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(Marquette, MI) The NMU Faculty Union has voted in support of a one-year contract for the 2020-21 academic year. The ratified contract now awaits approval from the NMU Board of Trustees. According to Union President Dwight Brady, the union gave back up to 1.5 million in concessions to the university. “We are pleased to have the membership support a less than ideal contract that was negotiated under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. The COVID-19 crisis hit us in the middle of negotiations last March, and it changed everything,” said Brady. He also added that the agreement was made in the spirit of shared sacrifice. “Everyone is hurting right now. Members of our fellow campus unions have been furloughed for most of the summer and losing vital income, small businesses are closed and people are struggling,” said Brady.
The contract gives the administration the option of requiring one furlough day each month and reduced compensation for teaching overloads and summer courses. “It’s never easy giving up things during negotiations, but our goal was to make short-term sacrifices in order to preserve parts of the contract that provide long-term benefits to our membership, said Brady.
Brady added that members of the NMU-AAUP will continue to volunteer their time this summer to help the university reopen with face-to-face classes starting on August 17. Precautions have been taken to allow older or immunocompromised faculty the opportunity to teach their classes online during the 2020-21 academic year.