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Faculty overwhelmingly vote to ratify new contract

An overwhelming majority of Faculty Association members has voted to approve a one-year contract with the District effective July 1, 2016.

Of the 193 votes cast, 190 voted in favor of ratification. Voters included 139 full-time faculty members and 54 adjuncts.

The Board of Trustees approved the contract in September.

“We think it’s a good deal for both full-time and adjunct faculty,” said FA President Mark Whitworth. “One of our priorities was to protect our health benefits, and we accomplished that. We look forward to opening negotiations for the 2018-19 year as soon as possible.”

The new contract provides for a 2.0 percent across-the-board salary increase for full time faculty members for the 2016-17 academic year. Adjunct faculty salaries will be increased by 3.0 percent this year.

The salary increases are expected to be included in November checks, with a retroactive payment (July through October) being made in November.

Some changes to the benefits package were also included in the new contract. A new dental care insurance option was added to the current Delta Dental PPO plan. The new Metlife HMO dental care plan will include orthodontia and dental implants, which are not covered under the current plan.

In addition, a change to the MES Vision care plan will cover exams, lenses and frames every year instead of every two years.

For those with health coverage under either Anthem Blue Cross plan (HMO or PPO), the co-pay for prescription drugs will increase to $10 for generics; $20 for brand name drugs within the Anthem formulary; and $50 for brand name medicines not in the formulary.

Concerned about the rising costs of health care coverage, the District and FA will undertake a study of alternatives during the current year. Both have agreed to solicit new proposals for new plans under a Request for Proposal process before the end of the current year.

The District has also agreed to conduct a salary survey of districts that have similar socio-economic profiles to Pasadena. The list of districts to be included will be mutually agreed upon by the FA and the District.

Language defining the District’s maximum contribution to health insurance plans (implemented in 2015) was removed from the contract.

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