After 12 hours of mediation yesterday, we are no closer to settling the contract. But we have learned a number of important things about the Board’s positions and mentality.
1) This is NOT about money.
We made a package proposal late in the evening that met the total dollar amount that the Board requested earlier in the day. In economic issues, we met their requests on extra and summer teach, salary, and medical. All together these CUTS would have amounted to $3.1 million.
Since we offered them THEIR economics and structure on extra & summer teach, we held on our position on the minor economic issue of retirement benefits where the difference between our position and the Board’s position only costs $132,000 over the life of the contract. We refused to give up the steps they should have awarded last September, worth $200,000. Even with these positions, the total package was within the parameters that the Board had described earlier in the day as economics they could live with. They rejected our proposal.
2) This is NOT about extra teach and summer teach.
In fact, we even modeled our proposal on extra/summer teach to match the structure that the Board suggested earlier in the day – a significant rollback representing about $1.5 million savings to the college. They rejected it.
3) This is ALL about power and voice.
Our proposal also included OUR language on subcontracting and on faculty rights.
The Board has told everyone that they value the faculty; they respect the faculty; they just cannot afford the faculty. We call BULLSHIT!
What does the Board want if money isn’t the issue?