GLEN ELLYN – The College of DuPage Adjuncts Association (CODAA) this week overwhelmingly voted to reject the College of Dupage (COD) Board of Trustees’ (BOT) short-term contingency offer in the event the College of DuPage Faculty Association (CODFA) goes on strike. The offer from the BOT, which included health insurance and significantly higher wages, comes in the midst of a lengthy negotiation process between the BOD and CODAA’s sister union CODFA.
“This is insulting from the BOT. We have been asking for a living wage and some kind of health insurance benefit in every negotiation since 1985,” said CODAA President Cheryl Baunbach-Caplan. “And that only now, and only briefly, are they willing to compensate us fairly for the work we do each and every day, dangling a carrot in front of us in an attempt to lure us into being strikebreakers.”
The solidarity vote comes at the same time as hundreds of CODFA and CODAA members rallied in support of a fair contract on Thursday.
“CODAA members decided this lucrative, short-term deal, was not worth the long-lasting negative repercussions to the college as a whole,” said Caplan. “By serving as strike-breakers, we would damage our relationship with the full-time faculty and compromise our union values, and we could not possibly do what is best for our students alone. We hope our message sends a powerful message to the BOT – put our students first, settle this contract now.”
The college administration has also posted 143 positions on the COD website, in another apparent move to hire strikebreakers. CODFA and the BOT have been in negotiations since March 2019. CODFA’s current contract expired on August 14. CODFA represents 304 full-time faculty at COD.
“The BOT is clearly more interested in preparing for a strike than figuring out a path forward to a fair contract,” CODFA President Shannon Toler said. “We know our students learning conditions are our working conditions. We won’t stop until we reach an agreement with the BOT that truly puts our students first.”
COD serves 26,000 students and is a designated Hispanic serving institution. According to the most recent report, 26 percent of the student population identifies as Hispanic or Latino. Fall Classes start Monday, Aug. 19.
The next negotiation session between the BOT and CODFA is set for August 27.
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.