Progress Update—An Optimistic View of Negotiations
Negotiating a contract is arguably the most important function of any union. If done well, the resulting document creates an organizational framework for maintaining fair and equitable working conditions, for recognizing and compensating the contributions of all, for establishing and meeting high performance standards, and for promoting positive collegial relationships.
If not done well, the resulting document becomes a barrier to institutional effectiveness and a source of constant conflict, lowering morale and draining important financial and human resources.
Many years of thoughtful, deliberative action on the part of LRCFT leaders and our LRCCD counterparts have resulted in a document for which we can all be grateful; however, it has room for improvement.
As reported in the Negotiations Update last month, faculty issues and the LRCFT negotiations efforts have been categorized into six areas: Non-Classroom faculty, Professional Expectations, Technology, Assignment and Evaluation, Finances, and Workplace Safety. The six work groups have begun to produce recommendations regarding language to incorporate or language to delete from the existing contract. Agreement is emerging in a variety of areas, including adjustments to insurance options, an expanded definition of College Service, the evaluation process for full time non-classroom faculty who teach overload, Workplace Safety, compensation for adjunct faculty college service activities, reviewing and revising performance and athletic stipends, and more.
These recommendations are presented to each team separately for review and approval before being presented for expressed approval at our next joint, LRCFT and LRCCD, session at the end of April. The results of our collective action are forwarded to the membership for ratification, and beginning the first week of May, members of the negotiations team will travel to all four colleges to conduct forums, explaining the contract revisions and explaining the next steps for those issues that failed to gain traction in this contract cycle.
Finally, if the membership ratifies the new contract, the new agreement is forwarded to the LRCCD Board of Trustees for action.