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UPDATE: Western faculty to receive pay raise

Update Monday, Nov. 9:

Western’s faculty will soon be seeing a bigger paycheck due to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which went into effect on Thursday, Nov. 5.

The university’s faculty union, the United Faculty of Western Washington, voted on the agreement along with the school’s board of trustees. The agreement was reached on Oct. 19.

On the union side, three members voted against the agreement out of 373 members. The board of trustees unanimously agreed to ratify the agreement.

Some changes of the new agreement include the length of time it will be in place and a salary increase for faculty. The change to faculty salary is a 3.75 percent increase, Leonard said.

According to previous agreements, faculty received a salary increase of 5.25 percent in September 2012. A raise of 4.25 percent was implemented in September 2013, and another of 4.25 percent in September 2014.

The agreement was supposed to go into effect on Sept. 16, but wasn’t finished at that time. Faculty will be paid retroactively for the wage increase in a lump sum added to either the Nov. 25 or Dec. 10 paycheck, Leonard said.

“I think the more competitive compensation is for faculty, the more likely it is that we’ll attract the best possible faculty but still keeping in line with Western’s commitment to our students,” Leonard said.

While the agreement usually lasts three years, the new one will last five which will provide stability for the faculty, Leonard said.

“Most of the terms of this agreement will govern the learning experience of students who aren’t even here yet,” Leonard said.

Bargaining will be reopened in three years to reevaluate faculty compensation for the final two years of the agreement, Leonard said.  This is because administration did not want to have money on the table for five years since the state budget runs on a two-year cycle, he said.

Wednesday, Oct. 28:

Western’s faculty union, United Faculty of Western Washington (UFWW) concluded a negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement earlier this month that will be the longest agreement in Western’s history.

The tentative agreement, which is more or less the terms of agreement between the employer and trade union about working conditions, directly affects all faculty of Western, but that may impact students, Chuck Lambert, president of the UFWW, said. The previous one expired on Sept. 16.

Meetings will be held noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, in Fraser 101 and 3 to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30 in Miller Hall 138 to present and answer questions about the tentative agreement.

Although the agreement applies to all faculty, an eight-member bargaining team from different departments of the university help form the agreement, Kevin Leonard said, chair of the UFWW bargaining team.

This new agreement will last the union five years, which is the longest in Western’s history, said Leonard. The Collective Bargaining Agreement has been part of the university since 2008, after the UFWW was established in 2006, Leonard said. Typically, an agreement only lasts three years, he said.

Out of 800 faculty members at Western, 500 are part of the UWFF, said Leonard.

Some changes to the agreement are minor, while other parts have been substantially changed, according to Leonard and Lambert.  These larger changes relate to non-tenure track faculty, extended education, academic program directors and administrators, and prohibiting discrimination and harassment.

The Western Front will update this story as it develops.

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