Mt. Hood Community College Works to Protect Students from Impact of Faculty Strike
Posted: April 26, 2011
The Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) District Board of Education today announced it intends not to implement its final contract offer to the Full-Time Faculty Association until after the completion of spring term.
“We don’t want the faculty to strike, but if they choose to walk out before the quarter ends, we will be ready to continue students’ education,” said Board Chair Brian J. Freeman. “Hopefully by not implementing the final offer this term we can reduce faculty angst and enhance students’ ability to complete their term uninterrupted.”
The announcement comes as the College has presented a proposed budget for 2011-12 that identifies a $5.8 million shortfall—a gap wider than the $5.5 million shortfall that was initially forecasted.
“After long hours of discussion and careful deliberation, the Board has come to the unanimous decision that if the union goes on strike, the College will hire qualified full-time replacement faculty,” said Freeman. “We are resolute in our decision and our commitment to continuity of quality instruction at MHCC, even through a strike.”
The College continues a recruitment campaign this week to prepare for a potential faculty strike. By stepping up the process of receiving applications and screening applicants, the College can help protect students from the impact of a strike by minimizing the length of time needed to bring on qualified permanent replacements.
“We don’t want any of our full-time faculty to lose their jobs; however, our number one responsibility is educating students,” said MHCC President John J. “Ski” Sygielski. “We have made a commitment to the students of Mt. Hood Community College, and we intend to honor it.”
“We hope we don’t have to follow through with our hiring plan, but we are prepared to hire qualified full-time faculty within a very short timeframe,” said Sygielski. “Our goal has been and remains to minimize disruption to class schedules and be back on track soon after a strike is executed.”
Mt. Hood Community College has made information about faculty negotiations available on its website, www.mhcc.edu.