Board of Trustees to consider four-year contract with AFSCME during special meeting

Contact: Megan Looker

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees will meet via virtual platform for a special meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16. The primary agenda item is to consider approval of a labor contract with Local 1668 and Council 25 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union (AFSCME). The livestream is available at

The University and AFSCME reached a tentative agreement on a four-year labor contract on Nov. 3. The local union chapter, which represents 301 members who work in building maintenance and custodial capacities, dining services, landscaping and several other roles, ratified the tentative agreement on Nov. 11. The contract would be effective immediately following the board’s vote of approval through Aug. 12, 2025.

In each of the four years of the contract for 2021 through 2025, the agreement provides for wage increases that vary based on the division and pay grade level of the position. A 2% to 3.75% increase would take effect with the first full pay period after the board’s vote for year one, and the following yearly increases would be reflected in the first full pay period in July. The increases range from 2% to 2.5% in year two, 2% to 2.25% in year three and 2% for all members in year four.

The new agreement calls for health care plan changes that align with those for the WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors and non-bargaining staff in 2022. It also provides for the health care plan to match the faculty health care plan each calendar year through the four-year period; premiums will also be increased to align AFSCME member rates with faculty employee contribution rates by 2025.

Individuals who wish to address the board during public comment periods of the special meeting must notify Dr. Kahler Schuemann by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15. For additional details, find the board’s full agenda online.

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