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Bargaining Update: Mediation and Rally

Photo credit: Jeff Gunn

Key Points:

  • Team met for expectations and overview with mediator and management
  • Teams spent most of the time in their separate rooms caucusing 
  • College refuses to negotiate on anything that isn’t economics.

What you can do:

A lot has happened since we last met at the bargaining table, including an ice storm which reinforced the need for clarifying language around remote work. On Wednesday, January 31st, our bargaining team met with state mediator, Janet Gillman, and the college’s team for mediation. As a neutral third party, Janet’s job is to help the union and the college negotiate a decision together. We came to the table optimistic for a fresh chance to reach a compromise on a fair contract.

After meeting for a joint session for an overview of bargaining, both sides separated to work on proposals. While mediation is confidential, here is a reminder of where our proposals were at before mediation:

LCCEF Proposal Pre-MediationCollege Proposal Pre-Mediation
Western Region CPI COLA 8.01% July 1 2023COLA 3.7% July 1, 2023
COLA tied to Western Region CPI % July 1, 2024COLA 2.25% July 1, 2024
Full Step (step eligible) July 1, 2023Full Step (step eligible) July 1, 2023
Full Step (step eligible) July 1, 2024Full Step (step eligible) July 1, 2023
Health Insurance Stop Loss Language: Employer pays 90-100% of insurance premium increases, depending on insurance planNo Stop Loss Language: Employee pays 100% of insurance premium increases on all insurance plans
FSA Section 125 StipendNo FSA Section 125 Stipends

In summary, the LCCEF has been trying to bring wages back in line with inflation that we have all experienced since the last contract, using the local Western Region Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) calculations for Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA). We also want to keep our health insurance and FSA Section 125 benefits where they are. Meanwhile, the college has proposed  raises that keep wages below inflation and the cost of increased health insurance premiums on employees. The matter of health insurance premiums is especially upsetting because the condition of switching to OEBB in our last contract negotiation was that we would not have future increases. 

During mediation, many hours were spent working on issues the LCCEF team thought were shared interests and could be used to reduce the things on the table to allow for a more focused discussion on those economic issues. The College did submit a proposal package, which we could not accept. When we submitted an article, it was also not accepted and the College made it very clear that they are unwilling to negotiate on anything that isn’t economic and has not been willing to adjust their economic proposal.

With the ice storm fresh in our minds, we know all too well what can happen to even the healthiest tree when it is too rigid and unyielding. If the college prefers this tactic, we prefer to be like the rugged trees of the Oregon Coast, which can remain strong despite the overwhelming coastal wind and rain. We will come to the table with reasonable suggestions but still stand strong against the winds of administration, ensuring that we hold to a fair contract while meeting the college’s team with respect. We hope that they can meet us with the same spirit of cooperation and fairness for everyone who makes LCC run.

But our strength comes from you! We can’t all sit in a mediation room for 10 hours, but we can give a little time here and there. Sign our public letter to the board. Volunteer for a membership outreach. Come to our rally next Wednesday. Show the administration just how strong we are. 


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LCC Classified Professionals deserve:

  • Fair and comparable wages
  • Safe and clean working conditions
  • Equitable staffing levels
  • Job Security
  • Quality Health insurance coverage
  • Summer closure days
  • Workplace Inclusivity
  • Remote work options
  • Opportunities for promotion

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