Bellingham Technical College faculty union contract talks reach tentative agreement

Bellingham Technical College
Bellingham Technical College pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Bellingham Technical College administrators and the college’s faculty union have reached a tentative agreement on the faculty’s next contract, the college said Thursday, Sept. 29.

The college and the union, the Bellingham Education Association, have been in bargaining talks over the employment contract since early 2016. The last contract expired in June. The union voted earlier this month to go on strike beginning Wednesday if the talks didn’t gain traction.

The strike would have canceled all classes until a resolution was met.

The parties reached a “conceptual agreement” on Tuesday, representatives from both parties said, quelling talks of a Wednesday strike. But the talks fell apart hours later over a clause concerning the faculty grievance procedure. Still, the union did not strike.

That issue was apparently settled around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a statement from the college.

Both groups – the union and the college’s board of trustees – expect to ratify the contract with votes early next week, the college said.

Don Anderson, a faculty union spokesman, did not immediately return a message requesting comment Thursday afternoon.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan