Monday was the first day of classes following spring break at the Community College of Philadelphia. Monday night, faculty and staff of CCP met and decided not to strike for now.
After more than a year of increasingly tense contract negotiations, the situation has come to a head at CCP. Last month, the college’s administration extended what it called its final offer.
“The real stumbling block right now is that they’re really refusing to bargain. They’ve thrown this offer down on the table and have insisted that they’re not going to budge from it,” says Steve Jones, co-president of the Faculty and Staff Federation.
The union has balked over changes to health benefits sought by CCP. The changes, which the union says will hurt its lowest-paid members the most, would add a deductible to health coverage. The union would prefer bigger changes to co-pays.
At the meeting, the members of the union rejected the administration’s offer, but sought to keep negotiating.
The college released a statement after the vote, reading: “We are pleased that the Faculty and Staff Federation has decided not to disrupt the Spring semester for our students, and that the Federation has agreed to continue to meet and work to achieve a fair and affordable contract settlement. We have been negotiating with the union for nearly 15 months, and the College remains willing to discuss a settlement within the parameters of the best and final offer that we submitted on February 23rd.”