WMU News

Tentative faculty contract agreement set for September vote

July 14, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University and its chapter of the American Association of University Professors have reached a tentative agreement in principle on a new three-year contract.

The tentative accord calls for a 4 percent across-the-board increase in each of the contract's three years. Also, to bring WMU faculty salaries more in line with those of other research-oriented universities, there will be increases of 2.5 percent in the first year and one-half percent in each of the remaining two years. Other salary adjustments include a merit increase of one-half percent in each of the first two years of the agreement and a one-half percent salary compression increase in the second year to help equalize the salary rates between newly-hired and long-term faculty members.

"I have said since coming to WMU that we need to improve our faculty compensation if we are to compete with other research institutions. However, we must do this in a way that maintains our position as one of America's best college buys," said President Floyd. "This new contract will accomplish those objectives and, in addition, it will recognize our faculty's contribution to meeting our research goals."

The union membership will vote on the tentative agreement Sept. 7 after faculty members return to campus for the fall semester. Pending union ratification, the Board of Trustees will vote on the new contract at its next regular meeting, which is scheduled for Sept. 17. Full details of the agreement will be released in September, pending positive action by the AAUP membership and trustees.

"President Floyd has lived up to his promise to make improvements in compensation for faculty," said AAUP President Ariel Anderson of the tentative contract. "In addition, the administration has agreed to a number of improvements in faculty benefits that will promote a positive climate on campus. There are many 'win-win' solutions represented in the tentative agreement. This has been a very successful round of negotiations and the new provisions we have tentatively agreed to will certainly strengthen an already-strong collective bargaining agreement."

In addition to reaching this agreement in principle, WMU and AAUP officials have agreed to extend the current contract, which expires on Sept. 6, to allow time for the ratification process.

This year's agreement marks the earliest that negotiations have been concluded since the AAUP and WMU began collective bargaining. Negotiations began on June 3 and there were 10 negotiating sessions.

"I am absolutely delighted that we have reached an agreement so early in the negotiating process," said President Floyd. "This is a real tribute to the way the negotiations were conducted. The work of the negotiating teams, led by Tom Hustoles, our chief negotiator; Chet Rogers, the University's director of contract administration; and Bob Ricci, the AAUP's chief negotiator, was nothing less than superb. I will enthusiastically recommend this contract to our board, once it is approved by the union's membership."

Media contact: Matt Kurz, 616 387-8400, matt.kurz@wmich.edu

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