Suffolk County Community College trustees Thursday cleared the way for the 2,000-member faculty to reopen its contract - saving an estimated $3 million - by ordering the school's top administrators to make concessions.

The faculty deal was finalized later after the board unanimously approved the concession resolution for the school's 24 top administrators. While not officially disclosed, the deal, county sources say, will keep September's already scheduled 3 percent increase intact, but drop a $50 increase in longevity pay. It also will include zero pay hikes in 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years and a 2 percent raise in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. Step increases would not be affected.

With no debate, the board vote came after a 90-minute executive session on the Riverhead campus. The trustees also tabled for a third time the highly controversial resolution to give $200,000-a-year Executive Vice President George Gatta a $6,950 raise and a one-year extension to his contract.

His raise has been a lightning rod for criticism because Gatta, who until February 2009 had been a $163,500-a-year executive vice president, got a $36,500 raise by serving as interim president. The pay hike remains in effect even though he has now returned to his old post.

"Times are tough and faculty are being asked to take less and students are being asked to pay more," said Kevin Peterman, faculty union vice president. "Yet the board is considering increasing the compensation of the executive vice president." He added that no other top administrator has a separate contract with the board, but rather they serve at the pleasure of the president.

Jeff Kluewer, chairman of the college governance council, said changes to Gatta's contract "compounds the board mistake of . . . making a side deal" with Gatta, creating a "structural insubordination" by making Gatta answerable to the board rather than the president. Ernesto Mattace, board chairman, and Gatta declined to comment. New president Shaun McKay said he "will review the issue with the board of trustees."

The college's 495 full-time and 1,500 adjuncts are scheduled to meet this afternoon at the Selden campus to get details on the proposed pact. If the faculty ratifies the pact, trustees will vote on the deal.

The college last month proposed a $189.4-million budget with a $200 tuition hike and asked the county for a 4 percent increase in its share, a hike county officials say is unlikely.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME