Eastern Michigan University negotiations with faculty union continue over holiday weekend; further details provided regarding health care plans and new proposals on enrollment incentives, salary equity study, and summer compensation

YPSILANTI --  Eastern Michigan University is continuing negotiations with its faculty union (EMU-AAUP) over the weekend, with negotiations taking place today, Sept. 3, and scheduled for tomorrow, Sept. 4. The negotiations continue with an independent, State-appointed mediator.

The administration’s bargaining team provided union negotiators further details of its health care proposal and the impact on employees. The University also proposed an enrollment incentive plan, modified its proposal on summer course compensation, and proposed an equity study of faculty salaries.

When viewing an evaluation of the administration’s proposed 6.2% salary increase (in the first year of the proposed contract) with increased costs for health care plan conversion, every faculty member, regardless of whether they participate in the PPO, HMO, or high-deductible plan (HDHP), will see an overall increase in compensation. The amount of the increase varies depending on which of the three health coverage options is selected, and depending on whether the faculty member chooses single coverage, two-person coverage, or family coverage. In every scenario, all faculty members will see an overall salary increase. The increase is smallest for those participating in the PPO plan, and significantly more for those participating in the HMO or HDHP plans.

Please view this chart to view side-by-side comparisons that show the proposed salary increase and the proposed costs for health care plan conversion by plan offering and participation level..

As reported on Sept. 1, the administration’s total five-year salary proposal is 15.2% with a 6.2% (average for all faculty) increase in year one, 2% in years two and three, and 2.5% in years four and five (increased from 2% in the University’s previous offer). The University’s latest proposal would keep EMU first among comparable universities in total faculty compensation when including salary and health care benefits. This chart shows total compensation including medical benefits among comparable universities. (Comparable universities were selected by an independent fact-finder in previous faculty negotiations and agreed to by the administration and EMU-AAUP.)

EMU’s faculty represent 36% of the participants in EMU’s employer-sponsored healthcare plans, but account for 49% of the University’s total health care costs.

The University is seeking adjustments in health insurance premiums to meet its obligations under Michigan Public Act 152, which limits the amounts public employers may offer to a medical health plan, including payments for reimbursement of co-pays, deductibles, or payments into health savings accounts, flexible savings accounts or similar accounts. In order to comply with the statute, the University’s faculty health care packages must be modified.

“The University is committed to finding common ground,” said Walter Kraft, the University vice president for communications. “The fact that both teams are working over the holiday weekend indicates their mutual determination to reach an agreement.

“As the administration has stated on several occasions during the negotiations, a key consideration behind our efforts in the negotiations is to balance what we do at the bargaining table with the impact of increased costs on our students.”

Complete updates and background on the faculty union negotiations including questions and answers about the negotiations and University budget 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.


September 03, 2022

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Media Contact:
Walter Kraft