The Clark College Association for Higher Education, Clark College’s faculty union, voted Saturday to authorize a strike.
Union members at the Vancouver, Washington, community college have been working to negotiate a contract with the school for 14 months. They say their pay lags behind local K through 12 school districts, other colleges and the private sector.
As for when the strike will take place, faculty union president and Clark College communication studies professor Suzanne Southerland said that’ll depend on the college’s reaction.
“The hope is that they come back to the table and start negotiating,” Southerland said. “That’s been our hope this entire time.”
The faculty union has nearly 400 members, said Hannah Jackson, bargaining support team chair with the union.
“Our membership has grown by more than 100 faculty members since September when we started the school year again,” Jackson said. She said about 90% of Clark County faculty are now union members.
About 300 members showed up at Saturday’s meeting, and the vote to authorize a strike was unanimous.
“At this point we really need to change the relationship between administration and faculty,” Southerland said. “And we’re hoping that this strike vote will result in a better relationship between us so that we’ll have smoother negotiations in the future and come to agreement on things we need at Clark College, like competitive pay.”