Faculty members at Green River College began the first of three days of strikes on Monday to protest the president of the two-year institution and a series of proposed cuts.
The Seattle Times reported that the college is proposing to eliminate 11 programs and courses, while five tenured faculty and one tenure-track faculty member could lose their jobs. There are also an unknown number of adjunct instructors who would be affected by the cuts. The faculty have voted no confidence in the college's president, Eileen Ely, multiple times and at least once in the Board of Trustees.
The cuts are expected to save about $1.2 million and help to close an up to $4.5 million budget deficit.
"A college is only as good as its course offerings and faculty, and Green River College has cut both irresponsibly, making decisions based on what makes the most money and costs the least," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, in a statement. "Students are furious they are losing popular courses and programs, morale is at an all-time low, and faculty have left due to turnover through firings or resignations. The college's president continues to engage in unfair labor practices, refusing to consult with faculty in violation of their contract's principles of shared governance, and the faculty have voted three times that they have no confidence in the president's ability to lead."
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