MCC professor takes Governing Board to court over the elimination of meet and confer
The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) Faculty Association filed a claim to sue the governing board over the elimination of meet and confer. “Meet and confer is a process that has been in effect at Maricopa for many decades,” Bob Grossfeld, spokesperson for the Mesa Community College (MCC) Faculty Association said. “For many decades faculty will meet with administration to discuss procedural issues. [The MCC Faulty Association] has been miscategorized as a union organization.”
“For forty years we’ve been using meet and confer,” confirms Barry Vaughan, member of the Faculty Association and Philosophy teacher at MCC said. “Meet and confer is a collaborative process whereby parties come together, look at data, identify issues, jointly propose solutions and then agree to move forward with those solutions. It’s a problem-solving mechanism. That’s all it’s ever been.” After approximately 40 years of this system, the MCCCD governing board has decided to end meet and confer and upon request from the Mesa Legend, gave no reasoning.
“It’s a decision of the board to stop after 50 years. We don’t know what’s replacing it. They’ve cut the faculty out of the decision-making loop,” said Grossfeld. Grossfeld went on to state that the Faculty Association is committed to students. The process of meeting with the administration is one that is, according to the faculty, of high importance as it creates discussions between the two parties. Videos of the Governing Board meeting with the Faculty Association are available for public record on the Faculty Association’s site.
“Just because we differ in views doesn’t make either of us wrong,” Laurin Hendrix, President of the MCCCD Governing Board stated during the meeting. It is at this meeting on Feb. 27 where another important decision of the Governing Board was discussed, the decision to eliminate football within the district. At this same meeting, Hendrix motioned, as is also stated on the Governing Board site, to adjourn the regular board meeting. This motion was supported by Jean McGrath and board member, Johanna Haver, and passed with a vote 7-0. Laurin Hendrix, President of the MCCCD Governing board was contacted and gave no comment.