Update, Friday 6:22 pm: Contract negotiations continue between striking Rock Valley College faculty members and the school's bargaining representative. They've been negotiating all day.
Classes are canceled for a second day at Rock Valley College because of a faculty strike. Now the college’s president is making a plea for them to return to work.
In an emailed statement, RVC president Mike Mastroianni promised the 160 union faculty members that negotiations over their contract WILL continue -- even if they leave the picket lines and return to their classrooms. He also praised their commitment to students, education, and the community.
This comes on the same day faculty members voted overwhelmingly to reject the school's latest contract proposal, which it calls its "last, best offer." The two sides are hung up on "overall compensation,"including how much employees should have to pay toward health insurance.
The union and the school's representative return to the bargaining table Friday morning at nine.
RVC President Mike Mastroianni's Statement
Months of negotiations have taken place to formulate a contract for the Rock Valley College Faculty, and those talks are scheduled to continue on Friday. While disagreement remains on key elements of the contract, I have no question that our faculty want to be in the classroom. I have worked with many of them during my 18 year tenure at this institution, and I am confident in their steadfast commitment to education, our students, and the college’s impact in our community.
Faculty members have said publicly that they hope to return to the classroom soon. I not only share that hope, I would like to assure them that they are welcome to return to the classroom immediately. Negotiations will continue and I personally ask that they return to their jobs while the process is taking place.
President, Rock Valley College