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Columbia Faculty Union Reaches Tentative Agreement After Historic 49-Day Strike

CHICAGO – – Nearly 600 adjunct faculty who are members of the Columbia College Faculty Union (CFAC, IFT Local 6602) reached a tentative agreement with Columbia College Chicago administration yesterday, ending a 49-day strike, the longest adjunct faculty strike in U.S. history.

“I am pleased to announce that, after months of difficult negotiations, countless hours of intensive bargaining throughout the strike, and the assistance of a federal mediator, we reached a tentative agreement on Sunday that addresses many of our concerns on behalf of our students and adjunct faculty,” said Diana Vallera, CFAC president and photography professor.

Details of the agreement will be provided after union members and college leaders vote upon it.

“This agreement makes important progress towards ensuring that Columbia puts students’ educational needs and faculty equity above profits, but there is still much work to do,” added Vallera.

“It’s disappointing that the administration forced us to conduct the longest adjunct strike in history before they would bargain seriously. Our faculty are dedicated to our students and this college. We said all along that we would do whatever was necessary to stand up for what they needed, and we proved it. The strike brought faculty and students together in a powerful way. Our members are more resolved and unified than ever before. We are truly CFAC strong.

“The contract provisions will ensure transparency and provide paths for collaboration with the administration moving forward so that we can work together to help Columbia do better. Our faculty look forward to returning where we belong – to our classrooms with our incredible students.”

If CFAC members approve it, the agreement will take effect immediately. Adjunct faculty would resume teaching on Jan. 2, after the college's winter break.

The Columbia College Faculty Union (CFAC, Local 6602) represents 600 part-time faculty at Columbia College - Chicago and is affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees.

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