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EMU faculty union negotiator: "Didn't get everything we wanted" but made gains as strike ends

Eastern Michigan University

The faculty strike at Eastern Michigan University is over.

The EMU administration and the roughly 500 tenured and tenure-track faculty represented by the EMU American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have come to an agreement.

On Monday morning, EMU students and professors were back in classrooms after a tentative contract was agreed upon late Sunday night.

Details won’t be released until the membership begins voting on the contract in the coming days. What is known is that it’s a four-year deal with raises taking place in years one through three, and salaries re-opening in year four.

Matt Kirkpatrick is the lead negotiator for the AAUP.

“I think we fought off the worst changes to health care, and those were hugely important. We didn’t get everything we wanted, obviously, and we made a lot of gains for our members. Our faculty as a whole, I think, will come out of this better than when they went in, and that’s what we were fighting for.”

EMU spokesperson Walter Kraft said the school’s main challenge was to avoid raising costs on students.

“How do we manage this process, the faculty’s request for pay increases — that are justified — but how do we manage that with the university’s overall budget?” Kraft said.

The AAUP’s executive committee will vote on the changes on Monday. Then, after the bargaining committee approves it, the contract is constructed and presented to union membership. They will then have seven days to review and vote on it.

Josh Hakala, a lifelong Michigander (East Lansing & Edwardsburg), comes to Michigan Radio after nearly two decades of working in a variety of fields within broadcasting and digital media.
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