Eastern Michigan University files for mediation in contract negotiations with faculty union

Faculty’s union’s demands for 9% salary increase in year one, along with a host of other demands spark University’s actions

YPSILANTI –  Eastern Michigan University is turning to a mediator to help resolve a breakdown in negotiations with its faculty union, the EMU-AAUP (American Association of University Professors). The primary obstacle in the negotiations, which began July 15, is the union’s salary demands, which are as follows:

  • Year one: 9% increase or $9,000 (whichever is greater)
  • Year two: 4.5% or $5,000 (whichever is greater)
  • Year three: 4.5% or $5,000 (whichever is greater)
  • Year four: wage re-opener

These latest salary demands were presented on August 15, and represent only a slight modification from the union’s initial proposal presented on August 4 that called for a 9.5% increase or $9,500 (whichever is greater) in year one, with a 4.5% increase or $5,000 (whichever is greater) for years two through four.

“The university has attempted to align its compensation programs with those of other comparable universities and allow the University to continue to prioritize its support of students by keeping education costs as manageable as possible,” said James Greene, EMU’s chief negotiator. “You would be hard-pressed to find any employee at comparative universities who received a 9% salary increase without a promotion or significant change in duties or responsibilities. The union demands also greatly exceed those settlements the University has reached with its other employee groups. As much as the University respects and supports its faculty, the AAUP’s current demands are excessive.”

Salary issues aren’t the only sticking point in the University’s decision to bring in a mediator. Some other key union demands include:

  • A refusal to pay for on-campus parking at rates similar to those paid by students and other employees;
  • Limiting the student voice in the faculty evaluation process by significantly changing that process; and,
  • Refusal to work with the university in containing escalating health care costs through the adoption of health care plans similar to those negotiated with other bargaining units in all recent new agreements;

The University’s salary proposal included the following:

  • Year one: 2% increase
  • Year two: 2% increase
  • Year three: 2% increase
  • Year four: 2% increase
  • Year five: 2% increase.

The proposal is consistent with the salary increases at other similar universities in Michigan and the Mid-American Conference, as noted in the comparative chart that dates from the 2018 academic year through 2025.

“EMU remains committed to working in good faith with EMU-AAUP as the parties enter the mediation process” said Greene. “It is important that the University maintain a sustainable financial model that will keep EMU accessible to students while attracting and retaining faculty. We remain optimistic that a mutually beneficial contract can be reached in the very near future.”

The current agreement expires August 31. Mediation has been scheduled for August 22, 23, 25 and 26.

Follow the University's contract negotiations page for more updates. 

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.



August 17, 2022

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher