The faculty of Rock Valley College voted today to reject what was called the school’s Board of Trustees’ “last, best offer.”
“It was clear in the meeting that members want the strike to end as soon as possible, but we need the Board to present us with a proposal on healthcare that will not create a decrease in compensation,” said Michael Youngblood, President of the faculty union and economics professor.
Union members told The Times yesterday that such an event would result in the strike continuing through the middle of next week.
“We are dedicated to ensuring a world-class education for our students and we know that we cannot do that if we lose faculty to other colleges,” Youngblood said in a statement. “We want to go back to our classrooms immediately, and hope the Board makes that possible with a reasonable proposal tomorrow.”
UPDATE (2:10 p.m.): RVC President Mike Mastroianni has released a statement:
“Months of negotiations have taken place to formulate a contract for the Rock Valley College Faculty, and those talks are scheduled to continue on Friday. While disagreement remains on key elements of the contract, I have no question that our faculty want to be in the classroom. I have worked with many of them during my 18 year tenure at this institution, and I am confident in their steadfast commitment to education, our students, and the college’s impact in our community.
“Faculty members have said publicly that they hope to return to the classroom soon. I not only share that hope, I would like to assure them that they are welcome to return to the classroom immediately. Negotiations will continue and I personally ask that they return to their jobs while the process is taking place.”