GLEN ELLYN – Hundreds of faculty, students and community members are expected to wear red and attend a rally on the College of DuPage (COD) campus on Thursday evening. The rally comes after negotiations have intensified between the College of DuPage Faculty Association (CODFA) and the COD Board of Trustees (BOT).
CODFA and the BOT have been in negotiations since March 2019. CODFA’s current contract expires on August 14. CODFA represents 304 full-time faculty at COD.
“In order to continue to keep COD an affordable, quality, local option for college in our community, we need to value and respect our faculty members,” CODFA President Shannon Toler said. “Our faculty are a part of the community, investing in us means investing in our community.”
On July 30, CODFA requested to enter into mediation with the BOT in hopes of reaching a fair contract as soon as possible. The BOT has so far refused those requests, and instead made a blanket offer to adjunct faculty to “fill in” for full-time faculty and posted 143 positions on the COD website, in an apparent move to hire strikebreakers.
“The board’s actions tell us that instead of focusing on reaching an agreement as soon as possible, they are instead focused on preparing for a strike. What the board fails to realize is a strike is the last thing we want to do. We want to be in our classrooms with our students not on a picket line,” Toler said. “The bottom line is this. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to attract and retain experienced, high quality educators. Our starting salaries have been frozen for the past three years. In fact, nearly half our members have their salaries frozen. When we don’t have the best candidates in our classrooms, our students lose and our communities lose. We know the BOT has the funds to meet our requests without raising taxes. Let’s get this done and let’s get it done now.”
The rally will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15. Rally goers will begin to gather at 6:15 p.m. in front of the COD Student Services Center (425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn). Immediately following the rally, CODFA members and their supporters plan to attend the BOT meeting inside the Student Services Center in room 2200. Toler plans to read a statement on behalf of CODFA encouraging the BOT to enter mediation and reach a fair contract soon.
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.