After years of tense negotiations, the District presented a contract to the Faculty Association during a closed session of the Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday that FA President Julie Kiotas said the union is poised to accept.
Kiotas read the updated contract, which would likely be ratified in the next 12 weeks, during the FA meeting on Thursday afternoon and was met with thunderous applause.
“I am happy to tell you that it is a new day,” said Kiotas. “It is a new, new day!”
The contract would be the best offer from the District in decades, if it stands as is, according to Kiotas. Nearly every area in which the FA felt short-sided under the previous contract was revised, she said. Faculty will see improved benefits, compensation, a substantive raise, and less fluctuation in class size.
Adjunct faculty will have slightly more office hours and tighter job security.
This settlement comes just one week after negotiations had reached a standstill.
“I am very disappointed with progress,” said former FA President Roger Marheine, one week before the District presented their offer.
Back in September, Acting Superintendent President Robert Miller assured that “good progress can be made on contract negotiations.”
After seven months of being involved with negotiations, both parties were able to effectuate a contract that is best for the faculty, staff, and students, according to Miller.
“I’m grateful to the Faculty Association for being open and doing what is best for their membership and the students,” said Miller. “I also want to give great thanks to our Board of Trustees for their work during this time.”
Despite the sigh of relief from both sides with this development, these contract negotiations are simply updates on the current contract between the District and FA, which began in 2013 and runs through 2016. Within a year’s time, this process will have to start all over again.
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