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VAC and Educational Support Professionals Agree on New Contract | News, Sports, Jobs

News Photo by Charles Madison Alpena Community College Board Chairman John Briggs, center, speaks during a meeting on Thursday.

ALPENA – The Alpena Community College Board of Trustees has approved a new employment contract with the school’s educational support professionals.

The school’s current four-year contract with the ACC Educational Support Professional Michigan Education Association/National Education Association expires June 30, and the board unanimously approved a new contract at its monthly meeting on Thursday.

The new contract is for four years and runs from July 1 this year to June 30, 2026.

“We appreciate the efforts of all members of the bargaining committee,” said board chairman John Briggs, referring to union bargaining committee members April Jett, Jackie Whitter and Bridget Hollinshead.

For part-time employees, sick leave was added, the probationary period was increased from three months to 60 calendar days, and the previous 10% pay cut during the probationary period was removed.

“It went really well,” Jett said. “We negotiate on mutual gains, so it’s very data-driven. We come in with data to back up what we’re asking for, and we negotiate. It’s way better than other types of trading where you just walk in and yell at yourself.

Employee reviews will now be done annually instead of semi-annually, along with percentage salary increases based on step and longevity.

“Part-timers have just as many advantages as full-timers,” Jett said, adding that this would hopefully help with retention in a climate where it can sometimes be difficult to keep a position filled.

ACC directors previously received a summary of the provisions and the board was periodically briefed on the negotiation process.

“There’s no shouting, we’re just looking at the data,” Whitter said. “I think we created more equity in our group between full-timers and part-timers, and that was one of our goals.”

In other cases

On Thursday, the Alpena Community College Board of Trustees also:

∫ held a budget workshop prior to the meeting. The 2023 budget is currently balanced, but does not take into account possible faculty retirements. There is a projected potential shortfall of $347,874 if the numbers affected by COVID remain the same.

∫ endorsed men’s baseball as the ACC’s sixth NJCAA-approved athletic sport. A search is underway for a head coach and an assistant coach.

∫Awarded graduation scholarships to high school students taking college courses. Two were homeschool students who received full-semester scholarships to complete their courses. Five were Alpena High School students, two received scholarships for a full year and three for a semester.

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