MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University’s Technical and Office Professional Staff (UAW 1950) ratified a new contract Thursday by a 95-32 vote. AFSCME 1094, composed of food service, maintenance and police employees, also ratified a wage and benefit reopener to its previously negotiated agreement by a 48-25 margin. Both deals were approved today by the NMU Board of Trustees.
The TOPS contract includes a $0.25 per hour base increase, which equates to 1.75 percent, in fiscal years 2013 and 2014. An additional $0.10 per hour equity increase will apply to the lowest-paid employees at each classification level. Members will also receive one-time payments of $300 and $200 over the two years. The TOPS union joins the other campus employee groups in shifting to a new health care plan that includes increases to copays and annual deductibles. The required health care contribution per member will increase each year of the contract, accounting for a 20 percent share of total health care costs on an annual basis. This contract expires June 30, 2014, with a possible one-year extension.
The AFSCME reopener resulted in a 1.5 percent base wage increase and a one-time distribution of a $150 university contribution to the pre-tax employee HRA accounts, or a taxable cash payment.
In other action at today’s meeting, the board:
▪Approved a new wildland firefighting academic minor and certificate program, effective fall 2013;
▪Approved fiscal year 2014 capital outlay project priorities, which universities are required to submit annually to the state. NMU’s top three priorities are a renovation and addition to the Learning Resources Center, an academic facilities upgrade project involving Forest Roberts Theatre, the McClintock Building and the Physical Education Instructional Facility and the renovation of Cohodas Hall.
▪Authorized a five-year charter contract (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2018) with Experiencia Preparatory Academy in Detroit, for which the board had previously authorized a charter;
▪Agreed to cancel classes for the annual Martin Luther King Day observance, beginning Jan. 21. University offices will remain open.
▪Agreed to establish a Center for Innovation and Industrial Technologies at NMU, whose mission is to provide students and employers with the required technical support and professional skills necessary to positively impact industry in the region and nation. The following departments will collaborate with the Center for Rural Community and Economic Development to better address the needs of regional employers through student and industry training programs: Technology and Occupational Sciences; Engineering Technology; and Continuing Education and Workforce Development.
▪Approved the presidential goals for 2012-13. Areas of concentration are enrollment/retention, branding/marketing/identity/presence, financial management, endowments and excellence/experience.
▪Authorized $216,000 in repairs to Kaye House, as outlined by facilities personnel;
▪Authorized the sale of property at 603 W. Baraga Ave. for $28,000;
▪Accepted $2,000 in gifts and about $21,000 in external grants;
▪Approved changing the name of the sociology and social work department to the sociology, social work and anthropology department;
▪Finalized a meeting schedule for calendar year 2013 that includes the following dates: Feb. 14-15 (retreat); May 2-3; July 11-12; Sept. 19-20; and Dec. 12-13.
▪Granted professor emeritus status to Cornell DeJong, social work, and Rodney Clarken, education;
▪Approved board standing committees, which will be chaired by the following: Sook Wilkinson, academic affairs; Stephen Gulis Jr., finance; and Rick Popp, executive.
▪Received an update on the new Jamrich Hall academic facility and an NMU Foundation report on fundraising scenarios for private donor naming opportunities for spaces within the building. The board also approved a revised university policy on naming opportunities; and
▪Approved resolutions commending outgoing trustees Brian Cloyd and Jon LaSalle for their service to the board and university.