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Threat of faculty strike at Eastern Michigan University grows

Eastern Michigan University
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Eastern Michigan University

UPDATE 8:30am 09/05/22

A state-appointed mediator scheduled a joint bargaining meeting between Eastern Michigan University administrators and the professors' union for 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

The old contract expired last week. The two sides remain at odds over salary, health care benefits and other issues.

The EMU-AAUP has scheduled a strike vote Tuesday.

"The union’s call today for a possible strike action hurts our students and impinges significantly upon their experience," wrote Walter Kraft,
Eastern Michigan University Vice President for Communications, in a written statement.

Original Post 9:16pm 09/04/22

Eastern Michigan University professors may walk off the job as early as Wednesday.

More than 500 tenured and tenure-track faculty have been working without a contract since August 31. The professors’ union has scheduled a strike vote Tuesday.

The two sides remain at odds on several things, including salary, health care costs and other issues.

“Our goal remains a fair settlement but unfortunately the EMU Administration is throwing every possible obstacle in the way of a new labor agreement,” said Matt Kirkpatrick, associate professor of English language and literature at EMU and chair of the EMU-AAUP negotiating team.

The University's latest offer called for the total five-year salary increase to 15.2% from the previous offer of 14%, with a 6.2% (average for all faculty) increase in year one, 2% in years two and three, and 2.5% in years four and five (increased from 2% in the University’s previous offer).

Last week, the university called for the state to appoint a third-party fact finder, so that university administrators and union representatives could present their negotiation positions. The fact finder would then make a non-binding recommendation to resolve the deadlock.

Fall classes at EMU started last Monday.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.