NMU board approves new faculty contract

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees on Friday unanimously approved the proposed contract with the NMU-American Association of University Professors union and a letter of agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ Local 1094.

“First, we offer our sincere thanks to the negotiating teams representing both the university and the NMU faculty union,” said NMU Board Chair Tami Seavoy. “They have tirelessly and sincerely represented the respective parties through a long process requiring tremendous effort by all involved and we owe them a debt of gratitude.

“We believe that the agreement signed today serves the collective interests of NMU faculty, the university and our students, and will allow us to work together on the exciting initiatives that lie ahead.”

The NMU-AAUP faculty contract includes a number of items, including calling for a 2.5% increase in base pay in the first year of the contract, a 2% increase in the second and third years, and a 2.5% increase in the fourth and fifth years. Full-time faculty in the first year will receive a one-time payment of a 2.5% increase in their base pay.

Board Vice Chair Steve Young said this agreement represents a “significant” increase in salaries over a five-year period and adds a substantial investment in the faculty. He also mentioned NMU is investing one-time dollars the state has provided as part of an overall plan to maintain and build a university infrastructure.

“This is good for the university and our students, who all have a common goal, I know, of making this university an even better place, and I think approving this negotiated agreement is in keeping with that goal,” Young said.

The faculty had been working without a contract since it expired on July 1.

The union voted on Monday night to ratify the most recent five-year contract proposal by a vote of 197-30.

The board-approved contract will expire on June 30, 2026.

The AFSCME letter of agreement was based on a contractual wage reopener, NMU said. Modifications include an extended contract period through Sept. 30, 2025. AFSCME employees will receive a 2% base salary increase in three of the four years and a one-time payment of 2% of base salary in the second year.

The two parties also agreed to collapse the salary scale for some employees from four steps to two — with a higher starting wage–to align with other AFSCME positions.

“We’re pleased that the wage reopener also allowed us to agree to a contract extension, which provides for longer-term security for the AFSCME employees,” Seavoy said.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the NMU Board of Trustees will be held Dec. 9-10, in advance of mid-year commencement.

The faculty union on Friday issued a statement on the board’s vote.

“Northern Michigan University’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors would again like to thank the students, members of the community and other union members in Marquette County who supported us through one of the most distressing faculty contract negotiations in NMU history,” it said.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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