Share This

Bargaining Updates August 2016

EMUFT has been bargaining the Full Time Lecturers contract with EMU administration. The FTL contract is important to all lecturers because we are one unit and support one another even though we have a separate contract for PTLs. And a strong FTL contract will help us get a strong PTL contract. Here's what happened so far in August.

Sept 3

The EMUFT bargaining team came to a tentative agreement on a two-year deal on the full-time lecturer collective bargaining agreement at about 2:30 am this morning. Next steps will include member information sessions and a vote on ratification. Look for a more detailed update and additional information about the info sessions and ratification process over the next few days.

 

Sept 1

  • Bargaining between EMUFT and EMU has continued this week. We are now bargaining with a third-party neutral mediator present.
  • We bargained all day on Tuesday, and yesterday EMUFT was at the bargaining table with EMU until 3:30 am. Compensation and salary issues continue to be key discussion points, as are the articles on Appointments, Leaves, Benefits, and Professional Development. In Benefits, EMU continues to assert that they will no longer cover domestic partners (at all), or provide primary medical insurance coverage for spouses who have access to insurance elsewhere. Some other benefits issues under discussion include parking and EMU contributions to TIAA-Cref.
  • We were able to tentatively agree on a number of articles this week, including: Recognition, Scope of Agreement, Membership, Evaluation & Promotion, Equal Employment Opportunity, Workload, Computation of Work Time, and a new article on Terminations and Layoffs.

Aug 21

Last Thursday morning, we engaged in significant discussion on several of EMU’s proposals in order to obtain clarity and understand what concerns are motivating their positions. These discussions are important because a clearer understanding helps us craft better counter-proposals.

On Thursday, Articles under discussion on Thursday included:  

  • Appointments & Reappointments
  • Layoffs  
  • Evaluation & Promotion  
  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Leaves of Absence

After taking a break and returning with EMUFT members in attendance, the questions and discussion at the bargaining table lasted several minutes before EMU’s team called a two-hour caucus and left the room. 

EMU also gave us counter-proposals on Workload and on Responsibilities and Professional Development in the last few minutes of bargaining on Thursday. There was not time on Thursday for discussion on those articles. We expect to be in bargaining sessions on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday this week.

Last week, many members and supporters sent notes of support, wore red in solidarity, sat in on bargaining, and attended the Thursday Bargaining Update meeting. 

To sit in on bargaining or show support from the caucus room, Contact Tim Allen, EMUFT Staff Organizer, at 313-633-4487 or emuftorganizer@gmail.com to schedule a time.

Our next Bargaining Update meeting is Thursday 8/25 at 11am in the EMUFT caucus room, McKenny 141, inside the Human Resources suite.  Get the latest information & show support for a fair contract for Lecturers. Wear red (your EMUFT T-shirt if you have one – we have some extras).

As ever, EMUFT is committed to maintaining forward momentum in bargaining, and we expect to continue a productive exchanges of ideas and proposals at the table this week. 

Come out and participate in bargaining to help get a strong contract for all lecturers. We are stronger when we stand together!

 

Aug 17

This week in bargaining, EMU demonstrated a level of disrespect that is simply breath-taking. EMU’s chief negotiator and head of academic human resources, David Woike, proposed that all benefits for unmarried partners be eliminated. Among other things, this includes eliminating:

  1. Health, vision, and dental insurance for partners;
  2. Access to tuition waivers for partners;
  3. In the event that a Lecturer dies, ability for the partner to temporarily continue medical insurance at their own expense through COBRA;
  4. In the event that a partner becomes ill, the ability for a Lecturer to take time off through FMLA to care for them;
  5. In the event that a partner dies, the ability for the Lecturer to take time off from work to attend the partner’s funeral;
  6. And possibly more - EMU could not answer questions about what impact this might have on coverage for the children of unmarried partners, for example.

When we asked EMU why they felt these changes were necessary, Woike said that EMU believes marriage is best for people. For those who are already married, Woike insisted that Lecturers provide annual proof to EMU in the form of marriage certificates!!!!

These proposals show a level of disrespect for Lecturers’ family structures that is truly stunning. EMU has traditionally prided itself on being a welcoming and inclusive place to work, teach, and learn, but this move smacks of exclusion and marginalization. We need to stand strong together to oppose this.

Let’s make it clear to EMU that they should stay out of our family lives and stop playing at being the marriage morality police. Come to tomorrow’s (Thursday 8/18) bargaining update meeting at 11am in McKenny 141. Wear red (your EMUFT T-shirt if you have one – we have some extras). Stand with your bargaining team and let’s tell EMU we won’t tolerate this kind of disrespect!

 

 

Aug 16

EMU wants you to volunteer your labor !

