Faculty contract at Umpqua Community College secured using collaborative method

Faculty contract at Umpqua Community College secured using collaborative method

Unity-based deal pleases all

ROSEBURG, Ore., June 15, 2022 — Umpqua Community College and its faculty union have signed a labor contract that satisfies all parties and benefits students, thanks to a new collaborative approach deployed by UCC President Rachel Pokrandt, and faculty union representatives Dee Winn and Crystal Sullivan.

"Everyone at UCC wants the best for students and the institution, and that was the lens through which we considered all of the issues," Pokrandt said. “Our faculty are a precious resource, and it is important to me that they feel valued and fairly compensated. We have important work to do for our students and the community, and the contract reflects that intention to innovate and be excellent coming out of the pandemic. We wouldn’t have come to this outcome without the work of our faculty and their willingness to collaborate.”

The UCC Board of Directors voted to ratify the contract in a special meeting on June 13, 2022, stemming from months of unity-building negotiations.

Faculty union members also expressed their satisfaction with the new process and the contract.

“Overall, the students benefit from the trust and improved working conditions transforming our campus between faculty and our new administration,” said Crystal Sullivan, chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “Rachel also saved the College an enormous amount of money by doing the bargaining herself and without an attorney. Knowing that each side involved really wanted the best for our students and faculty helped us get past many issues that had plagued bargaining in the past.”

The team used an approach known as "interest-based bargaining," which started in January and incorporated regular face-to-face discussions between the UCC President and the union leaders. The result was a mutually satisfying contract.

“Many institutions struggle with faculty-administration relationships, and I never wanted that for UCC or our community. Douglas County deserves better than that, and this is a great step toward our ultimate goal, which is to be the very best Community College in the country,” Pokrandt said. 

The contract will provide a 5% salary increase, and the administration and faculty worked together to reach an agreement on how much faculty will be compensated for additional responsibilities when developing new programs.

The contract begins in July 2022 and runs through June 2025.

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