Students, faculty speak out about possible strike at COD board meeting

Danny Olivares

Anna Sieg, News Editor

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All of the work, time and money COD students have put into this semester is threatened to be a total waste as faculty prepare to use the nuclear option in negotiations.

On September 19th, the Waterleaf building was full of teachers in red, lining up to show their support for their ongoing quest for what they describe as fair treatment with the administration. COD Faculty Association President Shannon Toler said the union wants “to make sure that this team is empowered to call a strike if need be” and that there is “a lot riding on these four mediation sessions… in order to see significant progress toward a contract.”

Last week, union members voted overwhelmingly to give their negotiation team the power to initiate a teacher strike at any time they deem necessary without further input from faculty.

There will be two more mediation sessions this week to try and negotiate a contract. If the teacher’s decide to strike they must still give the administration a 10-day notice. Toler also said there would be “a strong showing from the faculty association at the board meeting” later that night. That proved to be true.

By 6:30 p.m., large numbers of concerned students and community members joined the teachers at the board meeting. Public comments started the meeting. Thirty-eight people spoke their minds in front of the board. Not only did the faculty speak, but over half of the speakers were students and alumni who believe their professors have changed lives and therefore deserve better than what the administration has offered so far. After every speech, the crowd showed their support by clapping and cheering as loud as possible.

After the meeting Student Trustee Jasmine Schuett said she thought the meeting and the public comments “went really well because we want to hear the concerns of the faculty and how it’s affecting the students.” Asked how students feel about a possible strike, Schuett said, “They definitely are scared, and the important thing to know is the faculty doesn’t want the strike; the administration and board, they don’t want a strike. They really just want to create the most fair contract that they can.”

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