CMU officials reach agreements with two unions, faculty still negotiating

Central Michigan University officials and the Police Officers Association of Michigan ratified a three-year contract on Thursday. The contract is waiting to be signed by the union members.

The new contract includes a two percent wage increase in the first year, a university contribution of 89 percent of members core insurance plan premiums. The contract also lets union members keep the same wage and health care contribution adjustments in years two and three as the professional and administrative employees.

Kevin Smart, director of employee relations at CMU, said it's important to reaching the contract before the expiration date helps create a smooth transition for union members.

Reaching contract agreements before the end of the current contract avoids the provisions of Michigan Public Act 54, which bans retroactive payment of wage benefit increases.

Smart said the POAM went for what's commonly referred to as a "me, too" type of contract for compensation.

"The union has agreed that they will accept whatever the university provides to the (professional and administrator staff) those years," he said.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has come to a tentative agreement as well. AFSCME represents 196 employees on campus, including custodians, groundskeepers and warehouse workers.

Details of the agreement cannot be released per restrictions placed on the bargaining process, Smart said.

The Faculty Association's contract will expire June 30 and the group has not yet reached a tentative agreement with administrators. Bargaining committees for both parties will be meeting Sunday for another round of negotiations.

Joshua Smith, president of the Faculty Association and a professor of philosophy, addressed CMU's Board of Trustees during their Tuesday meeting. He said the two groups had a "marathon session" of negotiations on June 17, discussing issues for more than 12 hours.

"We see this an an opportunity to set a tone for future contract negotiations," Smith said. "We hope to have this done in a timely and constructive manner"


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