Cincinnati state faculty go on strike

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Full time faculty members at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College began the first strike in the school's history on Friday.

A bargaining session was held Thursday afternoon and continued late into the night, but an agreement could not been reached.

The AAUP and the administration have been unable to reach agreement concerning several issues, the most important of which is faculty workload.

Both negotiating teams presented proposals on August 29 to a state-appointed fact-finder. However, AAUP rejected the fact-finder's suggestions, saying they would still jeopardize the ability of Cincinnati State faculty to maintain the academic excellence that their students deserve. The faculty rejected the recommendations by a vote of 169-11.

The administration's current proposal includes a workload increase when the College changes to a semester calendar in Fall 2012. The AAUP said its workload would be about 20 percent higher than their current load, and more than the workload of faculty at comparable two-year colleges.

"We have heard loud and clear the faculty's concern about workload compared to their counterparts at other Ohio two-year colleges," said Michael Oestreicher, chair of the Board of Trustees, in an e-mail to FOX19. "The current proposal would not add to their current workload.  The conversion to semesters makes this a complex issue and makes the issue of pay difficult to standardize."

The College administration has argued that such changes are necessary to successfully make the transition to a semester calendar and has maintained that the transition will be financially difficult for the College.

"We remain committed to our excellent faculty, but we simply cannot meet union leadership demands to pay the same money for less work," said Oestreicher.

Faculty are picketing around college on Friday. They aren't allowed on campus.

Classes are going on as scheduled with adjunct and part time faculty.

The AAUP represents approximately 200 full-time faculty members at the College. Cincinnati State also employs about 550 adjuncts and approximately 325 administrative/staff workers.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.