YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) — Eastern Michigan University's faulty has voted to strike.
A spokesperson for the Eastern Michigan University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors says 91% of the vote was in favor of going out on strike starting Wednesday.
“Our message to EMU students, parents and alumni is simple: EMU faculty are standing up for you and for quality education,” said Matt Kirkpatrick, associate professor of English language and literature at EMU and chair of the EMU-AAUP negotiating team in a news release. “But the EMU Administration has let you down, raising their own salaries while trying to reduce our compensation, and repeatedly failing to bargain in good faith.”
Eastern Michigan said Tuesday night that it plans to continue negotiating with the faculty union.
“The union’s call for a strike impacts one group on Eastern’s campus more than any other – the University’s students,” Walter Kraft, EMU's vice president of communications, said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that rather than continue to follow the mediator’s path, with active negotiations still underway, the faculty union is asking its members to walk out and disrupt students’ education just seven days into the semester.
EMU students are being advised to go to their scheduled classes and wait at least 15 minutes to see if a professor will be teaching. Students can also reach out to their instructors ahead of time.
“We understand the union’s frustration with being asked to share more of the increasing costs of providing healthcare to employees and families. But there are very few employers and employees in the United States, or among the other bargaining units at this University, that have not had to make similar adjustments to health care costs,” Kraft said.