ECC faculty deal seems fair
Students at Elgin Community College can get on with their classes.
The college's faculty union and the ECC board ratified a new three-year contract this week. The sides reached agreement on the deal in April, just days before instructors could have walked out.
The contract appears to give annual raises to most instructors, full-time and part-time. According to the college, compensation will increase by about 2.39 percent each year.
The deal seems to strike a balance between fiscal responsibility and investing in personnel.
For example, instructors will have to pick up more of their health insurance premiums each year. Previously, the college paid those premiums -- a perk that seems hard to rationalize in the economy of 2011.
While some may balk at the raises, I have rarely seen a teacher contract that did not include at least modest increases, and the true salary freezes in the past two years have mostly been in organizations facing serious budget difficulties. That does not appear to be the case with ECC.
It's hard for me to gauge how popular the contract is with faculty members. As you may have read, the union leadership decided not to release the vote totals, a somewhat puzzling decision.
Presumably, that means the contract squeaked by. OK, fine; so the membership wasn't too pleased with the deal you agreed to. But doesn't that bolster your case that this isn't a great deal for faculty?
So I say, release the numbers, and then spin them whichever way makes you look best. After all, this is America, right?
South Elgin journalists excel: As a journalist, I'm always pleased to hear about student journalists doing great work.
The South Elgin High School newspaper staff was recognized for its work this month at the Illinois High School Association's state journalism competition.
The school newspaper, competing for only the third time, placed 13th out of 71 teams in the state. Three students earned individual honors.
Lauren Rohr, a senior, placed first in the state for feature writing. Alex Cuzzo, also a senior, came in fourth in review writing. And Brittney Nadler, a sophomore, came in fifth in copy editing.
Congratulations to all the students on the South Elgin staff.