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March 6, 2003

Pay raises, benefits set for bargaining unit employees

Iowa State's bargaining unit employees will receive pay hikes of 2 percent on July 1, 2003, and, if they aren't at the top of their pay grades, another 4.5 percent increase during the year -- on the anniversary dates of their hiring.

Their pay raises were set in the recently completed contract agreement between state officials and the state employees who are members of AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees). Iowa State's approximately 1,700 AFSCME members serve in clerical, technical, blue collar and security positions.

Effective Jan. 1, 2004, the new contract also increases the state's contribution to family insurance plans from 80 percent to 82 percent, adds a mail order prescription drug program and provides domestic partner coverage.

Effective Jan. 1, 2005, the contract adds an additional 2 percent pay hike, increases the family medical insurance plan to 85 percent, and expands dental coverage.

The university will spend approximately $6.3 million to fund the pay raises and health cost increases for bargaining unit employees, said ISU vice president for business and finance Warren Madden.

Pay hikes for other ISU employees will not be determined for several months. Iowa lawmakers set pay hikes for state workers as part of an appropriations bill that is generally completed in late spring.

ISU officials hope the Legislature will provide full funding for salary increases. ISU President Gregory Geoffroy said full funding for salary increases is Iowa State's top legislative priority.

Geoffroy said he will look to his Advisory Committee on Budget and Planning for advice and recommendations as university officials deal with what appears to be another tight budget year. The committee's task is make recommendations on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of Iowa State and to ensure that budget priorities are in line with university goals.

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