Contract talks between Rock Valley College teachers and the Board of Trustees stalled Tuesday night. That means teachers will hit the picket line on Wednesday.
The impasse comes after a more than eight hour long bargaining session. The two sides could not come to terms on a four-year wage and benefits package which would affect more than 160 Rock Valley employees.
The board’s attorney says the main sticking point is health care. The college wants to make changes to their health care program, and they want teachers to help pay for it.
“The college pays for 80% of the cost to maintain the health care for each of its employees, and right now the faculty currently pay about 17.5% toward their coverage. We’re asking them to pay up to 22-25% towards the end of the contract,” said Joe Perkoski, RVC Board of Trustees attorney.
“Wages tend to be the sticking point, and though the college likes to talk about it’s compensation package for the faculty, they have offered a lot of proposals that would cause many of our faculty members to go backwards in terms of total compensation,” said Michael Youngblood, Rock Valley College professor.
Teachers have been without a contract since July, and say they are looking for a fair deal. But the Board of Trustees say a lack of state funding is forcing them to keep a close eye on costs, and that includes teachers’ salaries. The trustees also say they don’t want to balance their budget by raising tuition.
All credit classes Wednesday have been canceled. The two sides will meet again on Friday to work out a deal.