Faculty leaders for Minnesota's state universities have reached a tentative two-year contract agreement with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

The agreement includes a 2.2 percent pay raise, retroactive to last fall, said Nancy Black, president of the Inter Faculty Organization. If approved, it will be the first across-the-board salary bump most of the 3,600 faculty members have seen in four years, she said.

That's "not overly generous," Black said, "but we understand what's going on with the state."

In a news release, MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said that "a completed agreement is essential to our ongoing efforts to recruit and retain high quality faculty."

MnSCU includes seven public state universities such as Winona State University. It is separate from the University of Minnesota system.

Black will recommend that faculty members approve the agreement, which is the first to tie adjunct faculty to the union's pay scale. She declined to outline other changes before members see them.

It took 18 months and more than 70 meetings to negotiate the contract, which extends to just June 30, Black said. Faculty members will likely vote on it in February. It will then need approval from the system's Board of Trustees, as well as the Legislature.

Faculty members at MnSCU's two-year colleges still are negotiating.