LCC Classified Colleagues,
LCCEF has been working with LCCEA (the faculty union) in solidarity to make sure the College provides the safest possible environment for our employees and our students. The following is a statement written by Adrienne Mitchell, the President of LCCEA, to inform members of this week’s events. We’ve edited and added where indicated.
“Collectively, we continue to navigate changing guidelines and circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic not only globally and locally but also at LCC.
As you are likely aware, the LCC Board of Education voted unanimously last week to require vaccines for college employees and for students attending LCC in-person beginning in Fall Term. (See the press release: https://www.lanecc.edu/newsroom/2021-07-22/lcc-announces-covid-19-vaccine-requirement-fall-term )
However, at Tuesday’s Reopening Advisory Team meeting, administrators indicated that the vaccine requirement would take effect during Fall Term with a deadline in week 1 or 2 of the term for students to either present an exemption or documentation of the first vaccination shot. This would lead to an effective date much later in Fall Term due to the 3-4 week waiting period between shots for the two-shot vaccines, plus the two-week period thereafter, which is necessary for full vaccination status. Team members also learned that the Team would no longer meet, and a committee composed of administrators would make determinations for all campus COVID protocols going forward. [Members of LCCEF as well as LCCEA who have been active on the Reopening Advisory Team were caught off guard, as we believed we had been told the team would continue in some capacity to advise and help create policy regarding ongoing COVID safety and protocols.]
Given the disconnect between the Board of Education’s vote and the information provided to the Reopening Advisory Team, LCCEA….and LCCEF….issued a joint letter [below] to the College president and Board of Education on Tuesday and met together with President Hamilton yesterday, advocating for continued inclusion of stakeholder groups in determining COVID protocols as well as better communication and actions in alignment with the Board vote on required vaccines. The President has since made a commitment to ensure that employee groups continue to participate in plans for campus COVID protocols as well as to ensure that the vaccine requirement will indeed be implemented by the beginning of Fall Term consistent with the Board vote.
LCCEA and LCCEF are committed to continuing to work together in solidarity as we navigate the transition to a fully vaccinated campus. [The LCCEF Executive Council (EC) is going to meet on Monday and will discuss joining with LCCEA to bargain in solidarity for a safe working and learning environment.]
In addition, your [LCCEF EC] will keep [classified employees] apprised of the status of bargaining over safety and working conditions for Fall and beyond, which we anticipate will address many issues and questions raised…., including masks [and] distancing, among others. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or other [EC] members.
Finally, I would like to express deep appreciation for faculty members Kelly Collins and Nancy Wood on the Bargaining Team and Christina Howard on the Reopening Advisory Team as well as Frankie Cocanour and the team from LCCEF, in particular Fiora Starchild and Buck Potter, all of whom have been instrumental in the joint advocacy, which has contributed to the Board’s adoption of a vaccine requirement — the first comprehensive requirement at an Oregon community college. Continued advocacy and engagement of all employees will be critical as the requirement is implemented and campus COVID protocols are determined.[I also would like to echo Adrienne’s sentiments and express my gratitude to Kelly Collins, Nancy Wood, Christina Howard, Adrienne Mitchell, Fiora Starchild-Wolf, and Buck Potter for the dedication and long hours that they have put in during the last year and a half. The advances we’ve made toward safety on this campus would not have been possible without their dedication.]
We are stronger together as a [classified] unit, and even more so as we stand together in solidarity with our [faculty] colleagues.”
All the best,