NMU, faculty union in agreement in wage reopener

Hats off to both the Northern Michigan University administration and the school’s faculty union for successfully concluding negotiations under a wage reopener approved several years ago.

The recent memorandum of understanding stipulates a 6.25% wage increase in the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1 and a 2.75% increase in the second year beginning July 1, 2025, which is also the final year of the current five-year contract.

This proposal affects nearly 400 employees of the university consisting of about 300 full-time faculty and 100 contingent faculty, members of the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers.

These rates replace the current 2.5% yearly increase originally negotiated for the period.

NMU President Brock Tessman, in a written statement, said: “I truly appreciate the good-faith process that took place back in 2021 to include a wage reopener option and the successful discussions that have taken place resulting in this MOU. With more stable enrollment and state appropriation funding than was the case in 2021, we are able to financially recognize their outstanding work in this manner.”

Noted Rick Mengyan, president of NMU’s AAUP/AFT: “We appreciate that NMU’s current administration was willing to take a completely different approach by engaging in collegial and open discussions regarding increasing base compensation for AAUP faculty. While there is still a gap between where our faculty will be with this agreement and catching up with inflation, we recognize that the administration’s willingness to work together and their starting to invest in our AAUP/AFT faculty are huge steps in the right direction to building on a foundation for better working conditions.”

Contract negotiations are never easy in these challenging times. That NMU and its employees were able to conclude talks on a positive note must be viewed as very good news.


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