Ongoing negotiations between the College of DuPage Faculty Association (CODFA) and the college, which began over twelve months ago, have yet to produce an agreement. The College of DuPage (COD), located at 425 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn, is the largest community college in the state.
According to the faculty association website, the college is attempting to:
- Increase class sizes
- Cut summer pay by 50%
- Increase faculty workload by up to 50% without an increase in pay
- Double the cost of single coverage insurance
- Take away the faculty’s lawful rights to have a voice in their healthcare coverage
- Force the faculty to make additional workforce concessions that will decrease professional service
The statement went on to say “The College of DuPage Faculty Association is committed to negotiating a fair and equitable agreement – one that recognizes the economic challenges of these times. “
In a news release on the college’s website, COD said the key facts in the negotiations with CODFA are:
- The College is in negotiations to realign the current full-time faculty contract to reflect present economic conditions, community college benchmarks and public expectations. The College has already successfully concluded contract negotiations with three other employee groups this year.
- COD full-time faculty members have an average annual salary for a nine-month (168 working days) teaching load of approximately $100,000. IBHE Data (2010) indicates that COD is at the highest average salary for all Illinois community colleges and public four-year institutions. The average salary at other community colleges in Illinois was $67,000 in FY 2010, according to the Illinois Community College Board.
- The College has offered increases to overall faculty salaries of 2.85, 3.15, 3.55 and 4.15 percent over the course of this contract. This represents an annual compounded yield of 3.42 percent, well above the rate of inflation and salary increases in higher education in general. Nationally, the average salary increase is 1.9 percent.
- COD seeks to end a lavish retirement benefit that allows faculty to earn a BONUS of up to 100 percent of their base pay (current average faculty base is approximately $100,000) which is paid during their final years of employment and post retirement. This bonus is in addition to their salary and pension payments. This “Supplemental Retirement” is not a responsible use of taxpayer or tuition dollars, and the College believes this should end.
- The College has proposed that all faculty pay 20 percent of health care premiums, which is consistent with other employee groups and the general market at large. Currently, full-time faculty members pay 20 percent toward family coverage, but faculty members with single coverage pay only 10 percent.
- Currently full-time faculty and their dependents take COD classes for free. COD believes it is reasonable for faculty and their dependents to pay one-third of the cost of tuition and all fees associated with classes, as is required of other employee groups.
- College of DuPage currently pays a premium to have a summer course taught by a full-time faculty member versus a part-time faculty member. With an average nine-month salary of approximately $100,000, a full-time faculty member would receive $23,000 to teach just nine summer credit hours compared to approximately $9,000 paid to a part-time faculty member. College of DuPage proposes gradually reducing full-time faculty summer teaching pay to a more reasonable level, but at an amount which is still a premium above what is paid to a part-time faculty member.
- Currently, up to 15 faculty members (out of 300) a year can be released for a full-year sabbatical leave at 75 percent pay or a one-semester leave at full pay. Since the College is required to pay the faculty member on sabbatical, as well as the faculty replacement while on leave, the College wishes to limit the number of faculty one-semester/sabbatical leaves to five per year and reduce compensation for full-year sabbatical leaves to 50 percent pay, which is in line with other institutions.
“We are very concerned about reaching a more equitable distribution of work and the associated pay for that work among all of our faculty members,” said COD Executive Vice President Joe Collins. “We need to address those situations where there is an obvious disparity in pay practices.”
In early April both sides will meet with a mediator.