NMU faculty union says they are now working without a contract

North Central UP

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The NMU faculty union’s contract was set to expire at midnight on July 1.

University administration and the union were in negotiation for a new contract before the expiration time but did not reach an agreement. Union President Dwight Brady says he asked the Board of Trustees to grant a contract extension but it was not approved.

“I was a bit surprised that the contract was not extended, but I am still hopeful we can reach an agreement soon,” said Brady.

Contract negotiations have been ongoing since March and talks in regard to financial items began in May. Compensation is still the sticking point according to Brady.

“We took one for the team last year to help the university get through the pandemic. We agreed to a one-year contract that froze salaries and made deep cuts to summer pay and professional development funding. Now, we simply want to get back to pre-COVID levels of compensation,” said Brady.

A public employer like NMY continues to pay wages at the levels in place when the previous contract expired according to the Michigan Public Employment Relations Act. Any wage increases negotiated in a new agreement are not retroactive for the period employees worked without a contract unless agreed upon by the employer.

The following statement was provided on behalf of Northern Michigan University administration.

“While we are disappointed an agreement with the AAUP faculty union was not finalized in June, we expect that an agreement can be reached quickly. It is important that we continue productive negotiations on the outstanding issues so that everyone at the university can move forward as we plan for an exciting fall semester on campus. During our extended negotiation period, our faculty will continue to be paid and their benefits continue normally.”

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