EGCC board approves agreements with unions

STEUBENVILLE – Pay raises and provisions for health care for Eastern Gateway Community College employees were included in agreements approved Thursday by the college’s Board of Trustees and ratified by the college’s professional staff and support staff units.

The contracts provide for an average 3 percent raise in the first year, which is fiscal year 2013-2014. This is in addition to a 2 percent increase issued to employees at the start of this contract year as outlined in the contract pay scale.

According to Ann Koon, EGCC director of public information, the increase for the professional staff, comprised of mostly faculty, is made possible by two major changes.

“The first item concerns the workload of the faculty as they agreed to increase their teaching credit hours from 30 to 33 hours per academic year, or 45 contact hours in an academic year. Non-teaching members of this unit are now responsible for 40 hours per week, compared to 37.5 hours per week. The second agreed change is employee contributions to health care premiums for a health savings account for full-time contract employees. The professional staff contract expires July 31, 2016,” Koon explained.

“The additional 3 percent increase to the base of the pay scale is the first increase to the base granted since 2011 for the professional staff, and since 2012 for the support staff,” said James McGrail, vice president for business services. The professional staff base will move from $29,631 to $30,520. The support staff contract that expires on June 30, 2016 increases the base rate from $7.99 to $9.”

The final two years of the contracts allow for a wage and benefits “reopener,” said Sherri VanTassel, vice president for administrative services.

During bargaining, the college and the bargaining units agreed to the wage and benefits reopener in September to better determine the college’s finances following the state’s revamping of the state student subsidy funding model. The new distribution model will have an impact on college funding, and the model finalization has not been published, said McGrail.

The professional staff unit has 44 members and the support staff unit has 24 members.

The board also extended the wage increases and health care provisions to the non-bargaining employees at the college.

In other business, the board approved an energy conservation project for up to $41,000 with Facilities Management Concepts.

The board also learned that the Higher Learning Commission site visit will be March 3-4 to consider the college’s request to offer an online degree.

The city of Youngstown will rent space in the Covelli Centre parking lot in Youngstown for the college to use in offering the electric utilities technician program and commercial driver’s license academy.