Campus Connection.
December 6, 2002 Volume 18, Number 9


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Previous Issues.

Board Approves Contracts, Room, Board and Fees

The WIU Board of Trustees approved at its Nov. 15 meeting two employee collective bargaining contracts, a six percent increases in room and board and a 4.8 percent increase in fee rates for Fall 2003 incoming students. Collective bargaining agreements with local 417 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Labor Council were approved. The University and AFSCME four-year agreement calls for the same base hourly rates currently in effect for the first year of the contract. In the event funding becomes available or another employee group receives an increase the parties agree to meet and bargain. The second year of the agreement calls for an across-the-board wage increase based on the percentage appropriated for general and supplemental salary increases in FY04. There are approximately 155 employees covered by the agreement.

The FOP agreement covers approximately 20 employees in public safety positions at the University. The agreement will maintain the pay schedule currently in effect during the first year with the understanding that in the event funding becomes available or another employee group receives an increase, the parties agree to meet and bargain.

The Board approved residence hall room and board rates for students entering the University in Fall 2003. The double occupancy room and board rate for students entering Western in Fall 2002 was increased by $304, from $5,062 to $5,366 annually in Fall 2003. The Board approved an increase in mandatory student fees from the Fall 2002 rate of $516.45 to $541.20. The room and board rates are part of the Western four-year cost guarantee to incoming students. Students who enter Western are guaranteed they will pay the same rate for tuition, fees and on-campus room and board for their four years of continuous enrollment.

Western's Board heard reports on the cost guarantee program including survey results which indicated 76 percent of the parents and families of currently enrolled freshmen surveyed said the cost guarantee program was at least somewhat important in their child's decision to enroll at Western. Almost 100 percent of those parents and students surveyed felt the cost guarantee program should be continued.

The Board heard first reading of a change in bylaws that would include domestic partners of employees in University benefits regarding use of employee leave, educational benefits and other categories under the jurisdiction of Western's Board of Trustees. University benefits provided to employees by Board policy are separate from those employee benefits determined by the State of Illinois. First reading was also heard of a bylaws change regarding the accumulation of additional sick leave by administrative professionals.

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