Judge denies EMU's request for temporary restraining order in faculty strike

Posted at 9:15 AM, Sep 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-09 17:20:00-04

(WXYZ) — A Washtenaw County Circuit Court judge has denied a request by Eastern Michigan University for a temporary restraining order that would have required striking faculty to return to the classrooms.

According to a press release from EMU, while the judge did deny the restraining order, they did set a hearing for the university's request for a preliminary injunction for Friday, September 16.

Covering the Eastern Michigan University faculty strike

“Now that their unsupported claim for a temporary restraining order to force EMU faculty back to work has failed, it’s time to focus on good faith negotiations so we can reach a fair agreement that supports our students," said Mohamed El-Sayed, professor of engineering at EMU and president of EMU-AAUP, in a press release.

Professors at Eastern Michigan University will remain on the picket line Friday.

"I feel like it'll affect me because I'm a senior. I'm supposed to graduate next year. I don't know if they'll still let us pass or how it's supposed to go," one EMU student said earlier this week.

According to the school, other employees like department heads and lecturers can still hold classes. On Wednesday, students were told to report to class and wait 15 minutes to see if their professor showed up.

Many said they’ve already experienced canceled classes.

"We're fighting for equity for all of us. We are very much committed to our students and education at its best," an EMU professor said.

As for the faculty, health care costs are top of mind when it comes to negotiations.

The union has already said no to a 15.2% pay raise over five years, something EMU administrators called disappointing.

“Our primary focus has and continues to be getting faculty back in the classroom so that our students can continue their education,” said Walter Kraft, University vice president for communications, in a press release. “The disruption to our students has already been significant. Meanwhile, negotiations have been underway under the guidance and support of an independent State-appointed mediator, with a State-appointed fact finder soon to be involved as well. These processes, designed to find common ground in labor disputes, should be allowed to play out”