What Is Lab-Lecture Pay Parity and How Do I Apply?

The ratification of the 2020 collective bargaining agreement introduced a new process at El Camino College for closing the pay disparity between instructional hours designated as laboratory and those designated as lecture (Article 8, Section 5 and Appendix O). Currently, El Camino College pays laboratory hours at 75% the rate of lecture hours for all faculty. This process begins with an application justifying why a given course should have laboratory hours designated as “extensive” and paid at the same rate as lecture hours (pay parity). This application is due annually by October 15 to the Lab-Lecture Parity Committee (LPC).

After the LPC collects all applications by the October deadline, it reviews these applications and refers them to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) for final review by December 1. By the following January 5, all final decisions are rendered by the VPAA and any courses approved for “extensive” laboratory designation advance to negotiations between the Federation and District to work toward funding these approved courses (i.e. reclassifying the laboratory hours as “extensive” and paying them at the appropriately higher rate). If a class is approved for an “extensive” laboratory designation but not fully funded at a lecture pay-parity rate then that course remains approved and is included in the next round of negotiations on the issue.

How Do I Calculate My New Load and Pay?

The specifics for calculating load and pay are largely outlined in Appendix B of the collective bargaining agreement. Generally, a laboratory hour is paid at a rate of 75% of that of a lecture or “extensive” laboratory hour. When calculating load, a laboratory hour only counts for 0.75 lecture hour equivalents (LHE) while a lecture or “extensive” laboratory hour counts as 1.0 LHE.

PT Faculty Pay: “Extensive” laboratory hours will be paid at the corresponding lecture rate that applies in Appendix D-1 of the collective bargaining agreement.

FT Faculty Pay: FT faculty may receive extra pay for “extensive” laboratories in the form of overload pay if the “extensive” designations cause their load to increase above 106.67% of typical load (15 LHE). The precise pay for overload is dependent on a number of factors that can be determined for an individual course and calculated using the formula given in Appendix B of the collective bargaining agreement. Teaching load, which is a necessary variable in calculating possible overload pay, can be calculated for FT or PT faculty based on the formula below.

To illustrate the calculation, a course that has 3 lecture hours and 6 laboratory hours each week for a 16-week semester is used in the following sample load calculation.

Laboratory hours are not “extensive”:

Laboratory hours are “extensive”:

FA21 Lab-Lecture Parity

All 168 laboratory courses that applied for lab-lecture parity in FA20 were approved for “extensive” laboratory designations. After several productive sessions in negotiations the District and a Federation team a faculty representing the diverse areas contained within the 168 approved courses reached an agreement to fund all of the approved “extensive” laboratory hours at 100% the lecture rate (pay parity) for all of the approved courses beginning in fall 2021. The Federation ratified this agreement on Friday, April 2, 2021 by a vote of 207 members in favor of ratification to 1 against with 2 abstentions. Pending final ratification by the El Camino College Board of Trustees in the April 2021 regular meeting, instructors for these approved courses can expect their load and pay to be adjusted according to the new laboratory hour parity rate that will take effect in the fall 2021 semester.