YSU administration and union consider counterproposal to end strike

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YSU administrators said that a new economic proposal would include some compromise on wages

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Some significant progress has been announced in negotiations between YSU and its faculty union.

YSU administrators said that a new economic proposal would include some compromise on wages and salary increases.

The latest economic proposal includes:

  • First yearno pay raise.
  • Second year1% pay raise, plus a $1,000 lump sum payment to lecturers/senior lecturers and assistant professors and a $750 lump sum payment to associate and full professors.
  • Third year2% pay raise.

In addition, faculty contributions to health insurance premiums would remain the same for the first two years, increasing from 15% to 18% in the third year. This is the same health care plan agreed to in a tentative agreement with the university’s classified staff union last week, YSU administrators said.

“It’s certainly an unfortunate situation, one we never thought we would be in, but we’ll get through it,” YSU president Jim Tressel said Monday.

“I wasn’t sleeping easy last night but if anything makes you feel a little bit better that you know you’re doing what’s right for the university, it’s when you get that support from the students,” said Mark Vopat, YSU-OEA spokesperson.

On Monday, some students lined up on Wick Avenue in support of their professors.

In the event that an agreement cannot be reached, the university plans to remain open and continue instruction on Wednesday.

Talks resume on Tuesday.

The last time the YSU-OEA faculty union went on strike was August 2005. The contract negotiations went on for two weeks before faculty members reached a tentative agreement and approved a new contract.

In 2005, the three-year contracts provided pay raises for roughly 800 workers. At the same time, those employees started paying part of the cost of their health insurance.

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