Yakima Valley College Faculty Staff Frustrated Over Schools Policies / Public News Service

Faculty and staff members at Yakima Valley College say they’re tired of the lack of transparency and clear policies from the school.

Faculty, classified staff and professional staff unions representing more than 500 employees held a press conference this week to voice their discontent.

The President of the American Federation of Teachers, Yakima – Rachel Dorn – said the rules around promotions have are not understandable.

“The frustration is that we don’t get a reason,” said Dorn. “We’re not told why, we’re told contradictory information about what the reason is. And then when we go to tell our faculty there’s nothing you can do to set yourself up for getting a promotion because the reasons for promotion change.”

The Yakima Valley College’s three unions are encouraging the public to attend the Board of Trustees meeting today at 4:30 p.m.

A representative of the school says, “The college has clear policies and procedures for hiring and promotion and all jobs are posted either externally or internally.”

Equity legislation signed in 2021, Senate Bill 5194, was supposed to convert part-time faculty into ten, new full-time tenure track positions.

But Dorn – who is also an instructor at the college – said the school instead moved full-time faculty on one year contracts to tenure track.

“We’re happy to have people move to tenure track,” said Dorn. “I have no complaint about that, but that didn’t cost the college any money. Those faculty are being paid the same rate and it didn’t create new full-time positions, which is what the bill was aimed at.”

Faculty, staff, and administrators have also raised concerns about the policies surrounding harassment.

In January, they learned that a junior employee reported harassment to her supervisor and a Human Resources employee on separate occasions.

Both her supervisor and the HR employee reported that allegation to the person who had been accused of harassment.

The school says it investigated two allegations this year and as a result, both allegations have been dismissed.

Disclosure: American Federation of Teachers of Washington contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Early Childhood Education, Education, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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