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Board of Trustees approves ACE contract Jul 29, 2008
Ron Cole, 330-941-3285


The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees today ratified a new three–year contract with the YSU Association of Classified Employees. The union approved the new pact on Monday.

With the approval, the university’s two largest unions, representing more than 800 classified staff and faculty, now have new contracts in place as the start of the fall semester approaches on Aug. 25. The faculty union ratified a new three–year agreement in April.

During the last round of negotiations three years ago, both the faculty union and the classified union staged strikes before the contracts were settled. 

“The approval of this contract is yet another reason to celebrate as YSU marks its Centennial year,” YSU President David C. Sweet said. “I want to thank the leaders and all members of the negotiating teams on both sides for their hard work and commitment to completing this process in a constructive manner and to improving the labor relations environment on campus.”

“This contract reflects a new era in labor relations at YSU,” said Ivan Maldonado, ACE president. “I want to compliment the administration and the Board of Trustees, as well as my own membership, for their hard work in seeking collaborative solutions. In the end, the students that we serve will benefit the most.”

YSU–ACE represents 383 secretaries, administrative assistants, maintenance employees, groundskeepers and other non–administrative staff on campus.

The contract calls for cost of living salary increases of 2.5 percent in 2008–09, 2.5 percent in 2009–10 and 2.6 percent in 2010–11. The agreement also includes an early retirement incentive plan for up to 100 employees.

The agreement also settles a legal dispute between the university and union regarding personal days. Under the new contract, classified employees will receive four personal days per year. 

Craig Bickley, YSU chief human resources officer and chief negotiator for the university, said the agreement restructures and simplifies the salary structure for classified employees and that the early retirement program could result in substantial long–term savings for the university.

“This contract fairly and equitably resolves all outstanding issues with the ACE union and sets a framework for future negotiations,” Bickley said.

Ikram Khawaja, provost and vice president for academic affairs, headed a team overseeing this year’s negotiations with the faculty and classified staff unions.

“The resolution of these two contracts well before the start of the new academic year is a reflection of the improved climate of trust and collaboration in labor relations at the university,” Khawaja said. “It is a credit to the leaders of both unions and the administration and bodes well for the university’s future.”


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