AAUP labor contract ratified

Hannah Fermanich

The American Association of University Professors’ new labor contract is currently in the final stages of approval.

Negotiations between the AAUP and the university have come to a close as the tentative contract makes its way to the NMU Board of Trustees for final approval in a meeting on Friday, Sept. 21.

“We look forward to the Board of Trustees hopefully ratifying the contract on Friday,” said Ron Sundell, president of the NMU chapter of the AAUP. “The faculty can continue to focus on teaching, scholarly (work) and service.”

The contract was sent out to NMU faculty who are members of the AAUP for a vote that ended Monday, Sept. 17.

They received their ballots on Monday, Sept. 10, giving them a week to look over the contract and make their decision.

The AAUP hosted two informational meetings for members on Thursday, Sept. 13 and Monday, Sept. 17 to answer any questions regarding the contract.

Members of the AAUP ratified the contract with a vote of 226 to 29.

“The next step is to bring the now ratified contract to the Board of Trustees at its Friday, Sept. 21 meeting,” said Cindy Paavola, director of Communications and Marketing at NMU. “If the board approves the contract, it will be done as part of the formal business portion of the meeting.

“If approved by the board, it (the contract) goes into effect immediately, retroactive to the point of ratification.”

If the new contract is approved, it will stay in effect for three years until June 30, 2015, and then the process will start again on a new contract, according to Sundell.

The AAUP began working on the details for the new contract over a year ago with the official negotiations for the contract starting in the Winter 2012 semester.

According to Paavola, the administration and the AAUP have agreed to not divulge the contract details until the NMU Board of Trustees has had a chance to review it and make their final decision.