Eastern Washington University’s board of trustees OK’d a 3 percent compensation raise for its full-time faculty in a special meeting Wednesday morning.
Beginning July 1, 435 full-time EWU professors will receive the bump, although union leaders said they consider the amount a “down payment” on what’s deserved, said Ted Otto, head of the United Faculty of Eastern. UFE’s executive board approved the increase Tuesday afternoon.
EWU’s administration had marked $700,000 in the budget for faculty compensation, according to EWU’s president Stephen Jordan.
“We wanted to get the salary increase out to the faculty,” Jordan said. “We went to the union and said we’d like to go ahead with an agreement on that.” Otto said it’s not a straight 3 percent salary increase. The $700,000 must cover a salary raise and other employee benefits like taxes and insurance, Otto said.
The compensation raise, which was hashed out with the faculty union, came one month after the trustees announced their intention to end the contact with the existing union on June 30. The trustees cited concerns over dealing with a union that did not meet state certifications that became required two years ago. The trustee decision came with a price, Otto said.
“It offended a lot of people,” Otto said. “It destroyed the trust relationship we had built up.”
The UFE plans to submit its application for certification by Monday, Otto said. Otto and Jordan agree that long-term faculty members need better compensation. They haven’t had a raise in years.
“The faculty are falling further and further behind relative to faculty in institutions of our type,” Jordan said. “There’s no question about it. It is a huge issue.”
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