by Geoff Larcom, Published May 07, 2010
YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University has reached an agreement with the EMU Federation of Teachers to hold an election for a collective bargaining unit representing adjunct teaching instructors at the University.
The agreement continues the tradition of Eastern Michigan’s strong and proud partnership with the EMUFT, the union that already represents its full-time lecturers.
The new bargaining unit would include instructional staff teaching at least one credit hour at the University. Those who are represented by the American Association of University Professors (tenure-track faculty union) and full-time lecturers will not be included in the new unit. Visiting professors, doctoral fellows and teaching assistants also would not be included in the new unit.
“This agreement will give an additional estimated 500 teachers the opportunity to elect a collective bargaining representative and join our many valued teaching faculty who are already represented,” said Jack Kay, EMU provost and executive vice president.
“Eastern Michigan highly values the important contribution our adjunct teaching instructors make to the education of our students. We support their right to organize, and to exercise their right to choose their bargaining representative.
“We value the strong, collaborative working relationship that we have with our many unions on campus, including the EMU Federation of Teachers, who would represent our adjuncts if elected. We look forward to building on that tradition of collaboration.”
“We appreciate the collaboration of President Susan Martin and Provost Jack Kay, and look forward to working with them through the election,” said EMUFT representative and part-time math instructor Paul Horvath.
The agreement comes after several weeks of constructive talks between the University and representatives of the proposed unit. Supporters of the unit staged several, day-long peaceful sit-ins in the office of President Martin, speaking with the president a number of times, and they also spoke vigorously on the proposed unit’s behalf at several regents’ meetings.
The parties have already contacted the Michigan Employment Relations Commission to announce their agreement and to begin the election process, which is supervised by the commission.
An election will be conducted by mail ballot, to give as many instructors as possible an opportunity to participate. Should the EMU Federation of Teachers be certified as the collective bargaining representative for the adjunct teaching instructors, contract negotiations for an initial agreement would begin this fall term.