AAUP Ratifies Contract
Northern's largest faculty union – the American Association of University Professors – voted Monday to ratify a new three-year contract. It includes the following changes: compensation increases, along with varying market and "time in rank" adjustments; a new promotion formula; and procedures for addressing changes in the ratio of tenured/tenure-track to non-tenured faculty. The final vote tally was 144-13 in favor of the proposal. AAUP represents 283 faculty members.
Base salaries will increase across the board by 2.25 percent for the current fiscal year, 4.1 percent for 2007-08 and 4 percent in 2008-09. In the first year of the contract, AAUP faculty will also receive market adjustments, based on data comparisons provided by the College and University Professional Association. They will also receive “time in rank” adjustments, which provide varying compensation increases based on years of service within each classification – assistant, associate or full professor. The combined adjustments would add an average 3 percent to members’ base salaries on top of the across-the-board increase of 2.25 for the first year.
Under the new promotion formula, faculty would receive 3 percent of their base salary plus $6,000 when they ascend to the rank of associate professor and 3 percent plus $8,000 when they achieve full professor status.
AAUP President Krista Clumpner (AIS) said, “I am proud of the work done by both negotiating teams. It was a difficult task and reflects well on all involved that we came to such a fair agreement.”
New language was added to the contract regarding the ratio of tenured/tenure-track to non-tenured faculty. In a presentation to the university's trustees in December, Northern's mix was reported as approximately 74 percent T/TTF and 26 percent NTF, while the state’s average is approximately 60/40. The contract requires that a reduction of more than 5 percent in any year – from 74 to 68 percent, for example – be reviewed by the Educational Policies Committee of AAUP.
Benefit changes include increases in maximum health-care contributions made by AAUP employees, which will be pre-paid; and expanded dental coverage from a single-person plan to a two-person plan in the second year.
The NMU Board of Trustees gave preliminary approval of the contract at its Aug. 11 meeting, so no additional board action is required to finalize the plan.