EMU calls for mediation to help resolve bargaining issues with EMU-AAUP
YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University officials announced today they have requested that the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) appoint a mediator to work with them and the EMU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (EMU-AAUP) to resolve outstanding contract issues.
“We’ve hit a difficult stage in our contract negotiations with a number of major issues remaining on the table, including compensation and health care,” said Hartmut Hoft, EMU’s chief negotiator.
Hoft said there are still both economic and non-economic issues on the table. Key issues include: compensation, changes in health care, university governance and faculty insistence on a guaranteed increase in the number of faculty positions per year for three years. EMU has proposed a 2-percent salary increase per year for five years, and has proposed two optional health care plans: one that requires no employee contribution to the premium, and the other requiring, on average, a 9.6 percent premium contribution.
“We believe this is a reasonable offer given the current economic situation in Michigan, rising energy and health care costs, and the need to keep tuition affordable. There has been a steady decline in state appropriations over the past several years, and this has placed a greater burden on our students and the University,” said Hoft. “These proposals are quite similar to the terms our other employee groups have embraced.”
EMU and AAUP bargaining teams have met for 21 negotiating sessions throughout the summer. The next scheduled meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2006.
“There’s a delicate balance we must maintain with respect to the needs of the faculty and staff, and our need to keep higher education affordable for our families,” said Hoft. “We’re working diligently to resolve the issues and I’m confident that we’ll work out a fair settlement.”
The AAUP represents 689 faculty members. Their contract with the University expires at midnight, Aug. 31.
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.
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