Kishwaukee teachers union approves contract

By Rich Bruen

Worries of a teachers strike at Kishwaukee College can finally be put to rest.

Earlier this week, the board of trustees voted 4-3 in favor of a new three-year contract, officially ending the dispute which had begun in early August.

The Kishwaukee College faculty union had filed an intent to strike notice with the Illinois Labor Relations Board on Aug. 21, which would have allowed them to strike on five-days notice.

The faculty has also been working without a contract since classes began three weeks ago.

The teachers union had approved the contract last week by what faculty union President Ann Busse called “a vast majority.”

According to Kishwaukee College President Norman Jenkins, the contract runs from 1992 to 1995 with a 4 percent pay increase for the 1992-1993 school year, a 5 percent increase for the 1993-1994 school year and a negotiable increase for the 1994-1995 school year.

He said that the “language” of the contract would remain the same throughout the three-year term.

Other items in the contract include an ad hoc committee for non-tenure faculty and items redefining the ways faculty evaluations are conducted, Jenkins said.

According to Jenkins, the most controversial part of the contract was a “fair share” item, a union term meaning that nonunion faculty pay union dues.

“The issue was fair share, from the board’s perspective,” he said.

Most of the resistance to the contract and the dissenting vote was a result of the fair share issue, he said.

“I’m pleased with the contract,” Busse said. “We made some good inroads on non-economic issues.”