The Eastern Michigan University-American Association of University Professors (EMU-AAUP) began a strike on Sept. 7 due to contract expiration with no resolution between the university and faculty being made.
The contract negotiations have been occurring since May. 24 and a settlement has not been reached since that date.
With over 500+ members of faculty being a part of the EMU-AAUP, 91% of the members voted to strike in a union member meeting this evening.
Both sides have proposed agreements that have been denied. EMU-AAUP proposed a flexible summer schedule method that was denied by the university. While the University proposed a plan with a 4% to 8% increase for full-time faculty in the first year of agreement, that was denied by the EMU-AAUP.
“Our message to EMU students, parents and alumni is simple: EMU faculty are standing up for you and for quality education,” said Matt Kirkpatrick, associate professor of English Language and Literature and chair of the EMU-AAUP negotiating team. “But the EMU Administration has let you down, raising their own salaries while trying to reduce our compensation, and repeatedly failing to bargain in good faith.”
EMU plans to continue negotiations despite the strike decision.
“The union’s call for a strike impacts one group on Eastern’s campus more than any other – the University’s students,” said Walter Kraft, the University’s vice president for communications. “It is unfortunate that rather than continue to follow the mediator’s path, with active negotiations still underway, the faculty union is asking its members to walk out and disrupt students’ education just seven days into the semester.”
After a negotiation meeting with state mediators on the morning of Sept. 7, no conclusion was made and the EMU-AAUP will likely continue to strike this week.
“It’s truly unfortunate that the EMU administration’s failure at the bargaining table will cause delay and disruption for our students,” Mohamed El-Sayed, professor of engineering and EMU-AAUP president, said. “We will not be in our classrooms tomorrow, but our negotiating team will be at the bargaining table. We’re looking for solutions that support our students and set the stage for quality education at EMU for the long term.”
EMU administration advises students to attend their classes as usual and wait 15 minutes to see if the instructor will be holding class or email your instructor in advance to determine if class will be held or not. All other university events and classes will continue as scheduled.