Ithaca Collegeâ€™s Contingent Faculty Union and the Tompkins County Workers Center joined forces to set up a protest at the entrance to the Ithaca College campus this morning, and organizers say about 100 were on hand showing support for ICâ€™s contingent faculty.
â€œIt went fabulously at IC today,â€ Pete Meyers of TCWC told us this afternoon. â€œI was hoping/praying for 15-25 people based on late notice, but [there were] 100!â€
â€œItâ€™s very important that we ramp up pressure right now on Ithaca College to treat its contingent faculty fairly,â€ said Meyers in a statement over the weekend. College administrators and faculty representatives will meet for two federally mandated bargaining sessions this week. Last week, theÂ contingent faculty union at Ithaca College voted to approve a strikeÂ if necessary.
Still at issue in the contract negotiations between SEIU Local 200 United and Ithaca College are job security for full-time lecturers and pay parity for part-time lecturers. A recentÂ statement from Ithaca College says, â€œThe Ithaca College bargaining team is disappointed that the contingent faculty unions have announced that they have voted to authorize a strike.â€ The statement adds, â€œThere are bargaining sessions with a federal mediator set for February 21 and February 24. The college is eager to continue the negotiation process in these sessions to hopefully reach a final resolution. The bargaining team believes any strike activity prior to these sessions, or while meaningful progress is still being made, would be premature.â€
Protest organizers say this week is â€œAccepted Students Weekâ€ at Ithaca College, and a strong showing on Monday morning wouldÂ be a chance to make an impression on potential new students and their parents as they visit Ithaca and the campus.
Rachel Cera contributed to this report.