Jan. 30 chapter meeting and absentee voting

We’ve been hearing from colleagues who are interested in voting on the question of confidence in the leadership of Provost Tim Greene but who will not be able to attend the WMU-AAUP chapter meeting tomorrow afternoon.

In order to accommodate all faculty who wish to participate in the vote, we are working on ways to make that possible and will be in touch soon with further information.

Colleagues who are available tomorrow afternoon (January 30) are urged to attend the chapter meeting and participate in this important discussion. We will meet at 1:30 p.m. in rooms 157-159 of the Bernhard Center.

All members of the WMU-AAUP bargaining unit are invited to attend and eligible to vote.

For updates on this developing situation, please follow the WMU-AAUP on Facebook and Twitter and watch for updates on this site.

Update from Jan. 23 meeting; special chapter meeting scheduled for Jan. 30

At the chapter meeting on Friday, January 23, the faculty voted to authorize the WMU-AAUP to put the question of confidence in Provost Tim Greene to a faculty vote.

In authorizing the vote, faculty members present cited a pattern of behavior, including Provost Greene’s recent decision not to renew the contract of CAS Dean Alex Enyedi, along with concerns about a perceived lack of respect for the faculty and for shared governance, lack of transparency in decision-making, mishandling of gender equity cases, problems with the academic program review, failure to communicate appropriately with the faculty, and other concerns.

The faculty also directed the WMU-AAUP leadership to call an emergency chapter meeting next week for further discussion. That meeting has been scheduled for Friday, January 30, at 1:30 p.m. (location TBA).

In other news, the proposal to decrease dues from 0.83 percent of salary to 0.8 percent was approved and will go into effect as soon as the change can be made in the payroll office.

All bargaining-unit members will receive notification about these developments on Monday via email. In the meantime, please share this information with faculty colleagues.

Thanks to all who came out for the January 23 meeting for your attendance and for your thoughtful and wise words. The administration would do well to listen to the voices of the faculty.

We look forward to another lively discussion at the meeting on January 30. Please plan to attend if you can.


Chapter meeting next Friday, January 23

Friday, January 23, at 1:30 p.m.
105-107 Bernhard Center

Please mark your calendar for next Friday, January 23, for a special chapter meeting to consider a new dues proposal developed by the WMU-AAUP budget committee. We will meet at 1:30 p.m. in rooms 105-107 of the Bernhard Center.

The proposal on the agenda is for a reduction of bargaining-unit member dues from what is now 0.83 percent of base salary to 0.80 percent. The chapter officers, Executive Committee (college representatives), and Association Council (department reps) have recommended that this proposal be brought forward to the faculty for discussion and vote.

All dues-paying members are entitled to vote and encouraged to attend the chapter meeting.

In addition to the dues proposal, the agenda also includes discussion of the interim sexual misconduct policy announced by President Dunn earlier this week. And as always, the floor will be open for discussion of topics raised by faculty attendees.

January 23 chapter meeting, dues proposal, and year-end notes

Mark your calendar for Friday, January 23, 2015, for a special chapter meeting to consider a new dues proposal developed by the WMU-AAUP budget committee. The meeting is at 1:30 p.m. in rooms 105-107 of the Bernhard Center.

The proposal on the agenda would, if approved by the faculty, reduce the dues of bargaining-unit members from the current 0.83 percent of base salary to 0.80 percent. The chapter officers, Executive Committee (college representatives), and Association Council (department reps) have recommended that this proposal be brought forward to the faculty for discussion and vote.

All dues-paying members are entitled to vote and encouraged to attend the January 23 meeting.

Additionally, the budget committee, chaired by chapter treasurer Dominic Nicolai, continues to research various models of assessing dues and service fees. The committee welcomes input from the membership and will use the results of their investigation in the possible development of a new dues structure for the 2016 budget.

*               *               *               *               *

As we disperse for the holiday break, please note that the WMU-AAUP chapter office will be closed until Monday, January 12, 2015, so that our intrepid and invaluable office staff (administrative manager Susan Esman and administrative assistant Lori Maguire) can enjoy a well-deserved break over the holidays. As always, you can reach your chapter officers via email, although we ask for your patience if we are not able to respond immediately during the break:

  • President Lisa Minnick: lminnick(at)wmuaaup.net
  • VP-elect Brian Tripp (term begins January 1, 2015): btripp(at)wmuaaup.net
  • Contract Administrator Marilyn Kritzman: mkritzman(at)wmuaaup.net
  • Grievance Officer John Saillant: jsaillant(at)wmuaaup.net

Finally, many thanks to outgoing WMU-AAUP Vice President Bill Warren, whose term will expire on December 31, for his outstanding service to the chapter and to the faculty. We also owe thanks to our outgoing Executive Committee representatives: Ed Harkness, College of Fine Arts; Jo Wiley, Haworth College of Business; and Jim Muchmore, College of Education and Human Development. Much of the work performed by these dedicated colleagues is unsung, but all of it is critical to the effectiveness of the chapter on behalf of the faculty. Next time you see them, please do let them know how much they are appreciated.

Best wishes to all for an enjoyable holiday break and for a fulfilling, healthy, and prosperous new year, from the officers and staff of the WMU-AAUP.

