in 30/121 and on Zoom. The meeting is intended as an opportunity for faculty to share questions, concerns, ideas, etc. about the above issues and will not have a formal agenda. Action Team Co-Chair, Wendy Simmons, will have LCCEA t-shirts on hand for faculty members who wish to stop by to pick one up.
- Please consider wearing red to attend the LCC Board of Education meeting Wednesday, May 3 at 6:00 p.m. to support the student rally for the Health Clinic and to support our faculty and classified professional colleagues impacted by the planned clinic closure.
- In order to show solidarity with our classified and faculty colleagues who work in the Health Clinic, LCCEF and LCCEA are asking classified and faculty members to wear union shirts and/or red to the May 5 Spring Conference, which will be held on campus in person all day next Friday, May 5.
Save the Date
The LCCEA Spring Term meeting for all members will be May 17 at 3:00 p.m.