Eastern Michigan University’s All Union Council, which encompasses five bargaining units at the university, has rejected President Susan Martin’s proposal to forfeit a 1.5 percent pay raise and has instead urged her to cut athletics and administration positions.
The members told the president their decision in a meeting Tuesday.
“We told President Martin that giving back our modest raises, as well as the layoffs of union workers, is completely unacceptable,” said Susan Moeller, President of the All Union Council and President of EMU-AAUP, the professors union.
“It’s unfortunate that President Martin has unnecessarily threatened employees, causing worry and anxiety among all the bargained for EMU employees. Good leaders should treat their employees with respect and not lead with intimidation and needless threats in misguided attempts to turn employees against each other.”
The unions have cited several reasons as to why they have chosen to reject President Martin’s proposal.
In a release sent out Wednesday morning, the council said they believe EMU has a “bloated” administration. The council claims administrators receive too many perks such as international travel and car allowances.
“It is immoral to layoff low-paid employees while administrators give themselves high raises,” the All Union Council said in the release.
The union members said EMU’s police chief Greg O’Dell has received a raise of $30,000, raising his salary to $169, 000. The council said EMU has also hired a health care consultant for $100,000.
The council believes the recent hiring of EMU basketball coach Rob Murphy will bring associated costs of between $300,000 and $500,000. The council said the athletic program is “excessively subsidized.”
“… Low attendance and lack of sponsorship for EMU athletics should force the administration to take a closer look at cuts that can be in the athletic program so that jobs and salaries can be spared elsewhere,” the council said.
EMU’s administration has overstated the financial crisis, expenses and underestimated revenues in order to force the unions to give back their raises, the council said.