Fall 2014 chapter meeting tomorrow

WMU-AAUP Fall 2014 Chapter Meeting
Friday, October 17, 1:30-3 p.m.

157-159 Bernhard Center

Agenda items include the following:

  • Nominations for chapter officer positions and Executive Committee seats
  • Election information
  • Chapter membership and finances under “right to work”
  • APR&P
  • Open floor

All members of the board-appointed faculty are encouraged to attend.


Ratification Process and Absentee Ballots

I. Chapter meeting tomorrow

Please join us tomorrow (Friday, September 12) for the special chapter meeting to discuss the tentative agreement. We’ll meet at 1:30 p.m. in the South Ballroom of the Bernhard Center.

II. Ratification vote September 19

The contract ratification vote is scheduled for Friday, September 19, in rooms 157-159 of the Bernhard Center, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

While the polls are open, we will also have space at the Bernhard Center (adjacent to the polling area), where team members and chapter officers will be available to meet with colleagues to discuss the TA and answer questions.

III. Absentee Ballots

Colleagues who will be away from campus on the day of the ratification vote or who do not conduct their usual daily business on the central campus may vote by absentee ballot.

If you need an absentee ballot, please call 345-0151 or email staff@wmuaaup.net to request one.

Absentee ballots may be cast by U.S. mail, email, or fax, or by personal delivery to the WMU-AAUP office at 814 Oakland Drive. Please note that mail and fax votes cannot be assured anonymity.

Completed absentee ballots must be received by the WMU-AAUP staff no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, September 19.

IV. Info about the Tentative Agreement

The articles comprising the tentative agreement may be viewed here.

The summary document is available here.

Chapter meeting Friday, Sept. 12, and full text of TA’ed articles

Please join us on Friday, September 12, at a special chapter meeting to discuss the tentative agreement (TA) reached last week between the administration and the WMU-AAUP. The meeting will be in the South Ballroom of the Bernhard Center at 1:30 p.m.

Also, the chapter staff has now scanned and published on the WMU-AAUP website the actual signed articles that have been TA’ed. Sixteen articles plus the Preamble were negotiated and TA’ed this summer, most with substantive changes but one or two with mainly editorial tweaks. They can be accessed here.

Additionally, the summary document outlining the key details of the TA is also available and can be accessed here.

Finally, please mark your calendars for Friday, September 19, for the ratification vote. It will be held in rooms 157-159 of the Bernhard Center from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. All dues-paying members are eligible (and encouraged) to participate.

Special chapter meeting Friday


Friday, September 5, at 1:30 p.m.
105-107 Bernhard Center

All bargaining-unit members should plan to attend this special chapter meeting. As the contract expiration deadline draws near, things are developing quickly, so there will be a lot for us to discuss. And depending on how things go at the table this week, we may also have to talk about engaging in additional actions on campus.

We need your participation in this important conversation.

Relatedly, depending on what happens in the next few days, we may need to make our feelings known in a more public way immediately following the chapter meeting, so please be prepared for that possibility on Friday afternoon. (That means we will need you to bring to the meeting any demonstration signs you may have taken with you on Monday or last Thursday and any more that you’ve made since then.)

Please plan to attend this important meeting and please do what you can to encourage colleagues to be there.

#StrongerTogether                      #GoWMUAAUP

spet1_chris-nWMU-AAUP Labor Day Rally at Western Michigan University (September 1, 2014)
Photo by Chris Nagle

Labor Day negotiation update and chapter meeting Friday, Sept. 5

Please plan to attend a special chapter meeting this Friday, September 5, at 1:30pm, to discuss negotiations. We will meet in rooms 105-107 of the Bernhard Center.

As most of you know, the administration presented their compensation proposal last week:

  • Across-the-board salary increases of 1.5, 1.5, and 1.75 percent over the next three years.
  • Substantial increases to faculty healthcare premiums.
  • Reduction in the employer contribution to retirement from 11 percent to 9 percent without a 3 percent faculty contribution.

In other words, they are asking us to accept a substantial pay cut.

And when the teams returned to the table this morning for a special Labor Day session (accompanied by a large contingent of faculty, students, alumni, retirees, and staff), the administration brought a new healthcare proposal that would increase our costs even more significantly than their initial proposal. They threatened to impose this new plan if our team does not agree to the reduction and eventual elimination of employer-supported retiree healthcare.

The message from the administration is clear:

They intend to cut our overall compensation in the 2014-17 contract.

The subtext is just as clear: They have little respect for what the faculty contributes to Western Michigan University.

We cannot not allow their plans for a pay cut to go forward. And we must insist that the faculty of this university be respected. But the team can’t do it without your support.

There are several opportunities this week to show your support for our team and for what the faculty means to the university:

  • Annual BBQ on Tuesday at Montague House, 5-7 p.m.
  • Special chapter meeting on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in rooms 105-107 of the Bernhard Center.

Please also be on the alert for additional calls to action this week. Email can be slow and unreliable, so please follow the WMU-AAUP on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to the blog. In other words, stay connected. Talk to your colleagues.

We have to be ready to act quickly.

#StrongerTogether              #GoWMUAAUP

labor_day1WMU-AAUP Labor Day Rally, September 1, 2014
Photo by Allison Hart-Young

Chapter meeting TOMORROW (July 18) and email issue

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.

#StrongerTogether               #GoWMUAAUP


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