We want to again express our gratitude for the expressions of solidarity these past few weeks. Thank you to our fellow classified employees who took time to be in the room and offer your silent support to your bargaining team, and also for your thoughts during caucus. We are really filling up the room!! We may need to find another room to Bargain if the numbers keep increasing!
Thank you to every person with a sign in your window, wearing your red LCCEF shirt or any red clothing, and every employee letting management know that we’re not happy with the way we’re being treated; again, we really appreciate your support.
On May 24, the college brought a new proposal to the table. It’s pretty much the same as the supposal they shared with us. They are still offering us zero steps and zero COLA, but have now put in writing they will honor the 1.75% we have been discussing if we were to switch to OEBB and they will leave the college contribution for insurance at the levels they have been since 2015. One of the problems with the contribution levels is they are not the same as faculty. The classified levels since 2015 are nearly $200.00 less for full family than faculty. If ours was the same that could have saved many families over $2000.00 a year. The contribution levels for our employee only and employee plus 1 are a few dollars higher than faculty.
The college still wants to eliminate the FSA employer contribution on Jan 1, 2020 and have told us to suggest an employer contribution amount for an HSA because they are willing to contribute to that but not at the current FSA contribution. They shared a few other documents with us to emphasis that Lane is more generous than other Community Colleges (College FSA Comparison). The problem we have with this idea is that through the years we have bargained for less wages in order to keep our insurance premiums low and our FSA contribution high. So if the college wants to reverse these things now we need our wages to be increased to make up for benefits lost.
Your EC, Bargaining Team, and Joint Insurance Committee, have been actively seeking personal and commercial information on OEBB and HSA’s. We encourage every Classified employee to attend any additional information sessions provided by the college and continue to educate yourselves regarding this decision. The college did receive the Pacific Source rates for 2019/2020 and told us they came in at 15-18% higher than we currently have. The college should be releasing this information to you this week.
They also want to discontinue our access to the Health Clinic. This is clearly another benefit they want to take away. Currently we can go to the Health Clinic for our medical care, not pay a co-pay, and not even have to use sick time as long as the visit isn’t longer than 2 hours. All this for just $48.00 a year.
So, this is quite ugly. We can of course change our current plans again this year to try and keep our premiums from rising but that will mean less insurance benefits to our plans which means more dollars out of pocket.
We are planning to hold another General Membership Meeting the week of June 3, date to be announced soon. This one will be in the evening. We hope that many of you will show up so we can discuss our next strategies.
We need everyone to pull together now. We need those who are good organizers. We need those who can reach out to non-members and ask them to join the union. The larger our numbers the more power we have. Please keep wearing red on Fridays and reminding each other to wear red. And please keep showing up to bargaining. We cannot do this without you.
Remember if you do come to a bargaining session you need to coordinate with your manager first. You must use your lunch break, rest break, leave time, or flex time to sit in a session. If your manager says no to you attending and the reason you are given doesn’t seem right, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.