Janesville62°

BTC support staff to get pay hike

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
September 17, 2009
— A support-staff union and Blackhawk Technical College have a new contract that provides for pay raises over the next two years.

The contract also provides for more flexible work schedules to better serve the greater numbers of students and extended hours of operation as the college experiences its largest enrollment increase ever.


The BTC Board approved the three-year contract unanimously Wednesday night. Members of the BTC Educational Support Professionals ratified it earlier. They include maintenance staff, secretaries, clerks and student-services workers.


Pay for the 43 union members will increase by 3 percent per cell on the salary schedule for the year that started July 1 and another 3 percent for the following year, director of human resources Brian Gohlke told the board.


Pay in the third year of the contract will be negotiated later because of uncertainties in the economy, Gohlke said.


The contract allows supervisors to schedule workers for five days a week between Monday and Saturday. Previously, work was limited to Monday through Friday.


The new contract also allows evening hours to be assigned. A maintenance worker will now be available until 7 p.m. to handle plumbing, electrical or classroom needs.


Comp time in lieu of overtime pay now is easier to accrue under new rules, saving the college money if workers choose this option, Gohlke said.


The board also heard an enrollment update. Fall semester headcount is 3,601, up from last yearís 3,031, an 18.8 percent increase. The full-time-equivalent fall enrollment is 1,180, up from 940 last year, a 25.6 percent increase.


BTC President Eric Larson predicted enrollment growth would start to fade as money for retraining displaced workers begins to run out in summer or fall of 2010.


BTC hired nine limited-term or part-time instructors in January and another four in September, Larson said. He anticipates hiring six to eight more in January.


Larson said he wanted to avoid hiring new full-time faculty to avoid the inevitable layoffs when the enrollment bubble bursts.


OTHER BUSINESS

The Blackhawk Technical College Board on Wednesday:


-- Confirmed the hiring of Edward G. Robinson as vice president of student services, at an annual salary of $94,000.


Robinson also will receive a relocation allowance not to exceed $3,000. His most recent job was dean of student affairs at Garrett College in McHenry, Md.


Robinson holds a masterís degree in administration of justice from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. He has held administrative positions in colleges in Kansas and Ohio.


Human resources vice president Brian Gohlke said the college is close to hiring a new finance director. The previous director, Dan Hartstern, died in April.


-- Confirmed the hiring of Dawn Konicek as an accounting instructor and Feroz Ghouse as a limited-term instructor for information technology/networking.


n Recognized Carolyn Diane Riesen, counseling and records assistant, who is retiring after 27 years of service.



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