Legislature approves higher ed retro pay raises

The state Legislature voted February 15 to approve $32 million to fund retroactive pay raises for 13,000 public higher education employees.

The vote was unanimous in both the House and Senate.

The vote funds retroactive pay for the first half of FY 2004. Still to be paid is retroactive pay for FY 2002 and FY 2003.

The Legislature also funded a long-delayed pay hike for community college faculty and professional staff.

In a statement, MTA President Catherine A. Boudreau said:

"By voting to fund the retroactive pay raises, the Legislature today took a positive and important step in maintaining its continuing commitment to fully fund the contracts.

"The Legislature recognizes the importance of public higher education as an engine of our state's economy. The House and Senate votes reaffirm the Legislature's commitment to maintaining a system of public higher education that is accessible, affordable and excellent.

"We are grateful for the hard work done on this vital issue by our legislative leaders, Senate President Robert Travaglini and Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi, as well as the co-chairs of the Ways and Means Committee, Sen. Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) and Rep. Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop)."