CMU faculty rejects university's offer, president says it 'makes no sense'

Dr. Laura Frey says the faculty's rejection of their offer "makes no sense." / File Photo

Central Michigan University faculty have rejected the university TMs contract offer.

In a statement about the rejected offer, Laura Frey, CMU Faculty Association President, reports, the administrative team rejected the FA TMs new proposal, which accepted almost every demand the administration had put forth, including salary and health care freezes for one year. This was offered by the FA in spite of CMU having over a quarter of a billion dollars in unrestricted surplus assets.

Frey states, I TMm just shocked. In effect, the administration just rejected their own offer. We offered the administration everything in their table position for 1 year. They have rejected what they told us they wanted- it makes no sense whatsoever.

Wednesday afternoon, the university released this statement:

'Central Michigan University has rejected a one-year contract proposal made by the CMU Faculty Association as it is not in the best interests of CMU students and the university.

The Faculty Association changed several of its official table positions - the first time since August 19, 2011 - proposing a single-year agreement including the adoption of several recommendations made by Fact Finder Barry Goldman, and a zero percent salary adjustment for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Nearly two weeks ago, the university offered the Faculty Association contract terms consistent with the recommendations of an independent, third-party fact-finder and, in the case of health insurance, more generous than the recommendation for the new three-year contract.

The Faculty Association chose to reject that offer without providing its membership theopportunity to vote.

"We are extremely disappointed that the Faculty Association has been unwilling to bring the contract negotiations to a swift, fair and equitable resolution," said E. Gary Shapiro, executive vice president/provost. "Our students should remain focused on their academic pursuits without the distractions of faculty negotiations. They deserve the best educational environment, and we are committed to bringing this matter to resolution in the best interest of our students and university."

CMU stands by its last, best and final offer for a proposed three-year contract, which includes all of the fact-finder's recommendations for both faculty and the university, and enhancements that would allow the FA to maintain MESSA as its sole health insurance provider for its members. Under the university's final offer, FA members will continue to receive health contributions at a level higher than the fact finder had recommended to offset the increase in health care premiums enacted by MESSA through June 30, 2012.

From the beginning of negotiations, our goal has been to reach a collective bargaining agreement that is fair and equitable to all parties, and we have bargained in good faith to achieve that goal.'