Teachers Union and Vermont State Colleges Heading to Mediation over Contracts
Thursday, January, 29, 2015
Yet another teacher’s union is falling back on mediation to settle a contract dispute, as the VSC Faculty Federation (VSCFF) and Vermont State Colleges (VSC) system have failed to reach an agreement on a new contract during normal negotiations. The prior contract for the 262 employees of the VSC ended in August of 2014. Negotiations were held through December with no success.
The VSCFF claims the VSC has been unresponsive, and that after an initial exchange of basic proposals has not offered any counter-proposals to the VSCFF despite several plans being submitted, and despite agreeing to submit a plan by December. However, the VSC claims otherwise, although it refused to offer specifics concerning counter-proposals or any plans it submitted for consideration.
The VSCFF claims that the first VSC proposals they saw over the summer insisted on several things the union cannot agree to, including ownership of intellectual property produced by staff and the elimination of job security of any kind for teachers via convoluted language that made it very difficult to untangle the actual status of veteran teachers, who in the past have enjoyed protection from termination in order to feel free to express their views and foster an educational environment based on the free exchange of ideas.
The VSCFF has been working under the terms of the prior contract since August. State law requires the union and the VSC to come to terms on a new contract before the new academic year begins.