By Emily Landgraf
Rider’s faculty union and the administration have ratified a three-year agreement, which will govern the union.
The Rider administration ratified the contract agreement Thursday morning, according to university officials. Union members ratified the contract Tuesday.
The agreement was reached after four months of tense negotiations between Rider’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the administration.
Robert Stoto, chief negotiator for the administration, said he was pleased that an agreement was ratified by both sides.
“Over the course of the last few months, the administration and AAUP negotiating teams have discussed a broad range of issues spanning many important topics,” Stoto said. “While the issues were, in many cases complex, these discussions were collegial and constructive throughout as each side remained focused on finding mutually acceptable solutions to the challenges we all share.”
Dr. Roberta Clipper, president of AAUP, said that while the union was not pleased with every aspect of the agreement, it will continue to work hard.
“Every contract represents a compromise between the parties, and there are some things in the new agreement that we are not entirely happy with, but we will continue working to make Rider as good a place as it can be,” she said.
Yearly salary increases are spelled out in the agreement as follows: salary will increase 1.95 percent for all union members for the first year, between 2 and 3 percent for the second year, and between 1 and 3.5 percent for the third year.
“In regards to the economic terms of the settlement,” Stoto said, “the agreement ties general pay increases over the next three years to average national salary increases in higher education, as published by an agreed to salary survey.”
“There are certain caveats in the second and third year of the agreement that protect each side from fluctuations in this survey beyond what is anticipated,” he said.
The administration believes the contract was a successful balancing act.
“With the changes to the collective bargaining agreement, the university is confident that we are positioned to continue to meet the needs of our students, while also recognizing the central role the faculty bargaining unit members play in our student’s lives,” Stoto said.