By Denise Dick
Eastern Gateway Community College employees will get a 3 percent pay increase this year and begin paying contributions toward their health care premiums.
The college’s trustees approved contracts at a meeting Wednesday with the professional and support staff.
“The additional 3 percent increase to the base of the pay scale is the first increase to the base granted since 2011 for the professional staff, and since 2012 for the support staff,” said James McGrail, vice president for business services.
Professional staff base pay increases from $29,631 to $30,520 with the increase, while support staff base pay increases from $7.99 to $9.
The professional staff contract expires July 31, 2016, while that of support staff runs out June 30, 2016. There are 44 professional staff unit members and 24 support staff members.
The 3 percent pay increase is in addition to a 2 percent increase employees received at the start of this contract year, September 2013.
Faculty, which make up the majority of the professional staff, will increase their teaching credit hours from 30 to 33 hours per academic year or 45 contract hours per academic year.
Nonteaching professional staff members will work 40 hours per week rather than the 37.5 hours per week under the prior agreement.
Also in the contracts is a requirement that employees contribute a percentage of the health care premium.
Ann Koon, Eastern Gateway spokeswoman, said it’s the first time the employees have contributed to those costs. The percentage is on a sliding scale based on the coverage.
The agreements also have been approved by the professional and support staff units.
The contracts’ last two years allow for a wage and benefits reopener, according to Sherri VanTassel, vice president administrative services.
Both sides agreed to the reopener, to occur in September when the college will have a better idea of its finances based on the state subsidy model.
McGrail said the new distribution model hasn’t been published but is expected to have an effect on college funding.