Board OK’s new Glassman contract

Analicia Haynes, Senior Reporter

Eastern President David Glassman will receive a one-time 10 percent raise as part of a two-year contract renewal.

The Board of Trustees approved Glassman’s contract and approved a new labor agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Local 981. This new agreement effects 11 food court and catering employees who were involved in bargaining. 

AFSCME ratified a tentative agreement on Jan. 9 and is effective Dec. 1, 2019 through June 30, 2023, according to the Board reports. 

The bargaining unit employees will receive newly established wages that will address the minimum wage increases in Illinois over the next five years. 

The cost of the increases is $69,481.

The Board approved Glassman’s contract 6-1 with one absent vote (Chairperson Barb Baurer was absent) on Friday during its meeting. 

Kathleen Conlin, the student trustee, voted no.

“The overall concern was ‘where is this money coming from’ so I thought as the voice of students that was the easiest way to vote by saying no and that this money could go toward student organizations,” Conlin said. 

She said asking students for their opinions is what helped influence her decision to vote no. 

Vice-Chairperson Joseph Dively said the Board recommended the 10 percent increase. 

“At no time did compensation become a factor in the extension,” Dively said. “There was no request of a salary increase and I think that really makes a strong statement about President Glassman. This is a decision and recommendation by the Board.”

Dively called the contract “pretty basic,” because there are no additional bonuses or severance packages in his contract that are “common among other presidential peers.” 

“This one-time increase that will apply for the rest of his tenure is warranted and appropriate” market data and performance.

The contract will run from June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2022.  

Other than the one-time salary market-based 10 percent increase, an additional benefit of an executive physical is included in the contract. 

All other terms in the contract will remain the same.  

The News could not get the contract that is public record because McLaughlin said it was “not ready.”

This story will be updated as Glassman’s contract becomes available.

Peggy Brown, the Staff Senate Chairperson, said the university community is thrilled that Glassman’s contract was renewed, but the increase is “a little disheartening.”

“I’ll be honest with you again the increase has been a little disheartening only because (the staff) haven’t received that type of raise but we’re thrilled that he’s staying and if that’s what it took to keep him we’re happy to keep him,” Brown said.

But Brown said now they are hoping his raise will be considered when it is time to look at raises for the rest of the campus employees.

“We’re still happy that he’s staying because he’s moved us forward and he’s going to continue to move us forward. We believe in what he’s been doing for us, but you know it’s still 10 percent when we got one (percent),” Brown said. 

Jeanne Ludlow, the president for Eastern’s chapter of the University Professionals of Illinois, said Glassman’s renewal and the AFSCME contract approval show that Eastern is more financially stable, and UPI is looking forward to negotiating their next contract so that everybody else will get increases in pay. 

“These are two really important incidents that happened today that demonstrate that EIU is financially more stable and more strong than we’ve been in a long time and so UPI is really looking forward to negotiating our next contract so that everybody else who has been making the kinds of sacrifices and working as hard as our brothers and sisters who work for the food service and as (Glassman) has been will also get increases in their pay,” Ludlow said. 

The current UPI contract, which was negotiated about a year and a half ago, gives faculty a 6.75 percent raise over the course of four years, but Ludlow said that is a gradual increase tied to enrollment. 

In other words, if enrollment started to decline again then faculty will never receive their raise, Ludlow said. 

“So that was something that happened because we were at the tail end of the budget impasse and it’s not an ideal situation,” Ludlow said. “I think (Glassman’s) new contract gives us hope that we’re not going to have to do that again in the future.”

Brown said the staff and other paid employees will be disappointed if the Board does not keep their concerns in mind and if they do not receive their pay raises. 

“I think you’ll start seeing some staff leave just as we’ll see faculty leave if they don’t get increases,” Brown said. “I mean you know we have to like what we do, you need to feel like they value you by giving you an increase so that’s what we just wanted to make sure that they understand that we recognize that. And of course now (Glassman) feels very valued and we’re happy for that.”

Ludlow said Glassman’s contract renewal also gives her hope that administrators will stop dissing the new minimum wage increases for student workers.

“We have no reason to complain about that anymore,” Ludlow said. 

Glassman said he is excited to stay and continue the work at Eastern and he is proud to have the support of the trustees to continue his work. He also said he never discussed the compensation with the Board.

“The compensation was something that I never discussed with the Board of Trustees. The question was did I wish to continue and they hoped I continued and I indicated that I would be glad to do a two year contract and the compensation was something that the trustees did in private and determined that they wanted to provide an adjustment and they made that adjustment,” Glassman said. 

Glassman said when he originally approached the Board regarding his contract, he proposed considering something similar to what former Eastern President William Perry did. 

After Perry’s fifth year contract expired, Glassman said Perry went on a series of one-year contracts that he felt would give him the flexibility to determine what he wished to do on a year to year basis. 

“That is what I suggested, something like (Perry), and the Board said, ‘Well, we would really like something longer,’” Glassman said. “So I said, ‘Why don’t I do two years and then reevaluate after two years and we’ll see if we want to continue.’ And if they still want me to lead the university, I’ll certainly consider it.”

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]