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No strike for Ithaca College contingent faculty

Bret Jaspers
Ithaca College

After months of tense negotiation that included a planned strike and a federal mediator, Ithaca College and the contingent faculty have reached a contract agreement. Contingent faculty are non-tenure track faculty. The college administration agreed to all the demands of the non-tenure faculty union. A large part of the agreement was a significant pay increase for part-time faculty.

Brody Burroughs, a part-time art professor at Ithaca College, says the pay bump is a long time coming.

“In 10 years, I received one adjustment to my pay,” Burroughs said.

He says he considers that and the rest of the contract agreement a “victory.” Until now, he’s worked other jobs, like catering and boat repair to make ends meet, making it difficult for him to plan ahead. He says he doesn’t save for retirement, but expects the increase in pay to provide more stability.

“It’s hard to be split in multiple directions and see that come together in a retirement,” Burroughs said. “You wonder which one of them is going to save you.”

The contract also grants compensation to professors if a class is cancelled just before the semester starts, along with longer contracts that can extend to two years for full-time faculty who aren’t tenure track.

The full terms of the contract have yet to be released, but Ithaca College administration says they’re pleased with the agreement. The union still has to ratify it, but they are expected to do so in the coming weeks.