After more than a year and a half of negotiation, faculty members at the Vermont State Colleges voted to ratify a contract with the administration.
Of the 218 total full-time faculty eligible for the vote, 84 percent cast a ballot. And of those voters, 95 percent voted to ratify the agreement.
The proposed contract includes a 16 percent cut in the teachers’ retirements, a small boost in salaries, and no change in health care premiums.
Those compromises come at the suggestion of a neutral third-party fact finder, hired as part of the mediation process. The talks began in May 2018, and the fact finder got involved after negotiations stalled after eight months of bargaining .
“It’s been a really grueling process,” said Lisa Cline, a history professor at Northern Vermont University-Johnson and president of the VSC Faculty Federation. “We’ve been at it forever; it’s taken a lot of time and energy.”