Montcalm Community College employees OK pay cuts, new insurance plan


By Cory Smith • Last Updated 10:55 pm on Friday, December 16, 2011

SIDNEY — Montcalm Community College faculty, support staff and administrators are pitching in to help balance the college’s budget.

The college is facing a nearly $800,000 budget shortfall for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

All three employee groups approved switching their health insurance plans from MESSA (Michigan Education Special Services Association) to a high deductible Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, which includes a health savings account.
The college will save $340,000 annually with the change.

The college’s Administrative Council and Faculty Council also have agreed to additional contract concessions, according to Vice President for Administrative Services Jim Lantz.

“Each administrator will serve six furlough days on the year where they will be required to abstain from work and will not receive pay,” Lantz said.

The furlough days will save about $42,000.

MCC President Robert Ferrentino said the Faculty Council agreed to cut salaries for the 2011-2012 contract year by 0.8 percent, saving $16,000.

Ferrentino said the Faculty Council also agreed to donate $150,000 to the MCC General Fund, with those funds coming from the accumulated endowed leave and faculty fellowship fund.

“Both the cuts in salary by the school faculty and the donation of $150,000 are incredible measures taken by the Faculty Council to ensure the college stays on track with budgetary issues,” Ferrentino said. “These are trying times for everyone and this is a big sacrifice, but we can now move forward and present a balanced budget.

The college made about 30 other cuts, including a recent agreement allowing Barnes & Noble to operate the bookstore, not filling vacant positions, delaying equipment purchases and reducing travel costs.

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