MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Northern Michigan University (NMU) Board of Trustees approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the university and its Technical, Office, and Professional (TOP) union, UAW Local 1950, at a special meeting held this week, according to a release from NMU.

The memorandum was created separately from the current agreement between NMU and the TOP union, which NMU says contains no wage reopener.

New hire rates for each employee classification will increase immediately. All other annual increases noted in the current agreement between the union and NMU will be maintained.

The MOU accelerates the university’s wage scale timeline, which will raise the minimum hourly rate for employees from $12.75 to $15.10, effective Jan. 24. NMU says roughly 70% of members will receive an increase in hourly pay.

“This will ensure that all TOP employees at Northern make $15.10 per hour effective with the date of the MOU rather than having to wait until July 1, 2025 to reach that minimum level,” said Gavin Leach, NMU vice president for Finance and Administration. “We believe this change will enhance NMU’s ability to attract and retain top employees in the local market.”

Chair Steve Young and Vice Chair Alexis Hart praised university and union leaders for working together to promptly draft and sign the MOU.

“One reason we wanted to hold this meeting today was so that the new hourly minimum would be reflected in the next paycheck,” Young added.

Additionally, the board approved the following committee appointments for 2023:

  • Finance: Alexis Hart, chair; Greg Seppanen; Missie Holmquist; and a new appointee
  • Academic Affairs: Lisa Fittante, chair; Greg Seppanen; and two slots reserved for new appointees
  • Executive: Young, chair; Hart; and Fittante
  • Ad Hoc Policy Review: Holmquist, chair; Fittante; and two slots reserved for new appointees

The spaces reserved for new board members will be filled by the new appointees announced by Governor Whitmer on Thursday.

Young also announced that Fittante and Hart will be ex-officio appointments to the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees.