Arbitrator Rules that College Must Increase Pay to Accommodate Athletic Coach Workload Demands

Lane Community College (LCC) has a very successful Track and Field and Cross-Country programs, led by an experienced college coach. The programs have been quite successful and expanded in recent years, along with the coach’s responsibilities and workload.

The collective bargaining agreement between LCC and the Lane Community College Education Association contains a provision allowing for “interest arbitration” between the College and the Association whenever there is disagreement over compensation for workload that exceeds certain standards set for in the agreement, based on model workloads for four departments in the College. This differs from grievance arbitration in that the arbitrator does not interpret the language of the contract, but instead applies certain standards to set the maximum full-time workload for the instructors who complain of overload assignments.

In 2015, the Association asked for a review of the coach’s workload assignment; a panel recommended a small increase in compensation, but ignored much of the evidence. The Association challenged the workload findings of the panel, and sought interest arbitration. A labor arbitrator upheld the Association’s position, and awarded approximately 49 days of retroactive pay, and an additional 31 days per year going forward, based on current workload.