EMU-AAUP Members Vote 96% in Favor of New 4-Year Agreement


Significant gains in salary, retirement and health care protections after three-day strike

YPSILANTI, Michigan – Members of the Eastern Michigan University chapter of the American Association of University Professors (EMU-AAUP) have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new four-year labor agreement which includes significant gains in salary and retirement as well as protections for health care coverage.

Voting on the agreement, by secure email, began following a Tuesday September 20th union meeting and concluded today.  Ninety-six percent of EMU-AAUP members voted in favor of ratification, with four percent voting against.

“Our negotiating team listened closely to our members throughout this process,” said Matt Kirkpatrick, associate professor of English language and literature at EMU and chair of the EMU-AAUP negotiating team. “Our goal was to bring back an agreement to address concerns we heard about supporting our students, fair compensation and creating a foundation for continued quality education at EMU.  I think the results of this ratification vote show that we achieved our goal.”

The new four-year agreement, which will cover more than 500 tenured and tenure track faculty at EMU, was reached after a three-day strike on the EMU campus earlier this month. It includes pay raises of $4,000 in base pay or four percent in the first of the agreement, whichever is greater, as well as 3.25% base pay increases in the second and third year of the agreement.

The parties agreed on a wage re-opener in the fourth year of the agreement, to protect EMU-AAUP members in the event of continued high inflation. Employer contributions to retirement, at 11 percent of salary, will increase as a result of the pay increases in the agreement. 

The new contract also provides that EMU faculty will receive the same health care options as administrators and other groups on campus, with health care premiums based on an 80/20 cost-sharing model. A zero-cost HMO program could save participating faculty up over $3,000 a year for family coverage and dental coverage will increase to $1,500 per participant.

The tentative agreement will strengthen EMU’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and also address faculty concerns about shared governance.

“It was really impressive to see our members stick together, and all the tremendous support we received from students and the campus community,” said Mohamed El-Sayed, professor of engineering at EMU and president of EMU-AAUP. “Our focus now is working together with our students and the administration, so that everyone has access to the great education they deserve here at EMU.”

EMU-AAUP is the local chapter of the national organization of the American Association of University Professors, representing tenure-track and tenured faculty at Eastern Michigan University.

Source: EMU-AAUP

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