MOSES LAKE — Full-time faculty at Big Bend Community College will receive a 14 percent increase in the base salary under the terms of a contract approved by BBCC’s board of trustees Wednesday. The vote was 5-0.
The agreement runs for two years. Kim Garza, vice-president for human relations, said it was approved by the faculty senate Sept. 6.
Base salary for full-time faculty will be $55,000 for the 2019-20 academic year. That’s an increase of 14.05 percent from the previous base, Garza said.
Garza said the negotiation team looked at salaries at seven Washington community colleges similar to BBCC, and BBCC was toward the low end of that list. The average base salary among those colleges was $52,819, and BBCC’s base salary was $48,224. “There’s a big, big gap,” Garza said.
The lower salaries were among the reasons for leaving cited by some former BBCC faculty who got jobs elsewhere, Garza said. It also was a factor cited when teachers who were being recruited to BBCC took jobs elsewhere.
The new contract puts BBCC full-time faculty at about the same level as Columbia Basin College and Walla Walla Community College, Garza said.
Part-time faculty were not covered in the agreement. Part-time salaries were part of a previous agreement, Garza said, and their salaries are about at the median for community colleges of similar characteristics. But college officials are planning to work on a proposal for part-time faculty salaries, she said.
Faculty members agreed to waive “turnover savings” for two years, Garza said, and that money will be retained by the college. Trustee Juanita Richards asked what it was. Garza said sometimes there’s a difference between the salary of a professor who’s leaving and one who’s been hired. Previously that money was distributed among the faculty.
The new contract also includes new evaluation standards for part-time faculty, and changes to the faculty mentorship program.
The mentorship program was established three years ago to provide additional support from professors for professors. The changes should make it easier for professors to use it, Garza said. A new program was added to provide “more peer support” for tenured faculty.
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