Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Big News: Tentative Agreement Reached with MATC Administration

From the desk of MATC Part-Time Union President Mike Kent:

Good Morning Part-Timers!

I am pleased to announce that on Friday, 4/23/10, the union entered into tentative agreements with management on our remaining outstanding issues and we have averted formal arbitration this year.

While we still have work ahead of us to achieve our goal of true equity with the full-time faculty, the concessions offered by management were significant and of sufficient strategic value that the bargaining team decided it was in our union's best interest to lock them in.

The key feature of the economic package is the expansion of the number of longevity steps from 3 to 13. Under the old system, part-time faculty got a 2.75% longevity bonus about once every 3-4 years. Under the new system, faculty will receive a longevity bonus every year for years 1 through 13. The bonus starts out at 1.25% and increases to as high as 2.6% over the three-year course of the contract. The net result is that the average employee will see a 5.5% raise for 2010-11 and a 6.5% raise for 2011-12. The actual raise will vary based on the faculty member's longevity. The newest employees will be seeing raises closer to 3% in 2010-2011 and 3% in 2011-12, while the most senior people will see total raises of around 10-12% per year over the same time period. This difference is due to the effect of the system being implemented, and the difference in raises between newer and more senior faculty should not be as dramatic in the future.

A decent gain, particularly in this economy.

There were three key aspects of this approach that the union found valuable: 1.) the new system rewards sticking around, and turnover is our single greatest challenge, 2.) the new system matches the FT faculty pay schedule in number of steps, making it easier to directly compare the wages received by an individual PT faculty member to those of an identically-experienced FT faculty member, (it was also a philosophical concession on the issue of part-timer/full-timer comparability), 3.) and most importantly... this new system will create a formula-based pay increase of 2-3% per year that will be over and above any other negotiated raise... every year... forever... from now on. If we are able to bargain a 3% raise, most of our members will see a 5-6% raise. If we bargain 5%, most members will see 7-8%. The future benefit to the union is substantial.

The union has an update to the Excel pay calculator that will allow you to project how much you will receive under the new system. This new pay calculator will be posted on the union's website later today. To use it, you need to know the number of contact hours for your class, the number of semesters you have worked for MATC, your education level, and the average enrollment for the course (data available on a sheet in the calculator workbook). The calculator will show you what you will make in each year of the contract, and will also show you how far we have come in the last two contracts. For people who have been here a while, we have improved pay by almost $1000 for a 3-credit course.

We made other important gains in this contract as well. We will be sending around complete details and we will be scheduling presentations at each of the major campuses. The ratification meeting will be in early June (after the 30 day notice period). Look for an e-mail scheduling both the campus presentations and the ratification meeting.

Our fight is not over, but our cause is advancing.

Hope you have a good day.

In solidarity,

-Mike Kent

This is an amazing achievement for all Part-time Union Members.  We would like to extend an enormous thank you to everyone involved in negotiations over the past months.

We should note that this agreement shows that the administration has given ground and modified their stance regarding the status of part-timers, but our work is not done.  We will continue to lay the groundwork for future negations over the coming year(s).

Thanks again for all of the community support!

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