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YSU trustees, union agree on contract

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees has approved a three-year collective-bargaining agreement between the university and its Association of Professional and Administrative Staff union.

During a special meeting earlier this week, the board approved the contract, effective Thursday through June 30, 2024.

Largely because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last year, the university has acted on certain cost-cutting moves.

In May 2020, YSU announced $2 million in operational budget cuts. In addition, the 163-member APAS, along with YSU’s Association of Classified Employees union, agreed to a plan that called for employees to take 26 furlough days of unpaid leave in the 2020-21 fiscal year, equivalent to a 10 percent pay cut.

The plan also called for a total of 69 members of both unions to be laid off in areas that were closed because of the pandemic, such as dining services and housing, a move that resulted in at least $2.8 million in savings, the university said.

Among those APAS represents are academic advisers and computer programmers.

The new agreement includes a built-in 5.5 percent raise over its three years — a 1.5 percent raise beginning Thursday as well as 2 percent increases starting July 1, 2022 and July 1, 2023. The previous three-year agreement provided full- and part-time employees a 1 percent raise the first year and 2 percent raises the last two years.

The new contract also will require members of both unions to contribute 15 percent of their health care premiums, which will increase to 18 percent beginning July 1, 2022.

University President Jim Tressel praised the negotiating teams who “worked diligently through this difficult time to come together and come up with an agreement,” he said, adding: “Maybe most importantly, we’re looking forward to an extraordinary in-person academic year coming up.”

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