Contract talks between College of DuPage’s administration and faculty association have dragged on for more than a year, but lately, both sides have taken to negotiating the deal in the media and in public.
For instance, the faculty union took out an advertisement in the Daily Herald last month. Then on Thursday it held a rally at a Glen Ellyn park and marched to the college’s board of trustees meeting to repeat calls for a “fair contract.”
And the college has created a “Negotiations Facts” section of its website where it has posted, so far, a dozen news releases about proposed concessions they’re seeking from the faculty.
That’s struck a chord with members of the faculty union, who say the information is little more than propaganda and not an accurate reflection of negotiations.
At Thursday’s board meeting, they asked the college to take down any information about contract talks from the website.
Despite getting the support of the three board members who had the union’s backing when they ran for office, the website will remain untouched, after a 4-3 vote.
“You have made statements in the media that we are greedy, we don’t understand the economy, don’t do enough to earn our paychecks, and could be replaced without any effort in order to save more money,” Faculty Association President Glenn Hansen told COD President Robert Breuder and board members. “When the content of the Web page is a biased view of the negotiations, it is propaganda.
“We don’t need this on our COD homepage or anywhere else on the COD site.”
But COD board Chairman Dave Carlin charged the faculty association with running a newspaper ad with “misinformation” and encouraging students — to whom they give grades — to show up on the faculty’s behalf at board meetings.
On Thursday, the vice president of the college’s student leadership council and one other student spoke in support of the faculty in contract negotiations, and a handful attended the rally earlier at Panfish Park.
“To have people stand up at the podium and have the administration get beat up, I’m not gonna stand for it,” said Carlin, who called on members of the community to come to future board meetings.
He called the information on the college’s website “factual.”
Trustee Kim Savage made a formal motion to remove the information from the website, supported by Trustees Nancy Svoboda and Dianne McGuire.
“I’d like to keep the excellent faculty here. We all value faculty,” Savage said.
Earlier at the rally, Bob Peickert, the newly re-elected chairman of the Democratic Party of DuPage County, called out the same three board members who received the party’s endorsement when they ran for election.
“We helped get people on that board. If they don’t do their job, we’re going to get them off that board,” Peickert said.
A day before, Peickert won re-election to his third term as chairman at the party’s biennial convention. He survived a challenge to his seat from Savage, who is the chairwoman of the Downers Grove Township Democratic Organization, by a 5,880-3,569 vote.
In response to Peickert’s comments, Savage said, “I do my job.”
Svoboda said, “I’m doing my best to serve the community and protect the interests of the college.”
McGuire had no comment.
Both the administration and union have met with a federal mediator once, with two more sessions scheduled this month.
Breuder has said he wants a new deal in place by May.
COD: Two more mediation sessions scheduled this monthCopyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.