WMU News

Trustees ratify contracts with faculty union, police

Sept. 20, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Acting at its Sept. 20 meeting, Western Michigan University's Board of Trustees ratified a new three-year contract with the WMU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

WMU President Elson S. Floyd urged the board to approve the contract in his remarks at the opening of the board meeting.

"The new contract is testimony to the manner in which the bargaining teams on both sides dealt with difficult issues," he said. "I extend my congratulations and sincere thanks to both sides for their efforts, and I urge the board to approve this new three-year agreement."

The board unanimously approved the contract that had been approved by the membership of the AAUP Sept. 12. Bargaining between the University and the AAUP began on June 4 and agreement was reached on nearly all major issues before the end of July.

Under terms of the agreement, the faculty will receive a 4 percent salary increase and a continuation of health care benefits at current levels for 2002-03, the first year of the contract. Discussions regarding compensation and health care benefits for the remaining two years of the contract will be reopened before the end of the first year.

Floyd has announced that during the coming year, he plans to appoint a broad-based committee to undertake a campuswide study of health care issues.

The negotiating teams were led by Attorney Thomas P. Hustoles, the University's chief negotiator; Chester B. Rogers, WMU's director of contract administration; and Robert J. Ricci, the AAUP's chief negotiator.

In other action, trustees also approved a three-year agreement with the Police Officers Association. That contract, completed Sept. 11 and approved by the POA Sept. 16, calls for a 3.25 percent compensation increase for fiscal year 2002-03. As with the faculty contract, a discussion of compensation and benefits for the last two years of the contract will be reopened before the end of the current fiscal year.

The police contract also allows for a one-semester trial period for 10-hour shifts for patrol officers during winter session 2003. That model will provide higher staffing levels on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The contract allows the trial period to be extended if needed.

Media contact: Matt Kurz, 269 387-8400, matt.kurz@wmich.edu

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