YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Eastern Michigan University the faculty voted to allow a strike over a labor dispute at a union meeting Tuesday night.
Members of EMU chapter of the American Association of University Teachers voted 91% in favor of authorizing the strike by more than 500 tenured professors.
The strike which will begin on Wednesday morning (September 7) is due to the repeated failure of the EMU administration to negotiate in good faith and find common ground on a new labor agreement.
“Our message to EMU students, parents and alumni is simple: EMU faculty stand up for you and for a quality education,” said Matt Kirkpatrick, associate professor of English language and literature at EMU and chair of the EMU-AAUP negotiating team. “But the EMU administration has let you down, raising its own salaries while trying to cut our compensation and repeatedly failing to negotiate in good faith.”
Prior to the vote to authorize the strike, the EMU-AAUP negotiating team had invited the EMU administration to continue negotiations on Monday and Tuesday, but they did not get a response.
A negotiation session with state mediators is scheduled for Wednesday morning, and EMU-AAUP negotiators will be present to reach a fair agreement as soon as possible.
“It is truly regrettable that the failure of the EMU administration at the negotiating table is causing delays and disruptions for our students,” said Mohamed El-Sayed, professor of engineering at EMU and president of EMU-AAUP. “We won’t be in our classrooms tomorrow, but our bargaining team will be at the bargaining table. We seek solutions that support our students and set the stage for a quality education at EMU over the long term.
The previous agreement covering more than 500 full professors and leading to tenure at EMU expired at midnight on August 31.
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