SCHENECTADY — Schenectady County has reached a tentative three-year contract deal with the faculty at Schenectady County Community College.
The agreement between the Union of Faculty and Professionals and the college was approved Monday by the county Legislature’s Education and Libraries Committee, a key step toward approved by the full Legislature, which would take place on Tuesday, March 13.
The faculty union approved the agreement in early January; the college Board of Trustees approved it on Jan. 22. The vote among the 80 people in the bargaining unit was 75 percent in favor, said UFP President John O’Connell.
The new contract will be retroactive to last Sept. 1, and will run through Aug. 31, 2020. It provides raises for faculty while leaving open the possibility that the current faculty contributions to health care costs could be renegotiated if other county employee unions agree to new co-payment plans that would lower county costs.
Faculty members also will receive raises in each year of the contract. The agreement states that faculty will receive a 1 percent raise this year; in 2018-19, they will receive a 1 percent increase plus a $600 longevity increase; and in 2019-2020, they will receive a 2 percent salary increase.
There are also changes to how faculty members are paid for supervising student interns that the county said should result in cost savings.
“In general I think it’s fair. Every negotiation has give and take on both sides, and we got something without giving too much up,” said O’Connell, an associate professor in the college’s hotel and culinary arts program.
Because there is uncertainty about how SCCC faculty compensation compares with that at other schools, the agreement also calls for the college and faculty to form a joint compensation study committee to look at the compensation of teaching and non-teaching faculty at other community colleges.
There are also changes to the system for granting faculty tenure that county officials said will make tenure decisions more consistent.
“I am confident that the tentative agreement represents a fair compromise between the UFP and the college which demonstrates that UFP members will continue to move towards competitive salary levels that remain affordable for the college,” SCCC President Steady Moono said in a memorandum to the county manager.
The union represents full-time professional staff, including professors, classroom support personnel, library staff and academic advisers. Part-time faculty are represented by a separate bargaining unit.