GLEN ELLYN – Dozens of College of DuPage Faculty Association (CODFA) members wore red and packed the College of DuPage Board of Trustees meeting. Several members spoke at the meeting on Thursday night, including CODFA President David Goldberg. The following are Goldberg’s remarks:
“In March 2019, CODFA’s table team and the board’s emissaries met for the first time. Those negotiations went on for more than six months until the end of September. In between, we met bi-weekly, required a federal mediator, and COD faculty voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. It was a contentious process.
“The current and predicted internal, local and national conditions are different:
- A Pew Research poll from September 2021 shows a strong bi-partisan, majority of Americans view unions in a positive light. Workers at Starbucks and Amazon have made unprecedented gains.
- The United States is facing 9 percent inflation. The highest in 40 years.
- Recession fears loom on the horizon, nationally and globally.
- Locally, College of DuPage students, faculty and employees are returning to a ‘new normal’ with some trepidation.
“Against this backdrop our members were surveyed and a strong majority supported entering into talks on extending the existing contract, as opposed to full negotiations. We asked administrators, as the board’s representatives, on three separate occasions.Each time, the request was rebuffed with little serious explanation.
“It is unfortunate, to put it mildly, that the board has no interest in engaging in extension talks and prefers full negotiations.
“We think the interest of the institution, as a whole, is best served by a limited discussion. Several years of peace and stability across the institution are well deserved.
This unwillingness to have a serious conversation about extending the existing contract and discussing any relevant issue in a memorandum of understanding for the future should in no way be misinterpreted.
Our negotiations team has been hard at work over the past several weeks, focus on scope and content of proposals. Our resolve is strong. We are disciplined and tireless in our efforts.
The faculty who are here tonight in support, as well those you will hear from shortly, are reasonable, fair and expect the same in the coming weeks and months.
We are eager to begin negotiations and engage at the table. Thank you.”
CODFA represents 300 full-time faculty at COD. COD serves 25,000 students.
CODFA filed its intent to bargain last week and is awaiting confirmation for an initial negotiation session.
At 135,000 members strong, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the largest union in Illinois. The IEA represents PreK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.