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Contract OK’d for ECC support staff

Published: Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 11:02 p.m. CST

ELGIN – Pay raises are coming to about 400 Elgin Community College employees.

The Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved a three-year contract agreement with the support staff of the Elgin Community College Association, thus completing negotiations that began in April, according to a news release from the college.

The union’s contract expired June 30.

In a written statement, Board Chairwoman Donna Redmer said the trustees were pleased to have a new agreement with the support staff union.

“Both teams put a lot of time and effort into negotiations to reach a fair agreement for both sides,” she said.

The parties previously agreed to a tentative contract July 16. At that time, union President Robert Treadwell described the agreement as one where all members will recognize benefits.

The union ratified the agreement at the end of July, according to the release.

The contract includes a 3.65 percent increase in 2014, a 3.75 percent increase in 2015 and, according to the release, a 4 percent increase in 2016.

Members in the lowest salary grades will received an additional increase, bringing them to at least a minimum hourly wage of $10.50, the release states.

“I am pleased we were able to raise the minimum wage for employees at ECC,” ECC President David Sam said in a written statement.

“Our support staff union members are a vital part of providing a world-class educational experience for our students.”

Members of the support staff union work in a variety of positions in numerous departments on campus, including student life, athletics, IT and communications, executive director of communications Jeff Julian said in an email.

He noted positions include coordinators, specialists, custodians and food service workers.

Changes in payment for health and dental insurance also are planned so that union members will take on a greater share of the cost of their coverage, according to the release.

They reportedly will pay 11 percent of the cost in year one, 12 percent in year two and 13 percent in year three. Under their previous three-year contract, they contributed 5 percent, 7.5 percent and 10 percent of the expense.

For family coverage, the release states, the contribution rate will increase to 21 percent in the second year and 22 percent in the third year. The current rate is 20 percent.

The increase in compensation will cost ECC $2.92 million over the three-year period, according to the release. The college’s total budget is $137 million for fiscal 2014.

ECC reports the complete agreement will be available at www.elgin.edu.

It will expire June 30, 2017.

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