Letter to the Faculty: Details of Tentative Agreement Now Available

September 8, 2014

Dear colleagues:

As you know, last Friday night our WMU-AAUP bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the administration’s team on the 2014-17 contract. The WMU-AAUP Executive Committee has voted to bring the tentative agreement to the board-appointed faculty for a ratification vote.

As the first step toward the ratification vote, we have put together a document outlining the details of the tentative agreement. That document can be viewed here.

On Friday, September 12, we will hold the first of two informational meetings to discuss the tentative agreement, in accordance with procedures articulated in the WMU-AAUP Constitution and By-Laws. This informational meeting will be at 1:30 p.m. in rooms 208-209 of the Bernhard Center. We are working now on scheduling the second of the two informational meetings, which will take place some time during the week of September 15.

Additionally, and also according to our constitutional requirements, will make available and publicize the full text of the articles included in the tentative agreement as it will appear in the 2014-17 Agreement upon ratification. As of this writing, the two teams are still finalizing the formatting of the articles that were TA’ed last Friday night. (To give you an idea of what we are dealing with, at least one article currently exists only in handwritten, photocopied form, complete with the signatures of the chief negotiators of both teams.) When we have the finalized versions of all the TA’ed articles, we will make them available to the faculty.

Finally, we will schedule a ratification vote. This will be a secret-ballot vote, at a location and time to be announced soon. All dues-paying members of the WMU-AAUP are entitled to participate in the ratification vote.

We know how anxious everyone is to see the details, so please see the summary document, linked here, which explains the changes to our existing contract language per the tentative agreement, pending ratification by the faculty and by the WMU Board of Trustees.

As I wrote to our WMU-AAUP Association Council representatives over the weekend, no one ever gets everything they want in a negotiation. But thanks to the perseverance of our team and the overwhelming support of the faculty, we not only got quite a lot of what we wanted, but we gave up almost nothing. It’s been a hard road the last four months, but I believe all that work has paid off, and I think you are going to like what you see.

I hope to see you at one of the upcoming informational meetings so that you can get answers to any questions you might have for us.

Thank you again for all you’ve done to help get us here. It is an honor to work alongside you as your colleague and to serve you as your chapter president.

In solidarity,

Lisa C. Minnick
President, WMU-AAUP
Associate Professor of English
and Gender & Women’s Studies
Western Michigan University