There will be no strike at College of DuPage, and students will no longer have to worry about their classes getting cancelled as the faculty union and administration have reached an agreement on a tentative contract.
The last scheduled mediation session was Sept. 26, and many of the students and faculty were making their last attempts at showing their support to their teachers. The two sides finally bridged the gap of their differences in a first-ever listening session between the union and the students and another rally by the faculty preceding the mediation session.
Later that night, a statement was released by Wendy Parks, the director of communications at COD saying, “The agreement puts students first and recognizes teaching matters. Thank you to the administration for working with us toward a fair settlement.”
The press release states that “the new contract, which runs through May 2023, includes more defined teaching duties as well as an evaluation process that promotes professional development and in-classroom observations.” Along with that, “the contract includes raises of 2.4% during the first year of the contract, 2.3% the second year and 2.0% the last two years. This is in addition to annual step increases within each of five salary ranges.”
COD President Brian Caputo also spoke on the subject saying, “The professional development of our full-time faculty members will aid in targeting high-quality delivery of instruction, which directly impacts the students we serve.” These new terms and agreements include many of the topics that were discussed during the public comments at the last board meeting, and are meeting the needs of the teachers and the students.
When asked about the response of the faculty, Shannon Toler, president of the COD Faculty Association, said, “When we don’t have negotiations on our minds, that allows us to go back and more fully embrace our discipline, the topics that we’re teaching, everything that’s happening in our classrooms. (There is) “also a sense of relief for students, and a sense of certainty that comes with the rest of the semester.”