Tentative deal reached on COD faculty contract
By Hank Beckman For The Sun May 26, 2012 5:02PM
A tentative contract agreement has been reached between full-time faculty and the College of DuPage. The dispute lasted for 14 months. In April, faculty and supporters held a march to focus attention on their concerns about a new contract. | Brian Power
Updated: July 3, 2012 11:28AM
The College of DuPage and its full-time faculty appear to have ended a 14-month stalemate over a new contract.
After a two-day marathon negotiating session the College of DuPage Faculty Association Saturday indicated that the two sides had reached a tentative agreement on a new, four-year deal.
“It was a good give-and-take session and produced an agreement that should serve both sides well,” Glen Hansen, faculty association president, said. “I can’t tell you exactly what’s in it (the agreement), but I can tell you that we made major progress on the remaining issues.”
A press release put out by the college Saturday also declined to get into specifics, but expressed the same optimism.
“We are very pleased to have reached agreement on this contract with our faculty,” read the statement from College of DuPage President Robert Breuder. “We believe it is a fair and competitive contract for our faculty that is fiscally responsible to the taxpayers.”
The college’s press release indicated compromise in the areas that had proved to be major sticking points, including compensation for teaching summer school, adjusting pay for non-traditional methods of instruction including online courses and studio classes, and health insurance issues.
While the two sides will only agree for now that progress has been made on these issues, what isn’t in doubt is that the faculty has made several significant concessions, and many of them were agreed to several months ago.
First, the association agreed to eliminate a retirement bonus that could amount to an entire year’s salary. Also, the group agreed that single teachers would pay 20 percent of their health care premiums, as married faculty members were doing already. Previously, single members of the faculty only paid 10 percent of their premiums.
Also, the faculty agreed to pay one-third of the tuition cost for any classes taken by them or their family members. Before, they could take the classes for free.
But much harder to resolve were the other issues, especially the reduced compensation for teaching summer school.
Under previous contracts, full-time faculty earned $23,000 for nine credit hours of summer school instruction. Adjunct faculty earned $9,000 for the work.
The college’s compromise offer was $13,000 for full-time faculty.
When no progress had been made by early May, the COD Board of Trustees voted to impose the new terms on the faculty, with or without their approval.
Hansen is confident the tentative agreement will be supported when the rank-and-file vote.
“I’m sure it will pass,” he said.
The official vote from the faculty will take place June 13. If the faculty OK the offer, it will then go to the COD board for a June 18 vote.