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March 19, 2007
CONTACT: Pamela Young
pyoung@emich.edu 734.487.4400

Eastern Michigan University, AAUP await fact finder’s recommendations

YPSILANTI — Bargaining teams for Eastern Michigan University and the EMU Chapter of the American Association for University Professors (AAUP) have filed their post-hearing briefs in the next step of the fact-finding process, which began in November 2006. EMU's brief is available online here (PDF file).

Fact finding is a conflict resolution process designed to assist Michigan public employers and employees in the collective bargaining process.

After reviewing the post-hearing briefs, Benjamin Kerner, the state-appointed fact finder, will issue a finding that summarizes his recommendations for how best to resolve the remaining issues in the negotiations. Kerner is expected to present his recommendations by early April, if not sooner. Both sides will then go back to the bargaining table to negotiate an agreement based on the fact finder’s recommendations.

The primary topics being addressed are compensation, health care benefits and employer retirement contributions, according to Rhonda Longworth, interim assistant vice president for academic affairs.

“This has been a valuable process that I feel will help us reach a fair and equitable solution,” Longworth said. “We hope to reach a settlement soon.”

EMU asked the AAUP in September 2006 to join the university in seeking the assistance of an impartial external fact finder to assist in resolving stalled contract negotiations. The 689 faculty members have been working under their previous contract since Sept. 1, 2006.

RELATED: Fact-finding information

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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