At the EMU-AAUP meeting

And I know that everyone is pretty happy that it’s a meeting to talk about terms instead of a meeting to talk about striking.  A pretty good crowd; here’s hoping the terms are decent enough.  Much more after the break.

  • Moeller introducing, we do indeed have an agreement.  Lots of applause, happy and anxious folks, etc.
  • Donna talking here.  The charge from bargaining council about non-economic issues, made some gains. We ask for things, but we also spend a lot of time fighting back against things that would harm us.  We did that this year.
  • No tie of raises with state appropriations and enrollment; maintaining control of DEDs, and the civility stuff.
  • “We’re not ecstatic about it,” meaning the deal.
  • Now Howard is here talking about the specifics of the deal.
  • Money: 1% across the board, and $1000 flat raise in January with health care premiums.  The only way to achieve the insurance.
  • The administration admitted that no one should have to take a pay cut with insurance.  Once we got past that, it helped.
  • Sadly, it’s a 2 year contract.
  • The BoR was pretty insistent (apparently) about this connecting compensation with enrollment.  (BTW, everyone I’ve ever talked to about this thinks this is crazy).
  • We have to now pay PPO1 premiums.  “I don’t know what’s going to happen in open enrollment,” an HMO.
  • Our premiums won’t float– we’ll know what to do.
  • Some small gains from Assistant to Associate from $4500 to $5500, no change from associate to full.
  • No raise for full profs– that $5000 after 10 years thing.  Shit.
  • Lot of stuff we didn’t get– no increase in TAA-CREF, no Dental increase, no change in vision coverage, no change in erosion, no addition compensation for sabbaticals, no good language in workloads/equivalences.
  • There are some various things before faculty vote, which we’ll vote on September 10.
  • Next bargaining council will reconvene on fall 2011.  Oy.
  • There are no more tiers to the insurance, meaning that the more kids you have, the more it’s going to cost.  The increase for the single premiums is only a few hundred bucks.
  • All the 19-26 year old dependents are covered so that will save those folks who were playing the riders on that is a lot of money.
  • “I’m cranky at the faculty university because of all the work these folks have to do.”  Mentioned the EMUTalk.org complaining.  Wow, I got mentioned!
  • Faculty have to vote in person on the contract.  Apparently, there’s been some trouble at the National AAUP with email elections and the like.
  • There’s some discussion about how “break even” the numbers are here.  “The fact that its equaling out is not necessarily a great achievement, but it’s the best we could do.”
  • About online classes:  treated like every other classes, no entry without permission?
  • What’s the rationale for settling at such a low rate?  What about striking?  Moeller said “We were going to be punished if we went to go on strike; people were scared; this board (I assume the regents?) were fighting each other– er, were difficult to deal with.  We think it’s best to not strike to ask for more money.”
  • The community would not have been for it.  (Hard to disagree with that).
  • Compared to other institutions we didn’t get as much of a raise.  The compensation should have been higher.  “The issue is what we were willing to do.”  “We’ve used the strike 3 straight times.  We’re not afraid to strike.  But it has to be used where it is going to use pressure.  We were not sure a strike would have imposed the right pressure.”
  • Guy from Oakland U talking about their strike.  He said he thought we did as well as them without the strike.
  • “What were some of the threats?”  No comment.  A rephrase:  “any political recourse for holding the regents accountable?”
  • Discussion about bringing broad-based political pressure on the BoR.
  • “Is there any hope about educating the regents on this?”  We try, the administration tries, Martin tries, and we did get rid of the enrollment thing.  “That was the regents idea, from Jim Stapleton.”
  • The union needs to be more effective for politically in lobbying between contracts.
  • “I get the feeling you are disappointed, but you shouldn’t be.”  I basically agree with that– that is, I don’t think we should be that disappointed.
  • We should try to educate the community, beyond just the regents, all the people all mad online, etc.  Howard said “This is the most anti-union environment I’ve ever seen.  We’re fighting everywhere about this.”
  • We need to stand with the PT union and the other unions on campus.
  • Any time the regents issue an order of some sort not in a meeting it’s against the law, but it’d be expensive to fight.  Regents are appointed because of political favors, period.  EMU faculty should form a political action committee– not a bad idea.  “Our student body would support that, too.”
  • “After seeing this, I’m going to support it because it’s appropriate and sensitive about this.”  “What I’m concerned about is what the administration threatened us with– I’m not threatened by the administration.  Fuck the administration.”
  • We would have gone out; we just decided that with everything else it was the best we could do.
  • We should send out press releases, keep up the politics, etc.
  • Compared to the bad economic times around the country now versus when things were bad in the early 90s, this is a pretty comparable and/or good deal.
  • The percentage increases help the people who make the most and it doesn’t help the folks who make the least, especially with health care increases.
  • Some talk about the national AAUP and movement and such.
  • A guy talking from the part-timers union speaking about the spirit of all this, and looking for support, etc.
  • “This team has been thoughtful and diligent and should be proud!”  Standing O.

2 Responses to At the EMU-AAUP meeting

  1. You know, the “optical coverage” is a joke. It’s just some kind of generic discount that doesn’t amount to all that much. AAA membership gets you similar discounts at a variety of places–that’s what our “optical coverage”reminds me of.

    Best bet is to go to an opthamologist for your prescription ($10 copay) and then head to Costco.

    • Oh, I have an even better tip: get your prescription and buy online. Serious! I bought a pair of bifocal glasses from Zenni Optical and they were less than $50, including delivery. I’ve got two more pairs coming and I think those two and the ones I have were less than what I paid for my previous glasses.

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