Niagara County Community College President James P. Klyczek announced Wednesday that a tentative agreement has been approved by the NCCC board of trustees, which was ratified by the college faculty association membership on Aug. 19.
The faculty is receiving a nine-year contract retroactive to Sept. 1, 2006, and ends Aug. 31, 2015. The faculty will receive a total of 13.5 percent increases and 4.12 percent bonuses over the course of the entire contract.
The faculty has already received on average approximately 1.7 percent in increments each year during this period.
"I am pleased that we were able to reach an agreement that was mutually beneficial for Niagara County Community College as well as the faculty association," Klyczek said.
Financial Chairwoman Trustee Gina I. Virtuoso added, "I thank the negotiating team and the union for putting together a fair and prudent contract."
Combined increases of 17.62 percent are granted over the life of the contract. The college will realize cost savings going forward. The new contract:
•Requires members to pay 10 percent of their health insurance premiums.
•Eliminates the elective cosmetic surgery rider.
•Establishes a minimum retirement age.
•Eliminates the option of indemnity coverage for those hired 60 days and later following ratification (offering, instead, a point-of-service plan).
•Reduces the payment amount for retirees who voluntarily decline (waive) health insurance coverage.
•Reduces the rate for reimbursement of Medicare Part B premiums for retirees over the course of the next three years.
•Requires that Medicare Advantage will be utilized for retiring faculty at age 65.
•Reduces required annual increments.
•Eliminates required annual increments when faculty members have reached the maximum salary level for their rank.
•Eliminates a fixed yearly retirement incentive.
It was agreed that seven promotions would be made by Sept. 1, 2015, but the previous practice of awarding 20 promotions per year was terminated. Instead, the college will fund five promotions in the budget each year, but will only award them based on merit rather than a required minimum. The contract also allows classes to start prior to Sept. 1 for the fall semester.
Chairperson, Malcolm A. Needler said, "The board of trustees appreciates the commitment that all parties had in moving this agreement forward as well as their commitment to NCCC students, the college, and Niagara County by negotiating a reasonable contract during these financial times. This agreement is more fiscally responsible and is coming more in line with benefits the rest of the employees of the college receive."