Vermont Business Magazine More than 50 Community College of Vermont faculty and community supporters turned out in driving rain for the CCV United Faculty informational picket "for job security and fair pay" at the Vermont State Colleges Chancellor's Office in Montpelier on Tuesday. According to a union press release, contract negotiations for the CCV faculty have reached impasse and no new negotiations are scheduled until June 11, the first date the administration made available.
Negotiations are stalled, the union said, because the CCV administration continues to deny faculty the right to know from semester to semester if they will be allowed to teach. Other disputes include the administration's insistence on the ability to give courses to administrators before faculty, and the faculty right to have a "just cause" standard if a faculty member is not being reappointed, they said.
Vermont State Colleges System Chancellor Jeb Spaulding issued the following statement Tuesday:
"The Leadership of CCV and I appreciate our faculty and their central role in the lives of our students. We will continue to bargain in good faith to reach a contract that is fair to faculty and students.
"The Union has stated that, “The CCV administration left the bargaining table and says they won’t come back until mid-June.”
"That is misleading. The facts are that CCV and Union negotiators have met nine times to date, the Union declared impasse sooner, in my opinion, than was necessary which has procedural repercussions and both sides needed to agree on a mediator. The latter happened quickly and the mediator has met with the bargaining teams twice including just last week. She is from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Albany and thus has many other parties she works with in New York and Vermont. June 11 is the first date that works both for her and the bargaining team members, and that is why CCV suggested continuing to share proposals by email to keep the process moving.
"This contract under negotiation will be with the Community College of Vermont, not with the Vermont State Colleges System. CCV already pays well above the national average for community college part-time faculty and more than what is provided in most other New England states as well. There is no doubt that since State financial support is, unfortunately likely to remain low, any increased costs for faculty salaries will end up being born by students who already pay some of the highest tuition rates in the country.
"CCV and the Union are continuing to have constructive discussions in mediation. CCV and the Vermont State Colleges System look forward to the parties resolving their disagreements and successfully negotiating a first contract for CCV’s faculty.
"In the meantime, CCV will continue to serve students in all corners of the state and online. It will do so in a fiscally prudent way, doing everything it can to ensure high quality education at an affordable cost to students. Student numbers and student interests will continue to be the factors that drive CCV’s financial and academic decision-making."
Meanwhile, CCV United Faculty Member Gina Ottoboni said, "Like all Vermonters, we want economic security--and that means knowing that we'll have a job with fair wages next term. We are the dirty little secret of Vermont State employees. We have no benefits, no guarantee of continuing work, and no pay parity with our colleagues at the other Vermont State Colleges."
Morna Flaum, Elisabeth Lehr, Heather Riemer and Emily Casey walk the walk at the CCV United Faculty informational picket at the VSC offices in Montpelier on Tuesday. Courtesy photos.
Source: MONTPELIER, VT -- CCV United Faculty 5.16.2018