FCC Faculty Looking To Form Union

It would negotiate salary, benefits and other issues with the school administration.

Frederick, Md (KM) The process of forming a union among the faculty at Frederick Community College is continuing. Members on Monday filed the necessary paperwork with the State’s Public Employees Labor Relations Board.

“We’ve been coming together to discuss possible ways that unionizing could benefit us, specifically when it comes to negotiating the details of a contract,” says Kelly Trigger, a full time faculty member at FCC,¬† and a professor of English and the Humanities.

There has also been strong support among a majority of the FCC faculty. “Now just this past week, we have what we call a super majority number of faculty–which is roughly two-thirds of our faculty–who have signed on, specifically, the union card. And even more three-quarters of our full time faculty are in support of it. So we’re actively gathering additional signatures at this point,” says Trigger.

She also says a law passed by the General Assembly has made it a little easier for community college faculty to form unions.

Trigger says a union negotiating pay, benefits and other issues with the school’s administration is a good thing for faculty members. “In years past, we haven’t had a voice at the table when actually negotiating the nuances of our contract, anything from specific benefits to working conditions and salary as well,” she says.

Even though a majority of the faculty support forming a union, it will be a while before any collective bargaining between faculty and the FCC administration. “This is brand news to us. So it will be an active process that will grow and require a lot of hard work over the coming months and even this year as we go into next year,” says Trigger. “So I would say we’re about a year out before we actually have that newly negotiated contract in hand.”

The union would an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers of Maryland.

FCC President Annesa Cheek has said she supports all employees engaging  in collective bargaining.

By Kevin McManus