Negotiations fail to settle faculty contract

MCCC faculty members and administrators are still haggling over a new contract for the faculty.

The most recent negotiating session was held on Nov. 23 and lasted over seven hours. With the assistance of the college’s mediator, the two parties discussed a short list of options for settling the negotiations. Ultimately, they could not agree upon a new contract.

Vice President of Instruction Grace Yackee is ready for the negotiations to be finalized.

“I was hopeful that we were going to get it wrapped up, but there still seems to be some sort of obstacle keeping that from happening.  Frankly, it’s somewhat frustrating,” Yackee said.

Faculty President Mark Bergmooser was not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.

“We are still where we were before the meeting. We’ve come to a standstill here,” he said.

The college’s mediator has the responsibility to decide when further talks should be held to break the standstill. The next meeting is expected to take place before the end of the fall semester.

“I think it’s in everyone’s interest that it be finalized sooner rather than later, but at this point, that will depend on whether the mediator believes meeting again will be productive,” Yackee said.

The Michigan Legislature recently approved monrey for a new career technology building on MCCC’s campus. The new building could play a role in the negotiations.

“I think it’s hard for the district to claim that it doesn’t have money to pay its employees when it can afford a $17 million building,” Bergmooser said.

MCCC’s 2010-2011 budget shows that $5,458,965 of the college’s $25,644,000 budget went to the faculty in fiscal year 2010, which is 21.3 percent of the college’s revenue.

“This is not about the money issues,” Bergmooser said. “I’m curious whether the people who are making the decisions are actually in the negotiations room.”

Dr. Patrick Nedry, one of the three members of the faculty bargaining team, said he hopes to leave for semester break without the contract weighing on his mind.

“The District has been reluctant to confront the financial problem,” Nedry said. “But we’re always optimistic.”

The ongoing dispute has drawn the attention of MCCC students and alumni online. The college’s Facebook page has had over thirty concerned individuals show their support electronically.

“I value MCCC faculty. They have helped me decide who I want to be in life,” posted MCCC student Michael Beers.


Correction: It was incorrectly stated that, “MCCC’s Annual Report to the Community showed that $12.8 million of the college’s $32.8 million revenue went to the instructors in fiscal year 2010, which is 39 percent of the college’s revenue.” The listing of $12.8 million is for Instruction, which includes: Staff development, student assistants, conference and travel, publications/handouts, services, utilities, capital expenditures, insurance/retirement.