By Chris Carter, Staff Writter

A contract for the Support Staff Association was approved with a unanimous vote at the January Board of Trustees meeting.

Inside the contract, it states that the support staff will have $100 added to their base salary as well as a 2 percent raise for the first year it is in effect. An additional 2.5 percent will be added to their salaries each year in the next two years. Changes were also made involving benefits, vacation time and the amount of days allotted for leave of absence. “We got a number of things Giacobbe saw that the college wasn’t doing. It would have been nice to get 2.5 to 3 percent for three years. But we ended up getting 2 percent and then 2.5 for the for the last two years, It is just a relief that is settled.”

Support Staff Rep. Al Legge shared his thoughts on the contract benefits//Genesis Fuentes

Support Staff Rep. Al Legge shared his thoughts on the contract benefits//Genesis Fuentes

A level of stability has been restored to support staff workers, as the new contract holds for three years. It is effective from July 1 2015 through June 30 2018. It is the first time this type of contract has been in place since June 2013. From 2013 until now, the support staff has been working under one year contracts.

“With the money, the million dollar that was paid to Schepisi and Goldstein, many were embarrassed that nothing settled. That’s why when Giacobbe came in, it got settled much quicker,” said the head representative of the support staff, Al Legge.

Attorney and Board Negotiator Matthew Giacobbe was hired in 2014 to work with all unions in Bergen. “Negotiations have been more amicable and productive since the new negotiator has been in place,” said Chairperson of Faculty Senate Dr. Alan Kaufman. and agreeing things are getting done quicker after Giacobbe the previous attorney, replaced Marvin Goldstein in 2014. Also, long time support staff member, James Daly says that “These new contracts allow us to work with peace in mind.”

“It’s been very productive and cordial and good dialogue all the way through with both support staff and faculty,” said Giacobbe. According to Faculty Senate and Academic Vice President William Mullaney, progress for faculty contracts is also being made, but the negotiations are more complicated, so a date on when those will be settled cannot be estimated at this time.

Attorney Matthew Giaccobbe discusses the new contract at the BOT Meeting//Genesis Fuentes

Attorney Matthew Giaccobbe discusses the new contract at the BOT Meeting//Genesis Fuentes