FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sept. 5, 2000
CONTACT: Pam Young or Ward Mullens
YPSILANTI - The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) at Eastern Michigan University walked away from negotiations Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 2:10 a.m.
"The University is very disappointed that the faculty broke off negotiations. We are committed to the collective bargaining process and are ready to return to the table and resolve these issues so that the University can return to normal," said Dr. Ronald Collins, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Eastern Michigan University.
The AAUP, which represents 687 full-time faculty at EMU, turned down a proposed four-year compensation package that includes:
o A 6-percent increase which includes a 5-percent across the board adjustment and a 1 percent salary differential pool in the first year of the contract. The salary differential pool has traditionally been distributed for market adjustments,
o In the second year the faculty would receive 4 percent across the board with an additional 1 percent increase possible contingent upon implementation of health care savings,
o The third year of the University's proposal offers another 4-percent across the board increase with an additional 1 percent in the salary differential pool,
o Faculty would receive another 4 percent across the board in the fourth year, as well as 1 percent in the salary differential pool (effective Jan. 1). The University contribution to TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund) would also be increased from 10 percent to 10.5 percent.
As an incentive for full-time faculty to teach continuing education courses the University proposed raising the compensation from $900 per course to $1,100 per credit hour (22.2 percent). The University also would compensate departments by providing $1,000 to their travel account if faculty were assigned to teach continuing education classes.
There is no truth to the rumor that the University is attempting to permanently replace full-time faculty with part-time lecturers or to erode their bargaining unit in any way.
The University also offered increases in promotional raises from 67 to 82 percent (as identified below:
From instructor to assistant professor: increased from $1,100 to $2,000 (82 percent)
From assistant professor to associate: increased from $1,800 to $3,000 (66 percent)
From associate to full professor: increased from $2,250 to $4,000 (78 percent)
The University's proposal also increases life insurance maximums from $100,000 to $275,000. The proposal provided for long term disability (LTD) increases from 60 to 65 percent of salary. LTD maximums were also increased from the current $5,000 maximum a month to $7,000 a month.
Part of the University's package also includes provisions for containing health care costs. "Health care costs have reached staggering proportions and must be addressed if the University is going to provide high quality health care at no cost to employees. The cost of employee's fringe benefits increased 16.2 percent ($3.8 million) last year, the majority of which was directly attributable to sky rocketing health care costs," said Patrick Doyle, vice president for business and finance at EMU. "Our proposal, which provides a very high quality plan, could save the University $60,000 per month and would require no cost sharing by employees."
"The proposed compensation offer is better than any other college or university's in the state of Michigan. On average, Michigan comprehensive public institutions are offering 4.34 percent," said Collins.
"In June, in-state undergraduate tuition was raised 3 percent and graduate and out-of-state tuition were increased on average 3.6 percent. To fund our current offer, we are prepared to go to the Board of Regents in September and ask for a net 1 percent increase for in-state undergraduate students, effective Winter 2001, for an annual total of 4 percent. Graduate and non-resident rates would increase on average 5.7 percent for an annual total of approximately 9.5 percent," Doyle said.
By state law, if the University increases tuition more than 4 percent a year for in-state undergraduate students, there is a permanent loss of state appropriations of 1.5 percent (approximately $1.3 million). State appropriations are the annual funds provided to each public institution to support on-going operations and represents approximately 52.5 percent of the University's operating revenue.
"The University has committed an extraordinary amount of resources toward faculty salaries. The University has made a good faith effort and has extended it's resources, but we cannot put any further burden on our students," Collins said.
The University's offer to the faculty union is significantly more than what other employee groups at EMU received. EMU's professional/technical union (UAW 1976) received a 3 percent annual increase in its recent three-year contract. The clerical/secretarial union (UAW Local 1975) negotiated for 4 percent annually in its three-year contract.
"We are hopeful that negotiations will r esume and we are ready to return to the table immediately," said Collins.
NOTE: Updates regarding faculty negotiation will be provided on the University's Web page (www.emich.edu) and on the EMU NEWSLINE, 734.487.2460.