YSU Trustees, Faculty Union OK New Labor Contracts

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees approved today 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 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,” said Anita Hackstedde, board chair.

The agreement with the faculty union includes no increase in salary this year, followed by 2% 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% increase next year and the equivalent of 2% in the third year.

Both contracts include 15% employee premium contributions for health insurance in the first two years, increasing to 18% 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.

Of the 210 votes cast by members of the YSU-Ohio Education Association, representing a total member response rate of 62%, 199 members or 95% 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.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.