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Gov. Gregoire writes to complain about WWU raises

Gov. Chris Gregoire isn't happy about Western Washington University's new faculty contract.

She wrote a letter last week to Western President Bruce Shepard expressing "grave concerns" about the raises faculty members are getting.

The director of state Office of Financial Management says the governor first heard about the new contract when the presidents of Washington State University and the University of Washington called to complain.

The new Western contract starts with faculty salary increases of 5.25 this next school year. The contract also includes a 10 percent increase for faculty and instructors who are promoted and a 15 percent increase in stipends for department chairs.

OFM Director Marty Brown says the contract is going to make other state and university contract negotiations difficult.

The Bellingham Herald first reported on the letter from the governor.

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