NCC, support staff union reach agreement

Northwest Iowa Community College president Alethea Stubbe speaks to NCC’s board of trustees during a meeting on Monday, May 20, in Sheldon. Board members approved a new three-year contract with the college’s support staff union, which goes into effect the next academic year.

SHELDON—Northwest Iowa Community College and its support staff union have agreed on a new three-year contract.

The Sheldon-based college’s board of trustees on May 20 unanimously approved a collective bargaining agreement for fiscal years 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 with the Area IV Community College Support Staff Association.

“We have a shared interest in establishing compensation levels for all of our employees that recognize expertise, dedication and contribution to the overall success of the college in order to attract and retain quality employees while exercising sound fiscal stewardship,” said NCC president Alethea Stubbe.

The board and the support staff union have used interest-based bargaining for many years at the college during collective bargaining negotiations.

“We met on May 13 and we shared our fiscal outlook, including enrollments, revenue and expense assumptions,” Stubbe said. “We talked about base wages being increased 1.9 percent and we offered a three-year agreement, with wages to be determined for years two and three.”

NCC’s employees that the support staff union represents include bookstore clerks, custodians and maintenance technicians, among many others.

“The association has ratified this agreement,” Stubbe said.

The total amount of increased wages for all of the college’s support staff in fiscal year 2019-20 is $23,928.65.

All of the union-ratified agreement’s information fits onto one page.

Board members also unanimously approved a compensation adjustment for full-time and part-time nonbargaining employees for fiscal year 2019-20 and that contracts and letters of agreement be prepared and issued.

“Our nonbargaining staff is our largest group of employees — all the rest besides the faculty and the support staff,” Stubbe said. “We’re asking for a similar percentage of 2.64 percent to establish compensation levels again to recruit and retain quality employees.”

Salary increases for nonbargaining employees are made by the college administration after the board approves the amount dedicated for the adjustment. The total salary increase for all nonbargaining employees for fiscal year 2019-20 will not exceed $131,249.56.

Another item board members unanimously approved was a $5 increase in the online tuition and fees rate to $189 per semester credit, a 2.7 percent increase. The rate will go into effect at the start of the fall semester of the 2019-20 academic year.

NCC is one of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium partner colleges.

The mission of the ICCOC is to offer quality educational opportunities to online students supported by comprehensive set of student support services.

This cooperative partnership was formed in 1999. Its members are NCC, Eastern Iowa Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College, Southeastern Community College, Southwestern Community College and Western Iowa Tech Community College.

The tuition and fees rate is determined by first reviewing in-state tuition and fees of all partner colleges.

Tuition and fees for each fiscal year are approved by the ICCOC’s Oversight Committee — made up of one representative from each partner college — and forwarded to each partner college’s board of trustees for final approval.

Tuition and fees are distributed to four areas: eCollege Technology, ICCOC operational, instructor and student fees. Stubbe said the six community colleges in the ICCOC agreed that the $5 increase for the online tuition and fees rate was reasonable.

“As you recall, we raised our other tuition $4, so this is pretty much in line with what we had done,” she said. “A little bit more, but based on the six colleges that are within the consortium, that was the agreement.”


INDUSTRIAL NEW JOBS TRAINING:

Northwest Iowa Community College regularly provides training for workers in new jobs in the region.

The Sheldon-based college’s board of trustees on May 20 unanimously approved industrial new jobs training agreements with four N’West Iowa companies:

  • K2W Precision Inc. near Orange City. The company, which was established in 2013, offers several lines of parts related to high-performance racing.
  • Link Manufacturing in Sioux Center. Since 1980, the business has been committed to engineering heavy-duty trucking solutions.
  • Pella Corporation in Sioux Center. Since 1925, company has been committed to building innovative windows and doors.
  • Smithfield Packaged Meats Corporation in Sioux Center. The plant, which was built in 1981, produces more than 20 million pounds of bacon every year.

The Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program provides businesses — which are expanding their Iowa workforce — with new employee training. Administered by the state’s 15 community colleges, the program is financed through bonds sold by the colleges.

For NCC’s recent agreements through the program, the college has issued $1.38 million in taxable industrial new jobs training certificates for the purpose of paying costs of education to train new employees at K2W, Link, Pella and Smithfield.

The following is a summary of the number of new jobs each company plans to add and the amount of training funds each business will receive from the sale of the bonds:

  • K2W: Employment projections are for six full-time positions. The company will receive $39,870 in training funds through the college’s issuance of $60,000 in bonds.
  • Link: Employment projections are for 13 full-time positions. The company will receive $122,932 in training funds through the college’s issuance of $185,000 in bonds.
  • Pella: Employment projections are for 75 full-time positions. The company will receive $558,180 in training funds through the college’s issuance of $840,000 in bonds.
  • Smithfield: Employment projections are for 51 full-time positions. The company will receive $196,027 in training funds through the college’s issuance of $295,000 in bonds.

For more information, contact Jason Anderson, the director of economic development and workforce training for NCC, at 712-324-5061 or janderson@nwicc.edu.