Eastern Michigan University professors reach tentative contract agreement, return to classroom

Posted at 6:10 AM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 14:03:49-04

(WXYZ) — Eastern Michigan University and its union members have reached a tentative contract agreement following conflicts over wages and health care benefits in their previous contract.

This means professors at EMU will now be returning to the classroom.

"We could not have done this without all of the support from students the community and the union organizers," The union tweeted late Sunday night.

The union's Twitter confirmed that the strike between professors and the university was over.

This comes after a lawsuit and a strike between the union and university as contract negotiations stalled out.

Professors and staff say they were unsatisfied with the university’s offer of a 15.2% pay increase over five years.

The university’s lawsuit was an attempt to force faculty to return to work.

EMU also posted on social media saying “following marathon bargaining sessions between the administration and faculty union bargaining teams...faculty are returning to the classroom and a full schedule of classes will take place."

Eunice Jeffries, Chair, Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents released the following statement regarding the tentative contract agreement:

"This is indeed a good day for Eastern Michigan University students and our campus community. I congratulate and thank the bargaining teams from the faculty union and the administration for all the hard work, dedication and focus to reach a tentative agreement late last night after marathon bargaining over the weekend. Working through differences together makes for a stronger Eastern Michigan University. My fellow colleagues on the Board of Regents have tremendous respect for everyone involved and, most of all, are pleased that students can resume their full educational experience."

James Smith, President of Eastern Michigan University also released the following statement:

"Credit goes to the bargaining teams from the faculty union and the administration who were determined to find solutions to highly complex issues on a number of fronts. Negotiations of this nature are never easy, and sometimes finding common ground is highly challenging. We're grateful to our faculty partners across the University. Most importantly is the resolution of this for our students. They want to be back to a full schedule of classes and we're pleased things can now return to a more normalized setting for them. I feel comfortable saying, on behalf of the faculty and the administration, our students are truly our highest priority."