Board of Regents reaches agreement with faculty union The South Dakota Board of Regents has approved an agreement with the Council of Higher Education (COHE), the union representing the faculty of the six regional universities. COHE members have ratified a contract that will distribute salary increases for the next three years on the basis of individual performance, market conditions and institutional priorities. COHE, an affiliate of the South Dakota Education Association, negotiates salary and other working conditions for more than 1,100 university faculty members statewide.
"We think that this is the most progressive higher education collective bargaining agreement in the country. It is all the more remarkable that the contract will extend and govern salary negotiations for the next three years," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett IV.
"This is a performance-based contract that contains no across-the-board component," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "COHE sent its negotiators to the bargaining table ready to work on the issues. Because they were willing to move forward, we were able to make progress in a very short time. Their work with the board lays a foundation that will strengthen the Regental system academically. A performance-based salary structure will award those outstanding faculty who contribute to the system and will enable the universities to attract and retain people who will work for the success of the students and the institutions."
Jewett added, "When the Regents devised a plan two years ago to increase faculty salaries, we asked the students to bear a substantial share of the cost. The Legislature also provided funding by allowing us to keep money that was saved when we reduced the total number of employees in the system. In return we assured them that we would award the increases to those who contributed the most to the quality of the education available at the state universities. We resolved to distribute salary increases in this manner."
The provisions of the contract will apply to the salary increases for fiscal year 2000, which started on July 1 of this year. The contract will also govern the FY01 and FY02 raises. The universities will make their FY00 salary recommendations to the Board of Regents at its August business meeting on the campus of Black Hills State University in Spearfish.
This contract agreement does not govern the determination of salary for the South Dakota School for the Deaf or the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Negotiations for the special schools contract continue.
COHE does not represent the faculties of The University of South Dakota Law School or Medical School, the faculty of the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the Cooperative Extension Service educators, the non-faculty exempt employees or the Career Service Act employees.