Fair first contract reached for TCC Student Support Staff



tccx-112014After nearly three years of sometimes frustrating negotiations, the Federation bargaining team for Tacoma Community College Student Support Staff and management today reached tentative agreement on a fair first contract.

The agreement brings them the same cost-of-living adjustments as for those under the Federation’s Community College Coalition contract for 2015-2017: a 3 percent raise in 2015; in 2016, the greater of 1.8 percent or 1 percent plus about 11 cents an hour. The 2016 COLA language achieves a larger increase for those employees in classifications assigned to pay ranges below $15 an hour.

The contract gives new workplace rights to some of the most familiar and trusted faces on the TCC campus, such as: academic advisors, educational planners, the Running Start coordinator, support specialists and the Career Center coordinator.

For many if not all in that group, these negotiated raises will be the first they’ve ever gotten.

Their economic package also includes a $650 increase in base salary for those who have achieved their master’s degree in a relevant discipline.

For those who didn’t get the 2 percent adjustment in 2013, the bargaining team negotiated a memorandum of understanding to conduct a salary survey to review those job classes; the union and management will agree to the comparison grouping in that survey to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison.

Other first-ever gains achieved in the TCC Student Support Staff 2015-2017 tentative contact agreement:

• The Hiring and Appointments article includes language on an open-competitive process. Temporaries are identified as those hired or 1,050 hours, with a defined time frame for a probationary period and a notice period.

• The Discipline article includes the just cause (due process rights) standard for discipline and a process to remove negative information from an employee’s personnel file.

• The Layoff and Recall article honors years of service at the community college.

• And because this is the first contract for the TCC Student Support Staff, the tentative agreement includes articles and new rights that many Federation members with contract protections have enjoyed for years, including: Union Recognition, Union Rights, Management Rights, Workplace Behavior, Non-discrimination, Work Schedules, Training, Performance Evaluations, Employee Files, Holidays, Annual and Sick Leave, Mandatory Subjects, Union Management Committee, Privacy and Off-duty Conduct, and Safety and Health.

TCC Student Support Staff will now vote on whether to ratify this first-ever contract. The bargaining team and negotiation staff are now preparing a comprehensive summary that will appear on the Federation website at wfse.org; it will be posted by next Monday if not sooner.

Members of the TCC Student Support Staff Bargaining Unit soon will receive information about online ratification voting.

Congratulations to all the TCC Student Support Staff, and Federation members, students and allies who kept the spotlight on the need for a long overdue fair first contract.

Again, stay tuned for ratification details.

NOTE: If you’re wondering, TCC Student Support Staff are defined as “exempt” employees covered by a different bargaining law than for most Federation members.

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