Rock Valley College Student Petition

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Professors at Rock Valley College vote to strike if they need to. Teachers have been working without a contract since July, but the possible strike isn't the only problem the school is tackling. Students are voicing their concerns about the direction the school is heading in.

From tuition hikes to a possible teacher strike, Rock Valley College students are worried.

"We have concerns about our learning environment and feel current events are having an effect on our learning environment," says Wes Baranski, student commission president.

As president of Rock Valley's student commission, Baranski helped organized a petition to take to the college's board. It addresses tuition hikes, looming staff layoffs and budget cuts and many students like Karen Atwater are supporting the petition

"A lot of students don't know about it and they're shocked and want to help as much as possible, but a greater concern for many Rock Valley students is a possible teacher strike," says Karen Atwater.

At their latest meeting, faculty members voted 97 to 11 to file an intent to strike with the state. Ten days after this is processed, teachers can walk out of the classroom and off the job.

"I think it's in the students best interest in the long run for our faculty to have a contract that let's us recruit and retain the best quality faculty," says Lynette Danzyl-Tauer.

But the threat of a strike has students doing the math.

"If they go on strike I won't get the credit I need for the army when I enlist in January to get my rank promotion." Says Paul Calhoun, a student.

As negotiations over salary and benefits continue, Atwater hopes a strike won't delay her plans to get to nursing school. The student commission will present the petition to Rock Valley College board members at their meeting next week. The faculty's intent to strike vote comes just weeks after staff passed a vote of no confidence for current college president Roland Chapdelaine.