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NMU faculty working without a contract

The faculty union and the university’s administration were unable to come an agreement before the one-year contract expired at midnight on July 1.
NMU Teaching Flag
NMU Teaching Flag(WLUC)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 9:27 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: Northern Michigan University faculty are now working without a contract. According to a press release from the NMU American Association of University Professors, the faculty union and the university’s administration were unable to come an agreement before the one-year contract expired at midnight on July 1.

Union president Dwight Brady said he asked for a contract extension, but the Board of Trustees did not grant it.

“I was a bit surprised that the contract was not extended, but I am still hopeful we can reach an agreement soon,” said Brady.

Negotiations have been going on since March 1, but talks regarding financial items did not start until May, and compensation is where the two sides still differ.

“We took one for the team last year to help the university get through the pandemic. We agreed to a one-year contract that froze salaries and made deep cuts to summer pay and professional development funding. Now, we simply want to get back to pre-COVID levels of compensation,” said Brady.

According to the Michigan Public Employment Relations Act, a public employer like NMU continues to pay wages at the levels in place when the previous contract expired. However, any wage increases negotiated in a new agreement are not retroactive for the period employees worked without a contract unless agreed upon by the employer.

In a statement to TV6, NMU’s Administration said, “While we are disappointed an agreement with the AAUP faculty union was not finalized in June, we expect that an agreement can be reached quickly. It is important that we continue productive negotiations on the outstanding issues so that everyone at the university can move forward as we plan for an exciting fall semester on campus. During our extended negotiation period, our faculty will continue to be paid and their benefits continue normally.”

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