As we prepare collectively for the start of the Winter Semester, it is imperative that I address Monroe County Community College’s ongoing negotiations with our faculty union.
Monroe County Community College is committed to achieving a new collective bargaining agreement with the Monroe County Community College Faculty Association that balances fair compensation for all our employees with responsible fiscal stewardship and, most importantly, ensures that we continue to provide student-focused, quality and affordable higher education to our students into the foreseeable future.
MCCC is committed to negotiating a fair contract that provides raises for our faculty. We believe in the importance of investing in our workforce to ensure that we attract and retain talented professionals. We have exceptional faculty who serve our students well, and we currently pay them well accordingly (college contracts are published at https://www.monroeccc.edu/finance). That will not change under a new contract.
We must be mindful, however, that wages and benefits comprised 83% of MCCC’s 2022-2023 general fund budget. Increases given to one employee group directly diminish the funds available to pay other essential employees. All MCCC employees are important, and we cannot negotiate with one employee group without considering its impact on compensation for all our employees.
The faculty requested and were granted an extension of the previous contract through August 22, 2022. Faculty union members continue to work under the terms and conditions of that contract.
Our non-teaching faculty work days are established in the contract based on the academic calendar – this is despite primary duties unrelated to the teaching of classes. It is our goal to restructure work schedules so that non-teaching faculty are on campus when students need them, such as during high enrollment times prior to the semester.
As a tax-payer-supported institution, we will exercise financial prudence by not compromising the long-term financial stability of the institution. Like any solvent business, the college needs working capital/reserves throughout the year to pay bills and invest in our learning infrastructure. Salary, benefits, and raises will be budgeted for and not paid out by drawing down critical working capital/reserves.
In all that we do, MCCC will always focus primarily on the needs of our students and community. As an institution with “student-focus” as a core value that guides our attitudes and behavior, we make decisions based on how they will impact each and every student at our college, as well as future students.
Management is committed to negotiating in good faith to resolve this contract as expeditiously as possible, without sacrificing the stability or integrity of our fine institution. We must resolve these issues completely and fairly so that we can get back to working together on what matters most – continuously enhancing the quality of education our students receive.