Second union votes to strike at Bellingham Technical College

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDSeptember 25, 2013 

BTC FOLO

Striking Bellingham Technical College instructors picket outside the school Tuesday morning, Sept. 24, 2013, forcing the cancellation of the first day of classes.

PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

BELLINGHAM - Classes at Bellingham Technical College remain in limbo as a second union has voted to strike against the college.

The Bellingham Education Support Team, the union that represents the college's classified clerical, technical, instructional and retail support staff, voted this week to authorize a strike. It has been in negotiations with the college since May, according to BTC officials.

BTC faculty have been on strike since Tuesday, when fall quarter was supposed to start. The same person is representing both BEST and the faculty union, the Bellingham Education Association. BEST members are not officially on strike, they say, but aren't working either, honoring the faculty picket.

Classes remain on hold until the labor situation is resolved.

Students should check the BTC website for the latest status on classes and information on negotiations. The college also has a hotline for closure information: 360-752-8766. Faculty union updates are online at btcfacultyvoice.org.

BTC students remain unable to get financial aid until classes begin. About 2,500 students are affected by the strike.

The college bookstore remains open. Students also still can register and talk with advisers in College Services.

Reach Debbie Townsend at 360-715-2280 or debbie.townsend@bellinghamherald.com .

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