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Lane Community College in Oregon might charge students more and pay employees less to close budget gap

The Register-Guard
Students would pay more and employees could find their take-home pay shrink under a proposed 2011-12 budget for Lane Community College.

The $93.7 million spending plan being considered by the college budget committee has little in the way of bells and whistles. The general fund would grow by 3.5 percent, largely because of tuition increases and the use of reserves.

LCC President Mary Spilde said that money will help the college bridge an expected $3.5 million shortfall in what it needs to continue operations at their current level.

While tuition would go up only $1 per credit from the current rate, that’s only because the proposal calls for making permanent a $3 per credit surcharge that was supposed to end this spring. The surcharge was added two years ago to help the college deal with sharp declines in state funding related to the deep recession, but Spilde says it’s apparent that state support won’t increase anytime soon.

Also, employees could see a net cut in pay. The college has proposed a 0.5 percent cost of living increase and no step increase, the raises that often are given annually for longevity for a limited number of years.

But it also proposes capping its contribution to health insurance premium increases at the first 6.9 percentage points of the coming fiscal year’s increase, which is expected to be in the double digits for some employees. Employees would have to pick up the balance of the increase in health insurance costs, which is likely to wipe out the small raise, resulting in a cut in take-home pay.
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