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400 at YSU get bonuses of $2,625



Published: Thu, December 9, 2010 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

youngstowN

These are tough economic times for Ohio’s institutions of higher learning, but not everyone is feeling the pain.

Members of the Association of Classified Employees at Youngstown State University will each receive a $2,625 bonus within the next couple of weeks. There are about 400 ACE employees. That totals about $1,065,000.

Ron Cole, YSU spokesman, said that an enrollment bonus for the union was negotiated in the contract, beginning in fiscal year 2009.

“They are to receive a $375 bonus per year for every half-percent enrollment increase,” Cole said. “This year, the enrollment increase is 3.5 percent, so every [ACE] employee will receive $2,625.”

The bonus will be paid in one lump sum to each employee this month, he said.

ACE, which includes work groups such as administrative assistants and maintenance employees, is the only YSU union with an enrollment bonus in its contract.

About 15,194 students were enrolled at YSU fall semester. That’s 512 students more than the 2009 fall semester — a 3.5 percent increase.

It is the highest enrollment since 1990, when the number of students on campus was 15,454. Since 2000, YSU’s enrollment has climbed by 3,407 students or 29 percent.

Brian Brennan, ACE president, said the university’s tight financial times have prompted some members to rethink the bonuses.

“Some people are just returning it to the university, some are declining it outright,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t have the numbers of people who fall into those categories until the bonuses are issued next week.

The enrollment bonus was part of a complicated contract negotiated by the two sides, he said. As part of it, the union agreed to drop litigation regarding two additional personal days.

“The enrollment bonus was brought up by the university, not ACE,” Brennan said.

Scott Schulick, YSU trustees chairman, said that at the time, it was estimated that if ACE won the litigation pertaining to additional personal days, it would have cost YSU millions. In exchange for the enrollment bonus, the union dropped that grievance.

It was a trade-off, he said.

“Anyone can be critical now,” Schulick said. “In 2008, everyone agreed to it. It’s like crying over spilled milk. It’s done, it’s part of the contract.”

The enrollment bonus didn’t include a cap, allowing for higher amounts. But no one on either side foresaw the nation’s economic crisis and the resulting spike in enrollment at the time the contract was ratified, he said.

“We can all look back in hindsight and say that wasn’t right thing to do, but given the facts and issues that were pending at that time in the summer of 2008, it was the best alternative,” Schulick said.

The current contract expires next year.

“Do I expect us to see an enrollment incentive going forward? Probably not,” he said.

This year’s enrollment bonus is less than that of last year.

In December 2009, each member received a check for about $4,500. In 2008, it was about $1,125 each, according to Vindicator files.

The ACE enrollment bonus isn’t new to the current contract. One existed for several years before the 2005 ACE strike, and employees saw more modest bonuses between $200 and $600 when enrollment growth was slower. The incentive was dropped in the three-year contract following the strike but came back in the three-year pact that took effect in 2008.

The latest bonus comes about a month after university divisions were directed to cut their budgets by about 8.5 percent to deal with this year’s reduction in state funding and a larger cut expected next year.

YSU is dealing with a $3 million reduction in state subsidies for the remainder of this current fiscal year. An additional reduction of at least $7 million in state funding is expected in the next fiscal year because of the loss of federal stimulus dollars.


Comments

1kw27(19 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Good for them. This story would have been wriiten differently if the bonusues were not going to union members.
Denise Dick noted that ACE "is the only YSU union with an enrollment bonus in its contract." Did she research for the bonuses that nonunion personell such as staff, directors, dept. heads, deans and the president will receive this year for any reason? Probably not.

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2Photoman(994 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Silly me! All of my years I have thought that a bonus was an award for things like exceptional service, cost savings to the institution, profitability, etc. I also thought a bonus was awarded after the service was rendered. It appears that ACE has rewritten my battered old dictionary by knowing in advance who will perform so admirably.

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3raiders77(27 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Well, if it didn't go to the union workers it probably would have gone to the department heads or the president. Either way the students and parents of the students pay the price. I bet that there will be a tuition increase in the near future with a lame excise.

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4HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Merry Christmas and bend over taxpayers! Giving bonuses to people base on something they have no part in. Do they take cuts if the admissions fall? And people wonder why no investment will come to the cesspool. It's union goofiness like this.

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5AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

No matter how you try to justify the bonuses, it is an additional expense of $1,065,000.00. A questionable expense given the financial condition of the university, state and students.

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6piak(508 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Just maybe there ought NOT be anymore bonuses for "increase in enrollment" clauses in the ACE's contracts?

