The Yosemite Faculty Association approved a two-day unfair labor practice strike of the Yosemite Community College District on Nov. 27-28.

More than 75 percent of the membership voted to stage the protest.

Yosemite Faculty Association President Jim Sahlman said that 86 percent of the YFA voting membership participated in a nine-hour open-voting session on Friday. The YFA has approximately 305 dues-paying members.

“That is higher than even the impasse-strike vote we had earlier and considerably higher than most contract ratification votes and YFA officer elections,” Sahlman said in an email on Friday.

Eighty-five percent of the YFA membership previously participated in a vote to authorize a strike following the end of the impasse phase of negotiations with the YCCD. In the previous vote on Sept. 19, 95.4 percent were in favor of and 4.6 percent percent were against a strike.

Sahlman said that about 187 union members and part-time staff from Columbia College and Modesto Junior College met at the Gene Bianchi Community Center in Oakdale on Friday to set the strike vote and decide on dates.

The strike was predicated by an unfair labor practice injunction filed by the YFA against the YCCD with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) on Oct. 9.

The union had previously claimed that a group of resolutions on a district board meeting agenda at Columbia College infringed on its right to strike by giving illegal authorities to Chancellor Henry C.V. Yong Sr. The injunction was declared moot after the resolutions were pulled from the agenda, but the injunction was amended and reinstated after the union claimed they were given a “regressive” contract offer by the district on Nov. 9 that offered less in compensation than a previous offer.

Representatives of the YCCD could not be reached for comment on Monday. A weekend closure of the district officers and the Modesto Junior College east and west campuses due to air quality concerns was extended to Monday, according to an automated email from a district employee.

The district has committed to maintaining classes for students, even in the advent of a strike, according to a strike contingency plan, Sahlman said.

“The YCCD, however, has never provided any updates of this plan, and it seems odd that any such plan would not be shared with the students and community,” he said.

Sahlman said there were at least 2,100 face-to-face classes, hybrid courses, online classes and labs offered over the course of the two-day strike.

T he two-day strike would be seperate from a potential post-impasse contract negotiation strike, which would occur during the spring semester. Negotiations between the groups began on Nov. 6, 2015, and the groups have been at an impasse since April. The teachers have not had a contract since June 30, 2016.

The YCCD and YFA are expecting an impartial fact-finder report to be issued to the parties on Dec. 6.

The report will be available to the public 10 days after it is delivered to the parties.

Enrollment of both full-time and part-time students in the district includes about 18,980 students at Modesto Junior College and 2,907 at Columbia College.

Modesto Junior College employs 244 full-time instructors as of this fall and, as of spring 2018, 346 part-time. Columbia College employs 55 full-time instructors as of this fall and 80 part-time as of spring 2018.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.











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