MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Following months of bargaining including mediation, a new contract for the Northern Michigan University Faculty Union was up for ratification Tuesday afternoon. The union announced Tuesday night that the tentative contract agreement was voted down 137-92.
The union met Tuesday afternoon to ratify a new, five-year contract. Voting on the contract had been taking place since Friday.
NMU-AAUP President Dwight Brady hopes the two sides can get back to the table and quickly resolve the remaining issues.
“I knew there was a fair amount of resistance going into the vote, especially on the three percent cut to promotions,” said Brady. “This issue disproportionately impacts our younger faculty, and we will do our best to make this workable for them.”
Local 3 News spoke with the union’s Chief Negotiator prior to Tuesday’s meeting.
“It is very unusual,” said Lesley Putman, Chief Negotiator. “I’ve been here for 28 years, We have never had to work without a contract. They have always extended our contract. There was one year we didn’t settle until December. They always extended it, so… we didn’t like it. It was kind of a slap in the face just to pull the contract out from under us when we were in good faith bargaining.”
The union says inflation concerns also factored into the vote along with cuts to summer pay and professional development funds.
On Tuesday night Nothern Michigan University released the following statement:
“It is unfortunate that the AAUP ratification vote failed, but we will continue to work with them to reach an agreement as soon as possible.”
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