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Kishwaukee College negotiating contract with support staff

Published: Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

MALTA – A four-year contract between Kishwaukee College and its unionized support staff expired June 30, but both sides are remaining mum about negotiations for a new pact.

On Wednesday morning, Rob Galick, the community college’s vice president of finance and administration, made an agreement with Mary Haub, the president of the Kishwaukee Council of Support Staff, that neither would comment on the negotiations. Negotiations between the college’s board and the union representing its custodians, maintenance, secretaries, clerical and programming staff began in March.

Galick said this decision was to ensure negotiations will continue to happen through both parties. He said discussions have been productive thus far.

“We don’t agree on everything, but its been an honest and constructive dialogue,” Galick said.

Haub also declined to discuss her union or past negotiations. She is a staff member in the college’s library. 

The 90-member Kishwaukee Council of Support Staff is not the only union at the college. The Kishwaukee College Education Association has about 82 faculty members. Its three-year contract expires in June 2014 and negotiations will begin some time next spring, Galick said. 

The average salary for union support staffers is $37,844, he said. Under the previous contract, an employee’s base annual salary was set to increase by a minimum of 2 percent each fiscal year provided they had been employed in their current position for at least one year. 

For the fiscal year that started July 1, 2012, revenue for the college reached about $22 million while expenditures were more than $21 million, according the college’s 2013 fact book. In 2011, revenues and expenditures were between $20 million and $21 million. 

The difference in the budget goes toward the college’s construction projects, said Matthew Crull, director of institutional research. Last year about $350,000 went toward construction efforts. 

Tuition and fees for students will average $1,344 a semester for the upcoming school year, which is a 13 percent increase from the previous rate, which was frozen between 2011 and 2012, he said. 

No deadline has been set for approval of the contract, and Galick said he was reluctant to lay out a timetable. The college’s board of trustees, which meets Sept. 10, must approve any agreement at a public meeting.

Galick said Kevin Fuss, the college’s associate vice president of institutional effectiveness, and the college’s attorney, Phil Gerner, were part of the negotiating team for Kishwaukee College. Haub would not name members of the union negotiating team.

The Malta-based community college had an average enrollment of about 11,000 students in the past five years.

Currently, the college employs 445 full-time and part-time staff and faculty. 

By the numbers

82: Faculty in the Kishwaukee College Education Association

90: Members of the Kishwaukee Council of Support Staff 

163: Adjuncts at the Kishwaukee College 

445: Total full-time and part-time staff and faculty at the Kishwaukee College

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