US of CC, college reach contract agreement after nearly four years


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After nearly four years of negotiations, United Staff of Columbia College and the college reached a collective bargaining agreement Nov. 17, according to an email by the US of CC bargaining team. 

By Campus Editor

Following nearly four years of negotiations between United Staff of Columbia College and the college, a contract agreement has been reached, according to a Nov. 17 email the US of CC bargaining team sent to sent to union members.

According to the email, the next step in making the contract effective is a ratification vote during the general membership meeting scheduled for Nov. 21 at Stage Two auditorium in the 618 S. Michigan Ave. Building.

There will also be open polling  Nov. 22  in the 623 S. Wabash Ave. Building and the 916 S. Wabash Ave. Building for members who cannot attend the ratification vote meeting, according to US of CC vice president Tanya Harasym, operations coordinator in the Learning Studio and adjunct professor in the Humanities, History & Social Sciences Department. Harasym said she was “thrilled” about the new contract, which has stronger language than the previous one.

Harasym added that the highlights of the new contract include a 2 percent salary increase retroactive to February of this year, a 2 percent salary increase retroactive to September of this year and an additional 2 percent for the third year of the contract—totaling a 6 percent salary increase. 

Additionally, Harasym said the staff union has also secured signing bonuses, which include $500 for full-time members and $250 for part-time members.

According to a Nov. 18 college statement sent to The Chronicle by college spokeswoman Anjali Julka, the college is pleased with the reached agreement. 

“The agreement is one that both recognizes the hard work of our US of CC staff colleagues and the hard work ahead for the college,” the statement said. We are hopeful that the agreement will be ratified by the US of CC full membership before the Thanksgiving holiday.” 

Nick Hoeppner, engineer in the Radio Department and president of US of CC, said the new contract will also provide full-time members health care benefits at a reasonable rate.

“It’s great,” Hoeppner said. “[The negotiation process has] been very long. I’m happy that it would hopefully come to a closure [and] ratification.”

Hoeppner added that the contract will be retroactively effective to Sept. 1, the original contract date. 

Harasym said the bargaining team appreciates how the college has worked with them in the last stages of negotiations,  adding that she believes both parties handled them “professionally.”

“Both parties are happy with the result,” Harasym said. This is a great step in raising morale at the college. The college has finally done it right [for] the staff.”