CCAC, faculty union reach tentative agreement on new contract

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Negotiators for the Community College of Allegheny County and its faculty union have reached tentative agreement on a new three-year contract, capping four months of labor talks, the union’s leader confirmed Thursday.

John Dziak, president of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2067, spoke following a trustees meeting at which administrators reported another, though smaller, enrollment loss this fall and said the 86 employees who signed up for a just-completed early retirement buyout program will save the college about $2 million yearly.

The tentative pact is expected to go before the union’s 325 faculty and academic staff members for a ratification vote next Friday, Mr. Dziak said. If it’s approved, college trustees also must vote on it.

Mr. Dziak declined to provide salary and other specifics, saying his members have yet to be notified.

“I’m pleased with the results,” he said. “It definitely looks after the financial well-being of the members but also improves the academic environment of CCAC.”

Total full-time and part-time enrollment at CCAC to date this fall is 16,565, a decline of 6.1 percent, smaller than the previous year’s 7.8 percent decline, officials said. The total translates into the equivalent of 12,054 full-time students, a 5.13 percent loss that is also smaller than the previous year’s 9.15 percent drop.

College officials said that a rebounding job market entices students away from community college classrooms and that CCAC has faced other pressures, including a drop in high school graduate totals that has driven down enrollment at other colleges. But CCAC president Quintin Bullock attributed the less severe loss this fall to efforts including enhanced marketing and financial aid awareness.

“We are closing the gap,” he said.

The college, meanwhile, said it is getting a three-year National Science Foundation grant of $642,000 to encourage development of for-credit programs to help fill available jobs in the Marcellus industry. It has hired 17 new employees so far this year and expects to add 39 more.

Bill Schackner:, (412) 263-1977 and on Twitter @BschacknerPG.

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