BTC trustees approve BEST union contract

The Bellingham Herald file

Bellingham Technical College’s Board of Trustees on Monday approved the Bellingham Education Support Team (BEST)Collective Bargaining Agreement.

BEST, which represents classified clerical, technical, instructional and retail support staff, went on a four-day strike last week.

According to a BTC news release, some of the major contract elements include:

▪ Base wage increases of 3.05 percent in 2017-2018, 4.2 percent in 2018-2019, and state COLA plus up to 1.25 percent in 2019-2020 (State COLA to be determined in the next state budget biennium).

▪ Enhancements to the longevity steps: increases 10-year step from 40 cents to 45 cents per hour, adds a 15-year step at 25 cents per hour and maintains the 20-year step of 25 cents.

▪ Adds a day per year of vacation for employees between 1-19 years of service. BEST employees who have been with the college 1-3 years receive 15 days; 4-10 years receive 19 days; 11-18 years receive 23 days; and 19-plus years receive 24 days.

▪ Compensated time off when/if the college closes for inclement weather.

▪ Provides additional ability for employees to work with supervisors on flexible schedules.

▪ Increased wages for select classifications and bargaining unit employees.

The full contract is in the process of being compiled, and will be made public after it is reviewed and signed by BTC and BEST in 30-60 days, according to the news release.