While Lane and its faculty union remains at an impasse in negotiations to settle a collective bargaining agreement, dozens of students and faculty attended the April 9 meeting of the Lane Board of Education to pledge support for the faculty.
Lane Community College Education Association supporters also attended the March 12 board meeting.
Board Chairwoman Rosie Pryor said there appeared to be even more faculty supporters at the meeting than there were last month.
“We by no means underestimate or undervalue any one of you,” she said.
Pryor said the board shares the faculty’s desire for a resolution that will work for the college and themselves.
“We do hear you, and we think about what you have to say,” Pryor said.
LCCEA Action Team member Marissa Hastie told board members that Lane’s faculty deserves a resolution because the instructors make the college economically viable.
“Not only are we scholars in our academic fields, but also in instruction,” Hastie said.
Physics instructor Dennis Gilbert said he believes the college is in trouble.
“Lane has problems that public relations and coercion won’t solve,” Gilbert said.
During the March 12 meeting, board member Gary LeClair said “It bothers me philosophically that we have all of these people coming in here wanting a raise in their contract, and that’s not reality-based. This is silly to be doing this.”
Gilbert’s colleague, speech instructor Jay Frasier, said the current “nonbargaining” has real costs.
“We’re here now to ask you to direct the team representing you to truly bargain with us in a genuine, respectful manner. Is that a silly request? I don’t think so,” Frasier said. “Please, give us the not silly-at-all respect that we deserve.”
Near the end of the meeting, LeClair said the obstacles preventing a deal being reached are bigger than some may realize.
“This is a societal issue that we don’t have money for this college. It’s not my fault,” LeClair said. “So quit blaming me for it. Quit blaming the board. Most especially, quit blaming the administration and Mary Spilde.”
Near the end of his report, LeClair announced he will be absent for the Board’s meeting May 14, due to stress.
“I do not, as a recovering alcoholic, put myself into situations of negativity,” LeClair said.
Although the college’s Board of Education typically meets once per month, there will be a special meeting April 28 at 5 p.m. in the Building 3 boardroom.