Trustees approve new three-year faculty contract

Contact: Cheryl Roland

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's Board of Trustees, meeting in formal session Sept. 20, unanimously approved a new three-year labor agreement with the WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the union that represents the University's full-time faculty.

The tentative agreement approved by trustees was reached Sept. 5, just as the old contract was set to expire. Union members voted to ratify the new contract Sept. 19. With the board's approval, the new contract is effective Sept. 6, 2017, through Sept. 5, 2020.

The agreement calls for a 2 percent across-the-board salary increase for academic years 2017-18 and 2018-19. During the third year of the contract, 2019-20, faculty members will see a 2.25 percent salary increase. In addition, a research supplement of 1 percent becomes effective in Jan. 1, 2018, and another 1 percent research supplement is effective Jan. 1, 2019. The final year of the contract will include a .75 percent research supplement implemented Jan. 1, 2020.

Additional parts of the agreement include changes to the health care plan design, leave changes that include up to six weeks of paid parental leave beginning in January 2018 and adjustments to the academic calendar. The latter item will result in an earlier start to the fall semester and a three-day, mid-semester fall break.

WMU-AAUP represents approximately 900 full-time faculty members at WMU and is the University's largest union.

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