Lane faculty asks for respect, settlement

Lane’s faculty members counselors, librarians and other professionals who value the have been working for the past nine months without a contract, which expired June 30, 2013. This is, sadly, not the first or even second time in recent years that we have had to wait over eight months for the administration to settle a fair and reasonable faculty contract, a fact that suggests a clear lack of respect for the work that faculty do at the college.

Substantively, the lack of agreement reflects the administration’s continued treatment of the faculty primarily as an expense to be limited, rather than as a primary source of expertise.

We are the principle creators of and contributors to the learning environments that serve the community and provide the basis for the economic viability of the college.

We work tirelessly because we are professional teachers, mission of the college.

We believe in each student’s right to learn and have access to affordable education. We believe in the strength of our programs, which we have built and labored to maintain.

We have proven this through years of dedicated service, sacrifice and hard work.

What we expect in return is a fair and reasonable contract. However, over the past decade faculty members and staff have routinely been asked to shoulder a sizeable share of the college’s fiscal challenges. Whether in times of enrollment growth or retraction, Lane faculty, along with the classified staff, have not received the normal cost-ofliving-adjustments necessary to protect our salaries from inflation rates; not received the salary steps that we have earned; had dozens of our positions left vacant annually and ‘backfilled’ by faculty working ‘part-time’ (usually involuntarily) at substandard salaries and benefits; changed our healthcare carriers and plans to save the college money; and taken more and more students in our classes while receiving less time to do the necessary course preparation; among other sacrifices to the college.

Adding insult to injury, in contrast to the faculty’s willingness to negotiate constructively, the administration and its bargaining team have resisted bargaining in the common sense understanding of ‘good faith,’ even on cost-neutral “non-economic issues” that cost the college nothing.

Session after session, month after month goes by, with little or no progress and few or no proposals from the administration. It took the college 10 months to even respond to the LCC Education Association’s non-economic proposals submitted last April, and in almost every case the ‘response’ was simply an unexplained “no.” Compare that with the association’s response to the administration’s non-economic proposal on part-time faculty assignments that the Association worked diligently to resolve and agreed to immediately implement, even prior to ratification.

In spite of the administration’s lack of respect for our sacrifices and what is not happening at the bargaining table, Lane’s faculty remains focused on student learning.

We call on the administration, acting in the college’s name, to bargain in good faith, treat faculty with respect, adhere to the mission of the college, and settle a fair and reasonable contract.

— LCCEA Action Team Chairman Lee Imonen, Jane Benjamin, Marisa Hastie, Christina Howard, Jay Frasier, Polina Kroik, Tamara Pinkas, Kenneth Zimmerman