Cincinnati State employees call on Dr. O’Dell Owens to resume talks, concerns grow that workers may issue a 10-day notice of intent to strike as early as next week.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – Workers were shocked and appalled to learn late Tuesday evening that behind closed doors, under a cloud of secrecy, the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Board of Trustees voted during executive session to reject the Fact Finder’s Report & Recommendations issued on July 17th, 2014. This is an unprecedented move by the college, as past disputes between Cincinnati State and SEIU District 1199 which have gone to fact-finding have been overwhelmingly supported by the Board of Trustees.
The nearly 150 clerical, technical, and support staff at Cincinnati State Technical and Career College, members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 will vote this afternoon on the Fact Finder Report, which is expected to be accepted overwhelmingly by workers.
“For nearly 12 months, we have been working with the college to bargain a fair contract that preserves quality services for students, staff and visitors of Cincinnati State,” said Dawn Wilke, chapter president, former adjunct professor and CSTCC employee with nearly ten years of service to the college. “We were shocked and appalled by the decision of the Board to reject the fact-finding report and to turn back the clock on decades of cooperation and collaboration between staff and management.”
After learning of the decision by the Board of Trustees, SEIU District 1199 President Becky Williams sent a letter to Cincinnati State President O’Dell Owens asking to sit down and discuss the rationale behind rejecting the report and to call for continued talks between the parties.
“The workers of Cincinnati State are committed to working with college executives to bargain a fair contract that preserves the dignity, rights and respect they deserve,” said Becky Williams, President of SEIU District 1199. “Today, I reached out to President Owens and encouraged him to honor the process of collective bargaining in the best interest of the college and to explain why they felt it was necessary to reject the independent fact finder’s report.”
Pending the outcome of the vote on the fact finder’s report by workers today, union members have already begun planning for a full membership meeting early next week to discuss next steps, and if an agreement cannot be reached, possibly issue a 10-day notice of intent to strike.
The full version of the fact finder report can be found here.