SEATTLE (AP/CBS Seattle) — Gov. Chris Gregoire is upset over Western Washington University’s new faculty contract, claiming members are getting an excessive raise.

Presidents of Washington State University and the University of Washington reportedly called the Governor’s office to complain, which prompted her to write a letter to WWU President Bruce Shepard. In the letter, Gregoire says she has “grave concerns” about how the raises will affect other schools during the rough economic climate.

“Your agreement seems to ignore the share sacrifice that other state employees in general government and institutions of higher education have made during the Great Recession,” Gov. Gregoire wrote.

The new Western contract starts with faculty salary increases of 5.25 percent this next school year. The contract also includes a ten percent increase for faculty and instructors who are promoted and a 15 percent increase in stipends for department chairs.

Director of the Office of Fiscal Management Director Marty Brown says the contract is going to make other state and university contract negotiations difficult.

Washington is getting ready to negotiate with non-faculty unions and other state employees. Professors and other instructors negotiate directly with their universities and their contracts do not need Legislative approval and are not reviewed by the Office of Financial Management.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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