Eastern Michigan University makes a new offer to break stalemate in faculty union negotiations

YPSILANTI --  Eastern Michigan University has made a new financial offer to its faculty union (EMU-AAUP) to break the stalemate in negotiations.

Under the new proposal, every full-time faculty member will receive a 2% increase to base salary every year for the next five years, plus an additional $3,600 supplemental payment for health care benefit plan conversion. The payment would be added to their individual eight-month academic year base salary. This will result in total increases ranging from $4,800 to $7,200 (4-8%) depending on each faculty member’s current salary.

“This is a serious and impactful offer that balances faculty needs for healthcare and wages with a total compensation package that is extremely competitive with our peers and among the best in Michigan,” said Rhonda Longworth, provost and executive vice president of academic and student affairs. “This proposed investment in total compensation provides our faculty with a significant salary increase while addressing their transition to the University’s health care plans adopted by other campus bargaining units and administrators. We are hopeful this will result in a timely response and positive resolution to our negotiations.

“A key consideration behind all of our efforts in these negotiations is to balance the impact of what we do at the bargaining table with the impact of increased costs on our students.”

Under Public Act 152, the State of Michigan has limitations on the amount a public university can pay for healthcare. The State of Michigan has set forth maximum amounts a public employer may offer to a medical health plan, including the payments for reimbursement of co-pays, deductibles, or payments into health savings accounts, flexible savings accounts or similar accounts used for health savings. This is driving the University’s efforts to align the faculty health care packages with those of other employees on campus.

In its proposal, the University has offered the union three health care options: Community Blue PPO (Option 5), BCBS High Deductible PPO Plan with Health Savings Account (HSA) or Blue Care Network HMO (Healthy Blue Living). There is no change to how or what the plans cover -- the network of doctors and hospitals that provide services, and the wide range of treatments and care, remain the same. The plans offered by the University, their costs, and the premium contributions to be paid by faculty, which are similar to those in other bargaining units, are as follows:

Graphic of Data Table

A comparative chart shows recent faculty salary increases at comparable universities.

Complete updates and background on the faculty union negotiations including a comparative salary chart and questions and answers can be found on the University's contract negotiations webpage

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 27, 2022

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher