by Geoff Larcom, Published August 23, 2012
YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University and UAW CS Local 1975, which represents clerical workers at EMU, have reached a tentative agreement on a new, four-year contract. Classes at Eastern Michigan begin on Wednesday, Sept. 5.
The agreement will run through June 30, 2016. The union, which has approximately 225 members, will formally vote on the contract on a nearby date to be determined. The EMU Board of Regents would then vote on the agreement at its regular meeting on Sept. 18.
The previous agreement expired on June 30, and the union had been working under a temporary extension of that contract.
"We appreciate the sincere and determined efforts of both bargaining teams in reaching a tentative agreement," said Eastern Michigan President Susan Martin. "We deeply value and appreciate the contribution our clerical secretarial employees make to the university and to our students."
The new agreement includes changes to health care plans, a health care offset to base wages and yearly wage adjustments. The salary increases are 0 percent for this fiscal year, 1.5 percent, effective July 1, 2013; 2 percent, effective July 1, 2014; and 2 percent, effective, July 1, 2015.
The clerical workers will receive a permanent increase to base wages of $1,250 for full-time employees, to help offset rising health care costs. Part-time employees will receive a prorated flat amount of that total, according to the percentage of their appointment, with both increases becoming effective if the Regents approve the contract.
Employees will also receive a onetime bonus payment, not to base wages, of $750, to be paid within two pay periods of the Regents' vote on the agreement.
The agreement comes at a time of significant momentum on the Eastern Michigan campus. Current projections for fall indicate the largest, highest quality and most diverse incoming class of freshmen students in several years, along with a significant increase in residence hall occupancy.