PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Negotiations resume Sunday night in a last-ditch effort to avert a faculty strike at Community College of Philadelphia.
The faculty union hasn’t said when they might strike — but if they’re not satisfied with the pace of progress, they could set up picket lines at any time. CCP and the 1200-member union have gone nearly three years without a new contract. Courseload and compensation are the major sticking points. The union presented what it called a “pre-strike” offer on Tuesday, although Union co-president John Braxton says there hasn’t been much movement lately.
“Ever since May, they’ve said nothing except, ‘here’s your final offer, take it or leave it,'” Braxton said. “And we’ve said, ‘well, what about this and what about that? Could we compromise on this and that?’ And they’ve just said, ‘we gave you our last, best, final offer.'”
CCP President Dr. Donald “Guy” Generals says the union proposal is unsustainable.
“We think the best and final is fair. More than fair,” he said. “We think the compensation package is still among the best, if not the best, and when I say compensation, I mean insurance and the actual pay, if not the best of all the community colleges in this area.”
Jeremiah White, the chair of CCP’s board of trustees, questioned the union’s timing, threatening a job action so soon before graduation.
“A month before, and you’re going to strike? And all these families and everybody’s prepared to graduate? It makes no sense to me,” White said. “And we hope that the union will not strike before people have an opportunity to graduate.”