By Paul Mullin
Members of the faculty union ratified the new contract Tuesday afternoon, after the University executive committee ratified on behalf of the Board of Trustees on Oct. 26, taking the next step in making the tentative agreement official.
According to Rider Association of University Professors (AAUP) Chief Negotiator Dr. Jeff Halpern, the next step in the process is to translate the four-year agreement into “contract language.”
“The University representative and myself will each take turns looking at what we have agreed to and writing it in legal language, passing it back and forth until we feel it captures the agreement,” Halpern said.
Halpern and Dr. James Castagnera will serve as representatives for the translation.
“They have worked together for years and each of them knows the contract better than any other two people on campus,” Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Don Stevens said.
Halpern said the two sides hope to have this conversion done by some time in January, but the 4-percent increase in salary that the parties agreed to will be paid to union members in the November paychecks.
“I think [the agreement] lays the foundation for a renewed focus on our efforts to be student centered and do all the things that are right for our students, and that’s what this is all about,” Steven said.
The AAUP and administrators had been negotiating since June but failed to come to an agreement by the time the previous contract expired on Sept. 30. A strike was authorized by union members and was called for Oct. 29, but the two sides finally managed to bridge the gap in time to avoid any work stoppage.