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Talks Continue To Avert Faculty Strike

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Columbia, CA – Talks resumed between the Yosemite Community College District (YCCD) and Yosemite Faculty Association (YFA) over the weekend in Modesto and union leaders signal that progress was made to possibly end the impasse.

This was the first face-to-face meeting since talks broke off in November and the union vowed to strike on January 14th over ongoing labor contract negotiations disputes, as earlier reported here. YCCS Chancellor Henry Yong and YFA President Jim Sahlman along with other representatives from both sides talked on Sunday. Sahlman noted that both union and school officials were “encouraged by the day-long discussions.” The meeting came four days after the mediator in the negotiations issued a fact-finding report, which is expected to be made public on Dec. 29th.  That will allow for a state-mandated 10-day window for the parties to negotiate privately.

The District states that it “hopes the unanimous support of the fact-finding report recommendation will assist the parties to conclude negotiations and refocus on student success, enrollment and their shared mission.”

Negotiations began in December 2015 before the contract expired in June 2016. The faculty contract covers 299 full-time and 426 part-time instructors at Columbia College and Modesto Junior College. They collectively teach nearly 25,000 students.

Negotiations will resume on December 30 in an attempt to reach a contract resolution. Sahlman stated in a press release that Sunday’s meeting “resulted in progress toward achieving that goal.”

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