Clark College Faculty Union Negotiation Deadline Impending, Set To Strike Monday

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
Jan. 10, 2020 9 p.m. Updated: Jan. 10, 2020 9:32 p.m.

The Clark County faculty union will strike Monday if it cannot reach an agreement with the Vancouver, Washington, community college by 5 p.m. Friday.

The union, the Clark College Association for Higher Education, began contract negotiations with the school in October of 2018. More than 400 faculty members are represented by the union.

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Union members and the school’s administration continued negotiations Friday morning.

Union president Suzanne Southerland said negotiations with the school have been progressing “very minimally.”

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“We’re far enough apart that we’re not agreeing,” Southerland said.

The union is asking for higher pay for all faculty.

“Our goal has been the same since day one,” Southerland said. “That is competitive salaries for all of our faculty, particularly our part-time professors, so that we can attract and retain the best instructors and professors for our students.”

In a statement Friday, the college’s interim president, Sandra Fowler-Hill, said Clark College and the faculty union will continue to meet over the next three days with the assistance of a mediator.

“It is our top priority and I remain hopeful we can reach a settlement,” Fowler-Hill said in the statement.

If the union does call for a strike starting Monday, Fowler-Hill said all classes would be canceled for the duration of that strike.

The strike is scheduled to begin the same week some of the school’s presidential candidates will begin visiting the college.

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