A part of our community’s foundation has become unstable. Faculty at Monroe County Community College have been working on a day-by-day contract, as their contract expired in August. They began negotiating in April and there is no resolution in sight. Support staff, who recently unionized, are also negotiating their contract. The professors’ hands are tied. Faculty are unable to strike as it is against Michigan law to do so; however, MCCC can eventually impose a three-year contract, if no agreements are met, with any terms the Administration favors.
As with the field of education in general, Faculty members are overqualified, underpaid, and underappreciated. In addition, educators are expected to lead our students in activities after hours and without pay. Contrary to belief, educators are not in the profession to “have their summers off.” Teachers and professors choose their career for the students. Teachers in our community schools help prepare our youth for college or employment. Professors in our local college prepare undergraduates to transfer to a higher educational institution or directly into a career.
Faculty and staff at MCCC deserve our community’s support. They are the foundation of our local college; a college receiving a part of our tax dollars. If the Administration is not willing to negotiate and imposes a contract, the question becomes – will qualified professors stay? The faculty options are many. They can choose employment in their field of expertise, such as nursing, doctors, law firms, etc…, or obtain a position at one (out of seven) college or universities within a short drive from our community. Without qualified staff at MCCC, student enrollment will decrease. Why would any student want to spend money or take out financial loans to obtain an unremarkable education? The answer is – we won’t. Without qualified staff or students, the beautiful, upgraded buildings will be empty. Let’s build up and back a pillar of our community!
MCCC Student of the Year, 2022