MHCC and Full-Time Faculty Reach Agreement; All Classes Will Continue as Planned
Posted: May 11, 2011
Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) today announced it has reached a three-year agreement with the Full-Time Faculty Association, after negotiating for more than a year. The Association’s previous contract expired Aug. 31, 2010.
The settlement averts a strike by the Full-Time Faculty Association, which is affiliated with the Oregon Education Association (OEA). The faculty voted April 28 to authorize a strike that could have begun May 12, at the earliest.
“After months of diligent negotiating, we are thrilled to have a final agreement that values our faculty, helps curb the financial impacts of rising pay, health care costs and PERS costs and ultimately protects students and the College from a devastating strike,” said Brian Freeman, chairman of the MHCC District Board of Education.
“We are grateful to the Full-Time Faculty Association leadership for their hard work throughout bargaining in order to reach a solution that, above all, continues to serve the College’s 33,000 students,” continued Freeman.
The agreement was ratified today by the MHCC District Board of Education and yesterday by the union’s membership following long bargaining sessions on Monday and Tuesday. Both sides worked to reach agreement on several articles that had proven difficult to negotiate. Bargaining did not conclude until minutes before the faculty ratification vote. Once signed, the contract will take effect retroactive to Sept. 1, 2010, and expire Aug. 31, 2013.
The settlement includes the following:
- Faculty will contribute 13 percent of their medical and dental premiums
- A pay freeze for year one of the contract and a 1 percent COLA (cost of living adjustment) in year two and a 2 percent COLA in year three
- Faculty contract days are reduced from 180 to 176; faculty will have two unpaid furlough days in each of the final two years of the contract
- Faculty will receive a set rate of pay for extra teach (courses taught in addition to their regular load) for years two and three of the contract
- Faculty will receive a set rate of pay for summer teach for all three years of the contract
- Faculty retiring after Oct. 1, 2011, will receive one-party medical coverage until they become eligible for Medicare or a stipend equal to reduced two-party medical coverage for a maximum of four years that can be used for medical, dental, vision or insurance coverage
Board Chair Freeman noted that add-ins to the contract may have to be made up elsewhere in the budget, perhaps in tuition increases.
“This has been a very difficult time for everyone closely associated with our College. However, I know first-hand that the Board, employees, community and, most importantly, our students, are eager to actively refocus their efforts in honoring and supporting the College’s vision of transforming lives and building communities through teaching and learning,” said MHCC President John J. “Ski” Sygielski.
In the past few months the Board finalized agreements with its other two employee unions, the Part-Time Faculty and Tutor Association and the Classified Employee Association. All three agreements may be viewed at mhcc.edu.