WMU-AAUP Chapter Meeting | 1:30-3:30 p.m. | 157-159 Bernhard Center
As you may be aware, WMU-AAUP emails are being blocked as spam by WMU’s network provider, Merit Network, which for the past week has made it impossible for us to communicate electronically with the faculty in the usual way. Earlier this week, as this issue began to play out, we attempted to get the word out to all WMU-AAUP bargaining-unit members about our chapter meeting tomorrow via your department representatives. Thanks to all who helped to disseminate that message earlier this week.
Earlier today, we contacted the board-appointed faculty using each college’s faculty-group email address to make sure all members of the bargaining unit are aware of the chapter meeting tomorrow and receive the news from us about some recent developments at the bargaining table. It is not the ideal solution, and it is only a temporary one, but with the chapter meeting coming up tomorrow and critical issues on the bargaining table that we need to discuss with our members, we needed to be able to get information out to the faculty ASAP.
Using the college faculty-group lists, we believe that we have now successfully reached the faculty in all colleges except for Aviation, Engineering & Applied Sciences, and Fine Arts, for which we do not have functioning faculty-group email addresses. For faculty in these colleges, we have contacted the WMU-AAUP Association Council representatives for each department and asked them to forward today’s message to the board-appointed faculty members in their respective departments. All other members of the bargaining unit should have received it directly during business hours today (Thursday, July 17).
A version of the message below went out via Association Council reps earlier this week. In addition to wanting to make sure everyone receives it, we also have a bit of additional information to add today (regarding the administration’s announcement that it intends to change to a 24-pays schedule from the current 26-pays arrangement), so even if you saw it on Monday or Tuesday, you might want to check out this updated version now.
Here’s the skinny:
Please join us for the chapter meeting tomorrow — Friday, July 18) — 1:30-3:30 p.m. We will meet in rooms 157-159 of the Bernhard Center to discuss our ongoing contract negotiations.
Agenda for July 18 chapter meeting:
- The main agenda items will be compensation and healthcare. As most of you know from their email to the faculty last Friday, the administration intends to propose a “high deductible” health plan (HDHP) as an option for WMU faculty and staff beginning in 2016. Although the administration has yet to share the specifics of their plan, we have put together some resources for colleagues who are interested in learning more now. Please visit this link for information about HDHPs here on the blog and for links to a relevant resources from a variety of perspectives. The same information is also available in a hard-copy WMU-AAUP Bulletin sent out earlier this week to campus mailboxes and in a pdf attachment to today’s email message to the faculty as well (available here).
- Shared governance and the academic mission of the university will also be on the agenda, especially the status at the bargaining table of articles related to those issues. In light of recent developments at the table and the administration’s email to the faculty last week, which contained a surprisingly candid dismissal of the importance of discussing articles at the table that are central to such core academic values, it is important that we address these topics at the chapter meeting tomorrow.
- The administration’s plan to switch from 26 pays per year to 24 has generated a lot of feedback from colleagues regarding this proposal, a number of whom have identified compelling issues that affect members of our faculty in ways that make it critically important that we discuss this topic tomorrow at the chapter meeting.
On behalf of your WMU-AAUP negotiation team and chapter leadership, we extend our thanks to those of you who have generously shared your knowledge and expertise in the areas under discussion at the table. This negotiation is truly a collaborative effort, and your help continues to be welcome, gratefully received, and highly valued. We will of course continue to share information with you regarding progress at the table, and we hope to see all of you tomorrow at this very important chapter meeting.
And thanks once again to all of you who have shared your feedback, support, and expressions of solidarity. Things are starting to get interesting at the table, but your team is well prepared, disciplined, and unfazed. Please do come talk with them tomorrow.