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The Columbia Chronicle

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The Columbia Chronicle

Breaking: Part-time union to meet with members to review tentative contract deal

Deb+Takehara%2C+a+IFT+Director+and+Susan+Smith%2C+part-time+design+professor+talk+outside+of+618+S.+Michigan+Ave.+as+CFAC+picket+lines+spread+through+campus+on+Tues.%2C+Nov.+7%2C+2023.
Christalyn Barker
Deb Takehara, a IFT Director and Susan Smith, part-time design professor talk outside of 618 S. Michigan Ave. as CFAC picket lines spread through campus on Tues., Nov. 7, 2023.

The Columbia Faculty Union will host a meeting with members on Monday night, Dec. 18 to go over a tentative deal reached the day before, potentially ending the seven-week-old strike by the college’s part-time instructors.

In an email sent to members, the union said an electronic vote will follow the 7 p.m. meeting and will go through the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 20. The meeting and vote are only for “members in good standing,” according to the email. 

For context: In general, being in good standing with a union means the member has not resigned or had its membership revoked. 

Some part-time instructors told the Chronicle they had not received any email communication from the union as of Monday morning, Dec. 18. 

For background: The Chronicle previously reported that out of the 584 part-time faculty this fall, only members are eligible to vote. The bargaining unit has two types of members. As a condition to teach part-time at the college, all instructors pay dues. Fee-payers pay 2.4% of their salary to the union. A member pays 2.5%, according to the union handbook. 

Fee-payers cannot attend union meetings or vote on contract issues or contract authorizations.

It is unclear how many union members will get to vote on the new contract. The union said it had an 88% approval vote to strike but didn’t say how many of its members were eligible to participate. 

What students are saying: At the Student Center on Monday, Dec. 18, students expressed hope that campus life would return to normal after winter break.

Janaya Banks, a journalism major, said she hopes part-time instructors are able to come back and all classes are “running how they should be running and move on from what just happened.” 

Gerardo Perez, a senior traditional animation major, only had one class affected due to the strike.

“It seems kind-of optimistic,” Perez said of the tentative agreement. “I just hope it’s over soon so we can just get back to business.” 

He remembered how “up in the air” his required class was during the early weeks of the strike when hundreds of classes stopped meeting, since the majority of Columbia’s teachers are part-time instructors. After Thanksgiving break, many of the college’s 221 full-time faculty, who are not unionized, were assigned to fill in for the striking part-time instructors.

First-year Quinn Dover found it difficult to manage with the replacement teachers so he chose the pass/fail option that the college offered, “I was affected a lot by it,” Dover said.

SPANISH DIGEST 

El Sindicato de Profesores de Columbia organizará una reunión con los miembros el lunes 18 de diciembre por la noche para revisar un acuerdo tentativo conseguido el día anterior, lo que podría poner fin a la huelga de siete semanas de los instructores a tiempo parcial del colegio. 

En un correo electrónico enviado a los miembros, el sindicato dijo que una votación electrónica seguirá a la reunión de las 7 p.m. y se extenderá hasta la noche del miércoles 20 de diciembre. La reunión y la votación son solo para “members in good standing”, según el correo electrónico. 

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About the Contributors
Miranda Bucio, Campus Editor
mbucio@columbiachronicle.com   Miranda Bucio is a senior journalism major and reports primarily on Columbia's Latino Student Alliance. She has also reported on city film festivals, Student Government Elections and metro restaurants. Bucio joined the Chronicle in August 2023.   Hometown: Riverside, Illinois
Christalyn Barker, Photojournalist
cbarker@columbiachronicle.com   Christalyn Barker is a senior photojournalism major, minoring in music business. Barker has covered campus events such as Convocation, Acoustic Kitchen performances, and metro events. She joined the Chronicle in August 2023.   Hometown: Dearborn, Michigan