Budget approved along with salary freezes

MCCC’s 2010-2011 budget was approved by the Board of Trustees based on no salary increase for all employees.

The administration, support staff, adjunct faculty, and part-time support staff will retain the same salaries from the 2009-2010 and 2008-2009 years.

“The thing we’ve been working on, in light of limited recourses, is that the administrators and support staff were very committed to what we described to them as our efforts to hold down expenses,” MCCC President David Nixon said.

Linda Lauer opposed the freeze on support staff salary during the meeting, and said she thinks that the support staff keeps absorbing the sacrifice.

“I just don’t think that that particular group of employees deserves to absorb that, because they don’t make that much anyway,” Lauer said.

William Braunlich, vice chairman of the Board, responded that MCCC is the only public employer in the county that has not laid off employees.

“Our employees at Monroe County Community College are lucky we’ve been able to manage our finances and keep people in jobs as opposed to lay-offs,” Braunlich said.

Lauer then said that employee morale should be considered.

“How much will they continue to sacrifice?” she said. “Or will low morale affect their jobs?”

Board member Joseph Bellino brought up an example of another school district that gave high salaries to teachers while it was still financially stable and is now nearly broke, he said.

“I don’t want that to be on my watch. That’s the way I feel,” he said. “If you guys want to do it when I’m gone, go ahead, but I’ll vote against you.”

Lauer said the maintenance and beautification projects on campus may make employees not receiving raises feel bad.

“Try to put yourself in their shoes,” she said.

“I’m in their shoes,” Bellino quickly replied. “My wife gets paid the same thing she made in 2002-03. Same exact dollars.”

The motion passed the board with only Linda Lauer opposing.

Treasurer Dan Schwab said that the only major changes in the budget have been the addition of a few new positions, revenue such as property taxes and state aid have gone down, and tuition revenue has gone up.

The maintenance employees’ contract was ratified during the board meeting.

“The maintenance contract was just approved tonight and I believe they have agreed to wage freeze,” Chairperson William Bacarella said. “We are in the middle of contract negotiations with faculty, so it’s premature to talk about that now.”

Schwab said that the budget anticipates no raises, but is always subject to change.

“Once we ratify the contract or settle the contract with the faculty, if we need to go back and make adjustments, the administration will bring an amended budget to us,” Bacarella said.