By Michelle Lampariello
After more than two years of negotiations with the Office of Employee Relations, a new contract was ratified for College faculty and staff on Aug. 8, making 12-month employees eligible for step increases in their salary, according to an announcement from College President R. Barbara Gitenstein.
The ratification followed an approval from the American Federation of Teachers Council with the State of New Jersey, and the College plans to process necessary salary increases promptly. Employees eligible for a step increase will notice this change on their August 25 paychecks.
Gitenstein stated that “an additional 1.75 percent cost of living increase will be calculated,” and will be retroactively paid from the first full pay period of July 2017.
This cost of living adjustment will also be given to 12-month employees who are not eligible for step increases, according to Gitenstein.
“I’m glad we have a contract, but I’m upset about the low salary increases,” said John Krimmel, the criminology department chair and president of the College’s chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. “It didn’t bring us to where we should be. We’re happy to have a contract, but upset about the low rates.”
While the new contract stipulates that step increases and cost of living adjustments for 10-month employees will be effective for the first full pay period in September, the College plans to reflect the adjustments in 10-month employees’ August 25 paychecks, Gitenstein wrote.
Distress over working without contracts resulted in a faculty protest outside of Green Hall on April 12. While the ratification of a new contract addresses much of the unrest, there are still some staff members whose unions are still negotiating with the Office of Employee Relations, which Gitenstein addressed in her email.
“To members of the staff whose unions are still negotiating with the Office of Employee Relations, know that once your unions conclude negotiations with the state, the College stands ready to implement the new terms,” Gitenstein wrote.