By Samantha Bartholomew
The vote for approval of the permanent road barriers has been halted due to a demand to bargain issued by the Riverside Community College District’s Faculty Association.
A demand to bargain is a request by either the union or management to negotiate policies, procedures or agreements.
The speculation of permanent barriers began when a student collapsed Oct. 9 and it appeared the emergency services would not have been able to make it to the student in a timely fashion if not for the help of the student’s friends.
While the plan for walking mall, an area of campus reserved for pedestrian-only use, is not a negotiable item and falls under the authority of the Strategic Planning process and the Academic Senate, faculty safety is a negotiable item guaranteed by faculty contract and as such, we have issued a demand to bargain making sure that permanent bollards will not pose a safety hazard.
Rhonda Taube, the president of the Faculty Association, said that while the FA is concerned about student safety, they can only negotiate on faculty safety grounds.
“This is not only a safety matter, it is also a work condition issue,” Taube said in an email to interim college president Irving Hendrick. “We have already heard from several faculty who have contacted us about their concerns regarding delays in first responders in the event of an emergency due to the barricades.”
According to minutes from the FA’s Oct. 30 meeting, Chip West, vice president of business services, has been receptive to the faculty’s concerns.
Due to the demand, West presented the Facilities Master Plan to the Board of Trustees on Nov. 13 without the permanent barriers, which will be discussed at a later date.
The Facilities Master Plan was approved unanimously by the Board of Trustees on Nov. 13.
As of Nov. 14, it is unknown when the final vote will take place.