Members of the Kishwaukee College Education Association (KCEA) voted Wednesday to ratify their tentative agreement with Kishwaukee College. The college's Board of Trustees followed suit less than two hours later, unanimously approving the contract.
Bargaining teams from both sides agreed to this tentative agreement during an all-day bargaining session called on Jan. 19th.
The deal ends months of negotiations between the college and the union representing 81 teachers. Board chair Bob Johnson says teachers will receive two percent pay increases per year for three years, plus increases that bring the average pay hikes up 4 and a half percent.
“We recognize as a board that this is a higher than normal pay increase, but we are committed to making our faculty salaries more competitive with our peer institutions.”
Union president Matt Read says this contract is very important for the college’s future. He says the contract represents $1.5 million dollars in savings for the college. He says he hope that prevents the college from having to raise taxes or tuition any time soon. However, the board is planning to take up the issue of tuition increases at its meeting in March
The deal also shaves three years off the length of time the school pays toward retiree health insurance. Health insurance benefits for current employees have been restructured, too.