Faculty Association upset over untimely dean salary raise

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Photo illustration by Jennifer Tharp, The Campus Ledger.

Daniel Moreira

Managing editor

dmoreir1@jccc.edu

Faculty members are upset after the college’s decision to give deans a raise, while the Board of Trustees remains in a salary impasse with the Faculty Association. 

After months in new contract negotiations, the Faculty Association is close to settling on new Master Agreement with the board. 

The Master Agreement is a three-year document that states the qualifications faculty and staff members are required to have in order to receive their salary. The Master Agreement lasts for three years, and the last one ended June 30, 2018. 

According to Melanie Harvey, President of the JCCC Faculty Association, an original three and a half percent raise for three years was asked by her team.  

“We had a lot of different things that we asked for and [the board] said ‘no,’ so we stopped at 3.5 percent for three years,” Harvey said. “They stopped at 3 percent for three years, and they said, ‘we are not going any higher.’” 

Harvey stated that the numbers faculty asked for were based on the rising cost of living nationwide, the higher home prices in Johnson County and the increased living cost in Kansas City

During the impasse, in March, the board approved the hiring of a new Dean of Sciences and Mathematics, with an annual salary of $101,572.00, effective as of June 15, 2018. Then in June, the board approved the hiring of a new Dean of Business and Technology, with an annual salary of $120,654.00. 

This discrepancy led to other deans asking for a salary adjustment. So far, four deans have had their raise approved by the board: Arts, Design, Humanities and Social Sciences; Career/Technical Education Transition; Academic Support; Sciences & Math.  

“[The Business Dean] was hired at $120,000,” Harvey said. “Then, all the other current deans saw the $120,000 and said, ‘are you kidding?!,’ so [the administration] adjusted [the other deans] accordingly. Some people got $15,000 more, so they had already gotten 3 percent like everybody else for the year, but now they had to do an additional adjustment for people to catch them up to the new range.” 

“My preference would’ve been something north of 3 percent…” said Gerald Lee Cross Jr., Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. “If we’re [going to] have the best college in the country, I think we should pay our people the best, and I don’t know how we could turn out great students without having great faculty.”   

Harvey mentioned how she, and the faculty team felt upon discovering about the deans receiving raises outside of their negotiation year. 

“It was a real punch in the gut that while we are at impasse, they are giving 15% raises to some of the administrators,” Harvey said. “In ours they always do a salary study where they look at how we are paid compared to other places, and they do it on a three-year rotation. This wasn’t the year to that for deans, yet they made this big adjustment.” 

In regards to the salary adjustment for the deans, Cross said that, as a board member, he was not fully aware that the deans had gotten raises. 

Jerry Cook, Chair of the Board of Trustees, did not answer our attempt to contact him. 

The Faculty Association settled on the three percent asked by the board. The decision is now on the hands of faculty members through an online voting pool, today. If more than 51 percent of faculty votes for this raise, the board will then have to approve the new salary in October, only then it will be effective for the next three years as the new Master Agreement. 

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