Contract negotiations underway
The Dining, Trades, Custodial and Grounds departments are in the process of negotiating with the university over new contracts set to expire in July.
Nathan Graham, the president of the union, said he thought the university was seeking concessions from the union in the form of benefit cuts. Graham complained that the union had only received 1 percent pay increases over the last three years but the cost of their healthcare had gone up 40 percent.
“I’m confident that we can defiantly find some common ground on a majority of the issues,” said Graham. “We would like to definitely get this before July 1. This is a distraction to our membership. We’d like to get back to doing what we do best and that’s supporting an educational environment.”
While Graham declined to comment on ongoing negotiations, he said that he was going to work with the university on finding common ground.
Fire alarm goes off in Pray-Harrold
The Pray-Harrold fire alarm went off when a belt in the mechanical room snagged and started smoking. The Department of Public Safety and the Ypsilanti Fire Department responded.
“There was an equipment problem,” said Jeff Nesmith, Deputy Chief of Police. “There was no fire; but there was smoke. The building was evacuated. Once it was determined that it was safe, people were allowed back in.”
The Physical Plant was contacted but they did not respond.
“We just had a smoke alarm activation,” said Lt. Knasiak of the Ypsilanti Fire Department. “We got there and investigation and it turned out to be a fan belt – blower motor for a ventilation system in the mechanical room. We just ventilated the area and cleared the area and got the alarm reset and that was pretty much it. It was a pretty straightforward incident.”
After the fan was reset the police allowed students and staff back into the building and class resumed.
Basketball hoop found broken
One of the basketball hoops behind the student center was found lying on the court, snapped at the base.
No injuries have been reported and it is not known if the damage is a result of vandalism or normal wear and tear at this time.
The Physical Plant was contacted about the hoop but said it was the Rec/IM’s responsibility.