Students, faculty, and staff gathered at 17th and Spring Gardens, the location of the Community College of Philadelphia, to voice their concerns of an impending strike between the college’s professors and the school that was scheduled to take place this week.
As of March 12, professors and union members have decided not to strike, but will organize a public campaign to convince administration to drop their “take it or leave it” stance and continue normal negotiations.
There was an estimated 60 or more at the rally chanting in unison, “No contract, no peace,” stopping only when a professor or faculty member stood at the makeshift podium atop the steps of the college’s Mint Building.
Students with buckets for drums and a paper mache student that held a sign, “Let me graduate on time,” aligned the steps. Signs that read “Invest in people,” “Jobs for Justice,” and “Where did the money go?” depicted their frustrations.
“I honestly do not blame the staff or professors that wish to go on strike,” Charlene Brown, a junior nursing major said. “It is sad that it has to come to this in order for them to get what they need. They are the ‘ground troops’ of the college and they are the ones that are putting in the work to make sure our needs are met.”
After over a year of failed of negotiations, before and after the expiration of the current contract last August, on Feb. 24 CCP presented what it called its best and final offer to teachers and staff. However, the professors aren’t buying it, citing a recent construction boom and high executive salaries that belie the school’s cries of poverty. With neither side budging, a strike looks imminent.