Two weeks ago, we proposed a fair and reasonable salary scale that would bring EMUFT salaries into line with those of lecturers at other comparable institutions. On Thursday the EMU Administration came back with not only the same minimum pay rates from 2012 and proposed 1% annual raises, but also massive cuts to benefits. Proposed cuts included lowered retirement contributions, loss of spousal benefits if insurance is offered at their employer, total loss of benefits for (unmarried) partners, and double digit percentage increases in insurance costs. Taken together, EMU's proposed economic package would amount to a pay cut for most lecturers!

Additionally, EMU has so far rejected our proposal to reduce workload to bring us into line with lecturers at other comparable colleges and universities. EMU also rejected against our proposal to clarify equivalency credits. When pushed, EMU could not offer any explanation for why they opposed our proposals.

EMU even proposed that we do additional work beyond our current workload for free! When two Lecturers  asked whether independent study courses they wereplanning for fall would be compensated,  EMU administrator David Woike told themno. but he encouraged them to do this work for free, anyway.

What we can do:

These are only proposals, and we do not have to accept them if members stand up together for what we need and deserve to do our jobs. Let's make it clear to EMU that all Lecturers need a raise, not a pay cut!

Come to the bargaining update meeting this Thursday at 11am in McKenny 141 to be part of the decision on next steps. All lecturers (PTL and FTL) are encouraged to attend!  

A strong contract is important because our workplace is our students' learning space, and if we work together we can make EMU great for both teaching and learning.

 

 

Aug 8

There's still time to request your EMU personnel file

The current FTL contract allows you to view and have a copy (for free) of the personnel file that EMU keeps on you, but the current process for correcting any errors or omissions is onerous. Because we believe that the accuracy of an employee’s personnel file is important, the EMUFT Bargaining Team proposed a streamlined process for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information, though EMU prefers to keep the language in the current contract. They also claimed they simply can’t imagine that any errors or problems could occur!

This raises a question: is your EMU personnel file accurate?

EMUFT members have been contacting Academic Human Resources to review their own personnel files.

You can have AHR make a copy of your file and if you are willing, share what you find with EMUFT Staff Organizer Tim Allen and the Bargaining Team. If there are any inaccuracies at all, the Bargaining Team wants to know about it so they can negotiate a streamlined process for correcting errors. Your participation will help demonstrate to EMU the importance of having a more reasonable process to ensure the accuracy of our personnel files. Contact Tim at 313-633-4487 or emuftorganizer@gmail.com.

To access your EMU personnel file, email EMU administrators David Woike (dwoike@emich.edu) and Mary Linblade (mary.linblade@emich.edu), using the template below.  Files can be viewed and copies retrieved from the EMU Academic Human Resources office (140 McKenny Hall).  

Dear EMU administrators,

My name is (name here). I am a Lecturer and Eastern Michigan University Federation of Teachers member interested in viewing and receiving a copy of my personnel file on (date and time here).

Sincerely,

(Name here)

Other Ways You Can Help

As we continue to work on getting the best contract we can for our members, it is important to remain united as a union. Our strength comes from our allies, our community, and most importantly our members. Over the summer our Bargaining Action Team (BAT) is continuing to organize initiatives and actions to support the bargaining team in its work.

We can use some more volunteers for specific tasks, or you can let us know what you are interested in doing. You can reply to this email or contact Tim Allen at 313-633-4487 or emuftorganizer@gmail.com.

A strong contract is important because our workplace is our students' learning space, and if we work together we can make EMU great for both teaching and learning.

 

 

Aug 1

As July comes to a close…

The EMUFT Bargaining Team has signed off (tentatively agreed) on 11 different articles in the FTL contract, and is close on four others. Several articles - Equal Employment Opportunity, Membership Dues, and Grievances – have passed back and forth several times and we hope to be able to TA these articles.

 

Equal Employment Opportunity/Non-discrimination

Of particular contention is the contract article on Equal Employment Opportunity which covers issues of workplace discrimination. In Michigan’s ever shifting political environment, having a contractual process to resolve issues is especially important, since state laws may not protect against some forms of workplace discrimination (for example, sexual orientation and gender identity). We have proposed allowing concerns about unprotected forms of discrimination to be open to resolution through the grievance and arbitration process, but we’re getting some pushback from EMU. EMU has argued that these kinds of issues simply aren’t problematic at EMU.

Can you help us make progress on this proposal?

Work Structure and Compensation

The bargaining team just started presenting Workload, Appointments, and Reappointments proposals and will continue with Evaluations and Promotions, Compensation, and Layoffs.  We are proposing a reduction in FTL workload and adding a Senior Lecturer rank. These conversations will continue through the month of August and are core issues of concern for many lecturers.

In order to make gains, we need your voice! Are you interested in workload, evaluations, promotions or related contract issues? Then we need your help:

  • Share your stories about how these issues impact you, your families, and your students
  • Sign up to sit in on upcoming bargaining sessions

We will be bargaining nearly every Tuesday and Thursday in August.  

Contact EMUFT Staff Organizer Tim Allen at 313-633-4487 or emuftorganizer@gmail.com to share your stories and commit to attending an upcoming bargaining session.