CANTON – The Spoon River College Board of
Trustees approved a new four-year contract with the College’s Faculty
Association (SRCFA) at the regular board meeting held Wednesday night. SRCFA
members ratified the agreement earlier this month.
“This contract is fair and equitable, while
considering today’s economic realities in higher education,” said Kay Norton,
SRCFA president. “We are pleased to have a contract that reflects support and
respect from our College.” Norton served on the Bargaining Team with colleagues
Angie Conklin, Todd Thompson and Bob Zellmann, as well as SRC President Curt
Oldfield and Director of Human Resources Michelle Bugos.
President Curt Oldfield said the contract
maintains the integrity of the College’s budget, while providing incentives
that will continue to attract and retain quality instructors. “Our students
deserve the most qualified, engaged faculty available to the College,” said
Oldfield, who was once an agriculture instructor on the Canton SRC campus. “We
believe this contract allows us to preserve our continued tradition of quality
The contract calls for a stepped salary increase
for the next four years: 2.75 percent increase the first year, 3.0 percent the
second year, 3.10 percent the third year, and 3.25 percent the fourth year.
In addition, faculty members will participate in
a newly formed College Insurance Committee, along with representatives from SRC
Administration, Classified Staff and Professional Support Staff. This committee
will be tasked with researching and considering possible alternatives to the
present health insurance plan. In the meantime, the present insurance plan will
remain unchanged. And faculty also will have the possibility of further
increasing their salary with an incentive plan tied to student recruitment
activities that may result in increased enrollment.
The negotiations were conducted using
“Interest-Based Bargaining,” which uses a problem-solving team approach rather
than opposing sides presenting proposals and making demands.
“The result is a contract that is developed from
researched data and transparency of information, in an atmosphere of mutual
respect,” said Norton. “There are no ‘sides’ in IBB…no contentious
confrontations. Just professionals sharing ideas in an organized manner,
establishing and focusing on common goals.”
“These innovative contractual components are
examples of the collaborative effort that was exhibited in the bargaining
sessions with faculty, as well as Classified Staff,” added Oldfield. “We will
be using this practice of team problem solving in many other areas of the
College, I am sure.”
The faculty contract takes effect Aug. 21, 2014,
and will be posted in its entirety on the college web site, www.src.edu.