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GHC Board of Trustees approves increased wage opportunities for faculty

All full-time faculty members at Grays Harbor College — including those at Stafford Creek Corrections Center — can expect a raise this year after the college’s Board of Trustees approved a memorandum of understanding that adjusts the college’s salary schedule at its meeting last week.

The negotiations came in the wake the board’s approval of President Ed Brewster’s new three-year contract, which included an annual salary increase of $36,000 — a 24 percent raise — in September. The raise, which was given due to issues of “retention,” was not received well by faculty union members, who acknowledged that while Brewster may deserve such a raise, they believed raises to retain quality faculty members were needed as well.

“GHC is a great place to teach, and a great place to study. There are good reasons for our first-in-the-state ranking from Washington Monthly,” said Lynne Lerych, president of the Grays Harbor College Federation of Teachers, referencing a nationwide report released in August that ranked Grays Harbor College as the top community college in the state and 15th in the nation.

“Increases in salary should help to make the college even more attractive to current and future faculty.”

Faculty salaries are set based on a combination of their education and years of experience. The new changes effectively raise all faculty salaries by about $1,300, including new faculty, and also raises the maximum attainable salary of the most experienced and educated faculty.

For example, a new full-time faculty member with a master’s degree and four years of experience will see a yearly salary of $43,894, instead of the $42,573 they would have received prior to the negotiated changes.

About 43 full-time faculty members who were as far as they could go on the schedule, in terms of years of service and their level of education, will receive raises due to the addition of another step, Lerych said.