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YSU trustees OK contracts with unions

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees has approved new three-year contracts with faculty and classified staff workers that call for pay freezes in the first year and small increases in the final two years.

The agreements Friday also include increased premium shares and out-of-pocket expenses for health insurance.

“These are difficult financial times for YSU and all of higher education; we appreciate our employees recognizing that and working with the administration on what we believe are fair contracts,” board chair Anita Hackstedde said.

The agreement with the faculty union includes no increase in salary this year, followed by 2 percent raises in each of the final two years of the contract. The agreement with the classified union calls for no increase in pay this year, followed by a 1.25 percent increase next year and the equivalent of 2 percent in the third year.

Both contracts include 15 percent employee premium contributions for health insurance in the first two years, increasing to 18 percent in year three. Both contracts also include increases in office visits, out-of-pocket maximums and prescriptions.

“On behalf of the board, we want to thank the employees in both of these unions, as well as all other employees at the university, for their hard work, perseverance and continued commitment to the success of their students in these challenging times,” YSU President Jim Tressel said.

The faculty union said it voted overwhelmingly to accept the agreement.

Of the 210 YSU-Ohio Education Association member votes cast, representing a total member response rate of 62 percent, 199 voted to approve the agreement

“Given all that’s happened this year, ratification of the new agreement gives all faculty some much-needed stability, and allows us to fully focus on the needs of our students going into the spring semester,” Mark Vopat, spokesperson for YSU-OEA, said.

news@tribtoday.com

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