UPDATE: The RVC Board has unanimously approved the new 5-year-contract adopted by faculty Monday night.
The board says they are excited to put the strike behind them. Board of Trustees Chairman Frank Haney says, “I think everybody is excited to put it past us and excited for what’s ahead. There is a lot of momentum at Rock Valley as we went into the school year.”
The college is now shifting its attention to their fiscal 2016 budget. Haney says a lack of state funding is hurting them. He says, “Right now we have an un-passed budget down in Springfield, we also have something that (will be) a big ongoing discussion in the years to come. The pension burden shifts back to local taxing bodies, so that’s something Rock Valley has to plan for.”
Update: The Rock Valley College teacher’s strike is over. Faculty approves a new contract with the college’s board of trustees. The deal now goes to the board for a vote on Tuesday.
Faculty met for nearly two hours Monday night to go over the proposal. The main hang up was over healthcare benefits. Faculty Association President Michael Youngblood says the two sides viewed them differently, with the board looking at it as salary and benefits while the faculty viewing as a package deal. While they faculty isn’t 100% happy with the deal, they’re glad to be going back to the classroom.
“While were generally accepting of the proposal were very excited about being in the classroom and back in our labs and doing what we do best and that is teaching our students,” Youngblood said following the associations approval of the deal.
If approved by the board Tuesday, the teachers strike will officially be over.
Rock Valley College faculty vote “no” Sunday night on the latest contract agreement. As a result, classes have been canceled, Monday.
Faculty will head back to the picket line. Teachers have been on strike since last Wednesday. Now, Rock Valley College will implement its best offer made last Tuesday as negotiations continue.
In a statement, the school says in part, “We had hoped that the faculty union would have had the courage to work with the college to move this institution forward…Instead they have chosen the path of a continued strike and class shutdown in order to obtain an unrealistic compensation package.”
Meanwhile, the faculty union said the sticking point once again was health care. “The terms of the board’s proposal would mean overwhelming healthcare costs for many educators, particularly those with illnesses and special needs.”
The board of trustees meets Tuesday. The earliest students would likely return to class is Wednesday.