MARQUETTE, Mich.—The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees approved the previously negotiated contract between NMU and AFSCME Local 1094 at a special meeting Thursday afternoon. The union represents about 133 maintenance, dining services and police employees. Members had voted 61-30 in favor of the proposal in late July, but it was subject to official board approval. “We are pleased that our AFSCME employees were willing to work cooperatively to address health care in this challenging economic climate,” said Gavin Leach, vice president for finance and administration. “There is increasing pressure from state government on Michigan universities to move toward an 80/20 ratio in terms of how much employers and employees contribute toward health care.” One of the main contract changes is increasing the AFSCME employee contribution rate from 11 percent to 20 percent of health care insurance plan costs. Generic prescription drug co-pays are $10 at the NMU Health Center and $15 elsewhere, an increase of $5. Non-generic medications are $20 on campus and $30 elsewhere, a $10 increase. Wages remain the same over the life of the agreement, but either party may initiate an economic reopener in the final two years to discuss wages and fringe benefits. Retirement will be revised for new hires to provide a 7.25 percent university contribution, with an additional match of individual employee contributions up to 1.5 percent of their respective salaries. The new agreement is effective through Sept. 1, 2014.