Thanks to the new “right-to-work” laws in Michigan, a slow economic recovery, a political climate that is increasingly unsupportive of public education, and a legislative agenda dictated by well-financed organizations with corporatization on their minds, WMU faculty are facing new and unique challenges as we approach our 2014 negotiations.
That is why the WMU-AAUP is working on a year-long campaign of events and actions to build solidarity on campus and support for 2014 negotiations. Check out the campaign calendar to see some of what’s in store this fall.
What is a contract campaign?
A contract campaign engages the faculty to build strength and solidarity in advance of and during negotiations and supports the negotiation team. An effective campaign is one in which the faculty is visible, vocal, and united. It sends a powerful message that we have no intention of assuming a submissive posture in our negotiations and makes clear that we are determined to stand up for the values of academic excellence over political expediency.
Why this matters
It would be great if once the faculty has won a benefit, we could consider it permanent from that point forward. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. A benefit won by the faculty one year is often in the administration’s crosshairs the next time we’re at the table. The administration comes into every negotiation demanding concessions, and our considerable success over the years in holding them off is a direct result of the collective action of the faculty. In other words, our ability to win at the table depends on the visible and vocal support of the faculty.
We owe it to the colleagues who founded our union, who have led the Chapter in the years since, and who have negotiated our contracts, fought for good salaries and healthcare, defended academic freedom, insisted on shared governance and due process, and refused to allow administrative fiat to be “the Western way.” We owe it to them – and to ourselves – not to allow their work to be undone.
What you can do
- Join us at campaign events and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
- Keep up with news and events and make sure you never miss a call to action:
Want to do more?
- Call us (345-0151) or email us to join the campaign team.
- Answer the call for nominations for the 2014 negotiation team THIS FALL.
Get ready to get active! Our strength is in our numbers.