The above article is indicative of the progression toward a "one world" idea. The beginning was the unionization of PUBLIC employees. And that's here to stay.

Watch the unrest in Europe as austerity measures are being debated in the various national legislatures. Get an eyeful of the strikes and violence in the streets. Get ready for it, because, like Santa Claus, it's on it's way.

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71970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Schulick sure is good at spending other people's $$$$$$$$$$$$.

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8PHISHIE(105 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Actually, the bonus is not big of a deal. Aren't the ACE union employees the lowest paid employees at the university?? I understand that the ACE employees pay 10% of their pay into their retirement fund. 3% income tax to the city. 3% income tax to the state and pay for part of their health insurance coverage as well as co-pays and deductibiles. Of course then there is Federal Income tax, 25% on bonuses. Most likely they deserve the bonus being that most ACE employees are at the bottom of the barrel pay wise. So, in reality 50% of the bonus is going back to the government.

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9YSUretired(25 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

This is interesting from the article..."Scott Schulick, YSU trustees chairman, said that at the time, it was estimated that if ACE won the litigation pertaining to additional personal days, it would have cost YSU millions. In exchange for the enrollment bonus, the union dropped that grievance."

As a retiree under the previous buy-out, I received a very substantial paycheck as a result of the settlement of the grievance which became a lawsuit (filed by the University to challenge the grievance). I don't even think the members who didn't retire received any money.

I was told that ACE won that lawsuit. I can't imagine that the University wrote a check to each retiree if the Union didn't win. Thanks to ACE for not leaving the retirees out of the personal day settlement. It was an unexpected bonus. Not many unions today care about those who have retired.

Since this is now part of the ACE contract it seems to me that the Union won, fought by the University for about 4 years as I recall from the many updates members received.

I don't think Schulick is telling the whole story or it is not printed as stated.

How much are taxpayers responsible for regarding the administration of YSU when it seems they can't forecast cost of an agreement?

Maybe we shouldn't be pointing a finger at the Union...maybe it should be pointed at those responsible...the University representatives from negotiations.

It clearly is not the same workplace it used to be.

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10ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

0.003% of which will be spent within Youngstown city limits. Hello Southern Park Mall!!

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11ElPolloRetrasado(201 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

I pay a buttload of many to go to school there and I can't even get the advisor for my major to email or call me back! They cancel classes, make classes not available and then thy give money away that I so stupidly gave to them! Did these employees go out and recruit these new students?! No, then why in the hell do they deserve a bonus out of my pocket?!?!

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12northsideperson(365 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

VN: I'm hard-pressed to name a major retailer in city limits...

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13Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

We should have given it to the football team

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14northsideperson(365 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Free: giving it to the football team after this year's performance would be even less relevant (if that is possible) than giving it to the non-teaching staff for enrollment growth.

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15SpeedBuggy(8 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

What a great time to be a university employee, wish I had received $2600.00 bonus this year and how about the $4500.00 bonus last year and $1250.00 in 2008.
I thought these people were suppose to be ambassadors of the university no matter what their job description or pay level is. It is their job to be there for the students, lets face it that's who paying the bill. As for the increase in enrollment it certainly is known that in tough economic times enrollment goes up. I for one cannot afford to send my kids to the big schools(i.e. OSU, BGSU, OU, Miami and so on) so we have elected to send our kids to YSU. Certainly we did not base our decision solely on economics. YSU is a good school and produces a great product, I will continue to send my kids to YSU and will have to grin and bear it every time we get our tuition bill knowing that I am paying the bonuses to such deserving employees. Two questions though, does the ACE membership get discounted tuition for them selves or immediate members of their families, and if so are they also paying the hike to cover these bonuses and when enrollment drops significantly, does the contract read that the bonuses be given back?

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16HonestAbe(270 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Brennan...would love a follow up on who in your union returns their enrollment bonus to the university. I would find that information most interesting.

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17southsidedave(4777 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Merry Christmas ...taxpayers and supporters of YSU!

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18LowerCaseG(11 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

I fail to see how people are upset at the ACE. Newsflash: the down economy affects them just like it does you. It is absurd to chastise them for accepting the money or for having it in their contract to begin with. I would have taken the same deal, you would have taken the same deal, and they were smart to have taken the deal.

It's also stupid to blame the university for inserting it into the contract. The compromise is intended to capitalize on increased revenue - more students equals more money flowing into the university. Whether or not these individuals had anything to do with that increase is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that they would have got nothing if there was no increase or if the number of students (and money flowing to the university) decreased. Had the university opted to include additional personal days, they would have been granted in a set number regardless of whether the number of students (and again - money) increased or not.

