October 27, 2020 Rich Rezler
Agreement exemplifies institution's spirit of collaboration during pandemic
Washtenaw Community College and its faculty union, the Washtenaw Community College Education Association, have agreed on a one-year extension of two current contracts. The college’s Board of Trustees unanimously ratified the extensions at its October monthly meeting today.
Noting that “Collaborate” is the faculty’s theme for the 2020-21 academic year, WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca thanked the college’s faculty for their commitment to the institution, particularly through the challenges they have faced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our faculty spent hours upon hours learning new skill sets and developing lessons on a new learning platform,” Bellanca said. “We were and are able to continue to offer quality academic programs and services during this trying time because of their collaboration and commitment to our students, the community, and to their colleagues in different roles across campus.
“The challenges that COVID-19 have generated appear to be far from over, so I appreciate that the college can continue to direct all of its focus on overcoming these challenges.”
The one-year extensions delay contract renegotiations of the WCCEA master agreement until 2022 and the part-time adjunct teaching contract until 2023. The agreements include a 1.5% annual salary increase for all faculty, matching the increase the Board of Trustees approved for independent staff earlier this year.
“With so many other things going on right now, these extensions give WCC faculty a sense of relief,” said WCCEA President Dr. Julie Kissel, an English and College Readiness faculty member. “We’re all appreciative to know that we can continue to innovate and create the academic opportunities our students need without also needing to focus on a negotiation.”
Kissel noted that nearly 70 percent of the union membership voted and the support was “overwhelmingly positive.”
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