Eastern Michigan University, professors’ union reach tentative contract agreement

by Geoff Larcom, Published August 31, 2010

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YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University and the EMU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract. The current AAUP contract expires at midnight Aug. 31. Classes at Eastern Michigan begin on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

The new agreement includes a 1 percent salary increase effective Sept. 1, 2010, and a 2 percent increase, effective Sept. 1, 2011. It also includes increases in faculty contributions to health care coverage. A one-time adjustment to base salary of $1,000, effective January 2011, was made to help offset the increases, which take effect at that time.

The two bargaining teams have worked diligently since May to reach agreement on a variety of issues, including salary increases and increased sharing of health care costs. Contingent on approval of the EMU AAUP Bargaining Council on Sept. 1, the union is scheduled to formally vote to ratify the contract on Sept. 13.

"We are gratified and excited to reach a tentative agreement with the faculty and the AAUP," said President Susan Martin. "This agreement recognizes the tremendous importance and contribution of our faculty, along with the harsh economic realities we face in Michigan as we continue to keep tuition affordable for students
and their families.  It also recognizes our faculty's deep commitment to our students. I credit both bargaining teams for their hard work and professionalism in reaching this agreement.

"We recognize the burden higher health care costs are having on everyone, and we appreciate the understanding and willingness of our faculty members to partner with us in sharing a greater portion of these costs."

Enrollment at Eastern increased more than 4 percent last year, with more than 2 percent enrollment growth projected for this year.

"This agreement signals both the faculty's and the administration's powerful focus on providing a tremendous education and campus experience for our students," said Jack Kay, Eastern's provost and executive vice president. "It helps start the school year on an exciting and positive note."

The agreement comes at a time of great momentum on campus in terms of programs that meet the needs and interests of today's students, and in the hiring of new faculty.  This year the University conducted 43 faculty searches, resulting in 38 new faculty members for the fall semester.  It also marks a time of unprecedented development, which includes the construction of a $90-million science complex as well as the $42-million renovation of Eastern's largest classroom building, Pray-Harrold.  Other enhancements include significant renovations to residence halls and academic spaces. 

Complete information on negotiations is here.

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Geoff Larcom

glarcom@emich.edu

734.487.4400

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