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NMU-AAUP celebrates new tentative agreement and the power of unions

As of Monday, Sept. 9, Northern Michigan University faculty is in its 68th day of working without a contract, but this Labor Day, the NMU-AAUP faculty union has a reason to celebrate.
The NMU-AAUP in Ishpeming's Labor day parade
The NMU-AAUP in Ishpeming's Labor day parade(WLUC, Maci Cosmore)
Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 6:42 PM EDT
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ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - On Saturday, a tentative agreement was reached with the NMU Faculty Union for a new five-year contract.

As of Monday, Sept. 9, Northern Michigan University faculty is in its 68th day of working without a contract, but this Labor Day, the NMU-AAUP faculty union has a reason to celebrate.

“Fortunately we have that tentative agreement and it’s really neat that the agreement was signed on a weekend that is dedicated to celebrating working men and women in this country,” said NMU-AAUP President Dwight Brady.

He said this step forward in the negotiation process means unions work.

“Unions of course mean that you have that power of collective bargaining and that’s what we experienced here in the last 6 months of negotiations that we wouldn’t have had really without the power of collective bargaining and our brothers and sisters not really within our union, but the support of all unions here in Marquette County.”

Brady said this tentative agreement is a steppingstone for all unions and it’s just the beginning of what’s next. For Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart, unions give educators a collective voice to speak up for students.

“These are critical union issues to ensure that the educators have professional development. Whether you’re a classroom teacher, a bus driver or a paraeducator that you’re getting professional support to be the best and the brightest providing education for students,” she said.

Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber said now is the time to reflect on the history of working people in the U.S.

“Working people built this country and it’s a great time to look back and see all the contributions that working people made to our country and also look forward to see what we can do to improve the lives of working people,” Bieber said.

A ratification vote for the NMU-AAUP agreement is expected within the next ten days.

A vote by the Board of Trustees is planned for the end of September/beginning of October.

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