Faculty and administration at Northern Michigan University continue to negotiate faculty contracts

North Central UP

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Contract negotiations between the NMU faculty union and administration are still underway to determine salaries.

Faculty at NMU want to use a formula that would bring all full-time faculty within 3-percent of the average national salary for their respective disciplines. According NMU-AAUP, the administration’s counter offer on June 9 removed the market adjustment and replaced it with a 3% bonus in year one that would not increase base pay. Dr. Lesley Putman, chief negotiator for the NMU-AAUP says the market adjustment was their top priority.

“Bonuses won’t keep our base pay from falling further behind our peers, and it makes it harder for us to hire and retain quality faculty members. We have said it over and over that you can’t recruit top talent with below average pay, but that seems to be what the administration is convinced it can do,” said Putman.

Union leaders cite data from the College and University Professional Association as an example of the difference between salaries paid to faculty and to administrators.

“The chart clearly shows that when compared to our national peers, the vast majority of NMU faculty fall below the mean depending on their discipline, but all of our upper administrators are above, and in some cases significantly above their national peers using data from the same source,” said Dr. Brandon Canfield, chemistry professor and data analyst for the faculty union.

Talks will continue, but the current contract expires on June 30th. We contacted Northern Michigan University for a statement on the matter and this is what they provided.

“We look forward to continued talks concerning the topics that are on the table and moving through the negotiation process towards a mutual agreement. We will continue to work through issues, including salaries, with both the Board of Trustees and the faculty Union in a timely manner. The current contract goes through June 30, 2021.”

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