This bonus clause should actually be viewed as a concession on the part of the ACE. Rather than hold the university to the mandatory personal days, they opted to gamble on the chance that enrollment would increase. They won, but the money the university is paying is (1) probably less than the increased number of personal days and (2) offset by the increased tuition money.

The fact that this story comes at the same time that budgetary restrictions are dominating the news is convenient for those wishing to take a shot at the ACE and unions more generally. The fact of the matter is both parties actually won out in the end. Enjoy the bonuses ACE and by no means should you give it back.

disclaimer: I am a student, and not a member of the ACE or any other union.

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19Traveler(606 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

i always heard that the band was still playing on the titanic while they where lowering the life boats never believed it to now

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20iBuck(212 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

How much of this increased enrollment is foreign students being subsidized by local tax-victims?

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21Guin96(40 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

It's interesting that Mr. Schulick thinks that this was a good compromise and the "best alternative at the time". He says that if the union didn't drop the personal day grievance it "would have cost YSU millions". Well, according to this article, the enrollment bonus has now cost YSU millions AND the union DID get the extra personal days in their contract. They also got a settlement for the personal days that gave all members an extra 10 days of personal leave credited to them AND like YSUretired said, all the retired members got substantial payoffs. So how was this a trade off and where did YSU save anything?? They didn't.
And PHISHIE it's not accurate to say that ACE is at the bottom of the barrel pay wise. Because of all that was given to them in this contract, a lot of ACE people are making big bucks ($100,000+ for some in the IT dept). Some are making as much or more than the professional staff that supervises them. The salaried workers are underpaid compared to many in ACE.

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22HonestAbe(270 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Guin is absolutely correct. It is a HUGE myth that ACE workers are the most underpaid. Consider this: A secretary position (which requires no degree)...an Admissions counselor/recruiter or a financial aid counselor (which both require at least a bachelor's degree), and an academic advisor (which requires at least a bachelor's degree, with a master's degree preferred) all start at 30,000 per year. The ACE person will receive TWO pay raises per year (their annual increase, along with their step increase). Just thought I'd clear that up, in case there was any confusion....

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23kw27(19 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

It is funny that I didnt see any of these people's comment on the article "Trustees ask for details on Kilcawley do-over". .... "Last year, trustees designated $10 million for the renovation of the building that serves as the student center. The money came from a bond issue, borrowed for campus improvements.
At a meeting Tuesday of the board’s academic and student-affairs committee, Jack Fahey, interim vice president for student affairs, said the cost of the renovation has risen to $14.5 million.

I guess a 50% increase of $4.5 million for a renovation doesnt cause an outrage because there are no unions involved.

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24seminole(476 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

You don't actually do any work that improved the education of the students. Yet, the enrollemt went up so you get a bonus, right? I'm going to negotiate that with my employer. Hey, CEO, my sales were down but I talked to a lot more prospects this year. I want a bonus...think that would fly? Union contracts are a joke. Reward w/o performance, just because. And regardless of who brought it up it's irresponsible and improper. Why would the university bring it up? Oh, right, to hide other dealings that they bent over for in previous negotiations. This is typical mismanagement of funds. YSU should be ashamed of how they operate. Your enrollment went up not because you have such excellent academic standards but because kids can not afford to go out of state or to the more prevalent universities due to these fantastic economic times. But here you are, rolling out bonuses for a by-chance lucky enrollment increase. What exactly did the ACS folks do to deserve the bonus? Oh, whoops! We forgot to think about that when we dumbassedly negotiated that into the contract. And you call yourselves an institute of higher learning? Let everyone go to school on this one...

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25Nunya(1356 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Ahhh and yet again,..

More fiscal gifts { debt receipts } of Y.S..Shrew providing their brand of value and efficiency to all they fleece taxpayers money from.

It's things like this that makes it supportable for rep Tim Ryan to be forbade from retaining access authority. To dare continue dolling out mass dollars to those deplorable dupes.

To so irresponsibly increase taxpayer debt to feed befriended frauds that pilfer the taxpayers funded pot. Solely for personal profits under the guise of being a pet pig disguised as a pocket of proficiency.

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26YSUPenguin(30 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

ACE employees are lazy, bitter and undeserving of this raise. I hope in the next contract they are knocked down a few pegs and realize how good they have it, considering the majority of them don't have degrees.

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27RustOnMyBelt(112 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

They gave up a "longevity" raise last contract in favor of this enrollment bonus from what I understand. Will this actually save YSU more money over time?

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