A new faculty contract was unanimously approved by the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees at today’s board meeting.
“I think it’s really a huge deal for the institution,” said Board Chairperson Bert Bleke about the contract. “It’s about as fair as I believe it could be and, granted, not everybody’s equally happy, but if you look at the gist of the entire contract, this is a very fair contract.”
The contract will affect the pay of both full-time and adjunct faculty members. Specific concern has been raised about the decrease in pay for about 20 percent of adjunct professors, in the new contract.
“We were aware of this and we understood it and not everybody gets exactly equal treatment in any contract,” Bleke said. “There’s always, within that framework, some people who do less well than others, that’s just part of the negotiating process.”
Adjunct Professor Nathan Snellar filed an injunction in Kent County 17th Circuit Court earlier today in an attempt to stop the board’s vote. The judge was not able to review the injunction before the meeting, so the vote went on as planned.
“I assumed it was going to be approved,” said Faculty Association President Frank Conner. “I do believe that we, as a society, do not value adjuncts to the level we should and often times they’re not treated fairly.”
Conner said he is meeting next week with any adjunct professors who wish to talk more about the contract.