AAUP Claim #1

The AAUP Bargaining Team attempted to begin negotiations in good faith in May! However, the administration delayed the meeting until July and only came to the table after we filed an unfair labor complaint.

Reality

The University was ready to meet with the AAUP in person at any time and had mutually agreed that May 24 was the first date to negotiate. EMU-AAUP would not accept face-to-face negotiations and only wanted to meet remotely.

In order to effectively work across the table during negotiations, the administration believed that in-person negotiations provided the positive working environment necessary for both teams to negotiate effectively.

The AAUP eventually agreed to meet in person, but only after the University filed an unfair labor complaint.

Since the first negotiation session on July 15, the parties have met on July 21, July 25, July 28, August 2, August 4, August 11, August 15, August 17, August 22, August 23, August 24 and 25 august. In addition, the University has offered to meet every day until the end of August.

AAUP Claim #2

The administration has proposed an increase in our health premiums by more than 25% and a decrease in coverage.

Reality

The University has not proposed any changes to the plan networks, the physicians enrolled in the plans, and the services covered by the plans. Current health care options (PPO, High Deductible Health Plan and HMO) are still available to all teachers.

The health care options offered by the University are identical to those in place for other University bargaining units and non-unionized employees.

The University has proposed changes to the amounts that employees share in the cost of health care in amounts similar to those of other employees and comparable to those of other institutions.

AAUP Claim #3

The administration’s salary increase proposal was so small that, with rising insurance costs and inflation, it is effectively zero. The faculty did not receive any salary increases during the last contract extension.

Reality

Last year, the AAUP agreed to a contract extension in which they negotiated $1,840 per member (2% of the average faculty salary). This payment was consistent with peer universities in EMU, as can be found in this document [PDF]. It is also clear upon review of the document, which provides salaries dating back to 2018, that EMU AAUP salary changes over the past few years are similar to or better than peer universities.

The University’s original proposal this year called for a 2% annual increase over five years, which is in line with salary adjustments at peer universities (see link above).

The University has entered into agreements with other employee groups that offer salary increases similar to those offered at AAUP, including the agreements approved at the special meeting of the Board of Trustees on August 24, 2022.

AAUP Claim #4

EMU wants us to pay almost $300 for parking to cover the costs of the misguided parking privatization that the faculty vigorously opposed.

Reality

EMU students and staff have long paid to park on campus. Paid parking for these groups was in place long before the University entered into a public-private partnership. Faculty have resisted efforts to pay for parking like all students and employees. The rates offered for professors are no different from those for other employees, and the administration believes it is time to end this disparity.

AAUP Claim #5

Over the past five years, EMU has cut the education budget by more than $11 million while administrative budgets have remained stable or even increased.

Reality

Administrative budgets do not evolve in the same way as educational budgets. The largest number of administrators at UEM are in academic affairs. Compared to five years ago, there are still the same number of colleges and the same number of university departments, therefore, the administrative budget for academic affairs has not changed significantly during this period.

The education budget has been affected by the significant drop in the number of students and the retirement of around 200 teachers. Some departments lost almost 33% of student credit hours during this five-year period.

AAUP Claim #6

The Faculty Bargaining Team has presented all proposals in good faith and has clearly expressed our desire to negotiate. In response, the administration demanded that we accept their proposals and ran away from the table.

Reality

UEM remains committed to working in good faith with UEM-AAUP. No such histrionics, such as “storming off the table”, occurred. The conduct remained professional on both sides of the table.

The wage demands of the UEM-AAUP are excessive. Their demands for increases of 9% in the first year and 4.5% in subsequent years far exceed the salary agreements the University has reached with other employee groups and those of our peer universities.

The University offered a 2% salary increase to the Faculty, which the Faculty of the University of Toledo accepted this week.

As stewards of tuition fees and taxpayer funds, we must balance equitable wage increases with the growing financial needs of students.

The University prioritizes student support by keeping costs as manageable as possible while supporting our excellent faculty and providing the foundation to attract new faculty and retain current faculty.

AAUP Claim #7

Contract negotiations have stalled and are going to mediation. Our contract ends on August 31, 2022.

Reality

The University actually requested mediation in an attempt to restart negotiations. These are difficult and challenging circumstances, but we remain hopeful that we will find a way forward that leads to a settlement.

The University prioritizes student support by keeping costs as manageable as possible while supporting our excellent faculty and providing the foundation to attract new faculty and retain current faculty.

You can find the most up-to-date information at emich.edu/contract-negotiations.

AAUP Claim #8

Faculty quietly and respectfully entered the (University) building with signs and stood outside the union caucus room. The administration then called the campus police on us.

Reality

The picketing the union is referring to occurred in campus buildings.

The University has always respected the right of employees and other groups to picket peacefully. However, the group did not follow established University procedures for picketing inside a University building, and the University generally does not allow gatherings inside University buildings when such gathering is incompatible with the use of the building and could be disruptive.

AAUP Claim #9

EMU faculty salaries are among the lowest in the MAC. Since 2018, they haven’t even kept pace with inflation.

Reality

EMU faculty compensation is the fourth highest out of 12 MAC universities and the first among our MAC peer universities.

AAUP Claim #10

The EMU administration has cut the instructional budget by $11 million since 2017, but increased its own budget by $2 million. The number of faculty members has decreased by approximately 25% over the past five years.

Reality

Since 2017, student credit hours have decreased by 28%, resulting in fewer courses and a reduction in teaching expenses of 13.8%. During this period, there were two voluntary retirement programs, resulting in a significant reduction in faculty. As of fall 2017, there were 679 faculty members and as of August 1, 2022, there were 515 faculty members.

It is unclear to which budget the EMU-AAUP refers. What we do know is that institutional spending, which includes spending on central executive-level activities relating to management and long-term planning for the entire institution, has declined by 20.2% since 2017.

AAUP Complaint #11

The administration is demanding cuts to the health care budget for teachers, while increasing their own salaries.

Reality

The administration has asked the faculty to share health care costs, similar to other bargaining units and administrators, and has proposed a base salary increase for the faculty that more than covers and in some cases , far exceeds any increase in health care premiums. The University’s investment in total faculty compensation far exceeds the savings in health care costs. The statement regarding administrative salaries is not accurate – the University has not yet announced any changes in administrative remuneration.