By Andre Barajas / Staff Writer

Employees of LBCC expressed concern to the accreditation team at LAC on Tuesday, Oct. 7.
The external evaluation team provides an independent, peer review of the college. The team uses the accreditation standards to prepare a report for the college that analyzes the adequacy of its resources, the effectiveness of its procedures, its evidence of student achievement and student learning, as stated in the mission statement.
Accreditation chair Henry Shannon opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and inviting the LBCC community to speak on its behalf.
The most heavily discussed issue of the meeting centered on morale.
The topic arose when the president of the faculty union and teacher Lynn Shaw addressed the lack of respect faculty receive from administration.
Profound distrust, lack of respect and ridicule were just some of the words Shaw mentioned during her address.
An employee survey was administered on Survey Gizmo from Oct. 14-25, 2013.
The survey reported that 16 percent of employees said administrators were honest with them. Also, 64 percent said it is not safe to say what they think. And, 15 percent said LBCC President Eloy Oakley worked effectively with college groups.
In response to the growing criticism Oakley said, “Administration is working with the faculty union and Academic Senate,” deemed necessary to maintain the schools’ quality of education.
Mandatory budget cuts that occurred during the four years of recession in California affected teacher salaries, however, “salaries will increase without a doubt, it is just a matter of time,” Oakley said.
Steps have been taken in response to these concerns including the employment of 42 new teachers and 25 more next year, restored sabbatical need, professional development training and an $80,000 innovation fund available for a number of departments to utilize for good educational ideas.
It is unlikely that teachers’ salaries will increase significantly in the next year, however, money is flowing into the system as school revenue begins to slowly increase, so will teacher salary in the future, Oakley said.
Shannon, a strong advocate for community colleges and orator for the role of the Community College locally, statewide and nationally, referred to LBCC as a “quality institution.”
The goal of the meeting was not to negotiate and the accreditation team cannot resolve issues between both parties, evaluating, is the primary role the team has, Shannon said.
Anthropology teacher Adrian Novotny recommended pay raises and administrative supports, study.
Novotny said teachers have not received a raise in seven years. Teachers have also faced a 2 percent pay cut to satisfy budget cuts.