Treasure Valley administrators, faculty union approve new contract

This story was updated at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21 to include a statement received by board chair John Forsyth.

ONTARIO – After more than one year of negotiations, mediation sessions and public outcry, the Treasure Valley Community College board and Treasure Valley Education Association have approved a new contract.

The board approved the contract last night while the union voted 20-16 to approve the contract Monday. The contract covers 40 faculty members and doesn’t affect either administrative staff or classified employees.

Specifics of the contract weren’t disclosed by either side. A request for the contract from the Malheur Enterprise was denied by the college through Tuesday ahead of the board vote. College President Dana Young said late Wednesday morning the contract would be disclosed later in the day. The union also declined a request by the Enterprise for a copy of the contract.

The contract was released to the Enterprise early Wednesday afternoon.

President Dana Young and Dennis Gill, union president, didn’t respond immediately to telephone messages Wednesday seeking comment.

In an email received on Wednesday, board chairman John Forsyth said the “trustees individually and collectively, have a fiduciary responsibility to insure the sustainability of the college.”

Discussing the contract, Forsyth said “this involved negotiating a contract that will enable the college to be viable into the future, as well as making difficult decisions in going through the retrenchment and non-renewal process.”

Forsyth thanked the faculty for approving the contract and “helping us make some sustainable corrections.”  

The college and union battled over salaries, insurance and class size over the past year.