by Walter Kraft, Published December 26, 2012
YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University and the Eastern Michigan University Federation of Teachers (EMU-FT), representing approximately 100 full-time lecturers, have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract. The current, two-year contract expires at midnight December 31.
The tentative agreement calls for a 1.5-percent salary increase in the first year, beginning Jan. 1, 2013, a 2-percent increase in 2014, a 2-percent increase in 2015, and a 1.75-percent increase in 2016, as well as changes to health care plans. Under the agreement, EMU-FT members would receive a one-time increase to base salary of $1,250 effective to help offset increased costs of the health care plans.
The union will schedule a ratification vote on the contract in January 2013. If the membership approves it, the University's Board of Regents would then vote on the agreement at its regular meeting on February 19, 2013.
"Mutual respect and an atmosphere of collaboration have been the driving factors in all of our recent labor negotiations," said Eastern Michigan University President Susan Martin. "This case was no different. I would like to acknowledge the important contribution our full-time lecturer faculty make to the educational experience of Eastern students."
Sonya Alvarado, President of the EMU-FT said, "We are very pleased with the new contract and believe that it is a good and fair agreement for all parties. It was a pleasure working with EMU's negotiation team. Their commitment to working with our team to create this contract should be applauded."
EMU Provost Kim Schatzel said, "I would like to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of both bargaining teams in reaching this agreement. It reflects our determined efforts to work positively and constructively to address challenges facing all universities."
The agreement comes at a time of significant momentum on the Eastern campus. The University welcomed its largest undergraduate class in its 163-year history this fall, and the largest, highest quality, and most diverse incoming class of freshmen students in a decade.