MnSCU, faculty reach labor agreement

by Devin Henry

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU) and more than 3,000 faculty members at the system’s seven universities have reached a tentative agreement calling for no across-the-board salary increases or annual step increases for the next two years.

The agreement comes four months before the current labor contract expires on June 30, 2009.

In a statement, MnSCU Chancellor James McCormick said, “We are hopeful that maintaining salaries at current levels will result in fewer layoffs and fewer severe program cuts than they otherwise would have planned.”

MnSCU officials told a Senate higher education finance committee on Feb. 5 that if Governor Tim Pawlenty’s entire proposed cut of $146 million to the system’s budget were absorbed through faculty layoffs, roughly 1,000 people would lose their jobs.

Check next Tuesday’s Daily for a breakdown on how the proposed cuts will affect the MnSCU system.