AAUP Ratifies Contract
NMU's American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has voted to ratify a new three-year contract. The final outcome of today’s vote was 179-55 in favor of the proposal, with one abstention and one vote disqualified. AAUP is the larger of two faculty bargaining units at NMU, with nearly 300 members.
"I’m pleased that it passed," said AAUP President Ron Sundell (Geography) after the votes were counted Wednesday night. "I think it showed we made progress in the last set of talks. However, there are still issues we will continue to address and monitor in the near future. When you have a contract that's signed, that doesn't mean we quit looking at finances of the university or listening to the concerns of our union members. We will continue to do all of that as we move ahead from here. But tonight it's ratified and that's what counts."
The agreement features an across-the-board salary increase of 2 percent for the current year. There is no base salary increase for the remainder of the contract term, but there is a $700 one-time payment to each AAUP member in the second year. The contract allows for either party to reopen the wage discussion in the final two years.
Both employee and university contributions to health care will increase. The university’s portion will go up by 7 percent the first year and 7.6 percent the remaining two years, with employee contributions rising at a similar rate. A new household member program will expand eligibility for the university’s health care plan.
Other changes include language that links tenure and promotion standards with peer institutions; a formalized conceptual framework for scholarship expectations; additional resources to support scholarship; and a departmental bylaws review process.
The AAUP did not approve the first negotiated agreement in September. The version ratified today requires final approval by the NMU Board of Trustees.