Monday, August 22, 2011

Faculty Work Stoppage Hits Central Michigan U

This from Central Michigan Life:

EDITORIAL: Work stoppage
by faculty an answer to university inaction
“The combination of salary plus the benefit-package compensation is going to be as attractive as we can make it.”

Robert Martin, associate vice provost of Faculty and Personnel Services, said this to CM Life on April 20 when talking about administrative pay packages and how Central Michigan University is attempting to join the upper echelon of Michigan universities.

Martin, who is on the CMU bargaining team meeting with the Faculty Association’s, illuminates a powerful point: CMU is clearly looking to move up as a place of higher education.

However, if they wish to make that leap, CMU officials must acknowledge the work of the faculty — something that clearly isn’t happening in current negotiations.

As of Monday, the FA will be on a work stoppage and many classes are canceled for the time being. FA members have ample reason to do so because CMU administrators were given several easy outs to prevent this sorry state.

During ongoing negotiations, CMU has not answered the basic question of why it chose to not extend the contract of the faculty for this semester. The FA has alleged the university did not bargain in good faith since the FA contract expired on June 30.

The university has said the current proposal by the FA would cost CMU about $10 million over three years.

University officials have said that is too much, but with the Board of Trustees approving a $429 million operating budget for this year, the FA contract would amount to less than 2.5 percent of the annual budget that is paid for by students and funding from the state.

If CMU is going to commit to building a better university, then the focus should be on its academia.

CMU is permanently scarring its relationship with one of its most important assets. When students come to a university, they come for higher learning — faculty provide that education, not administrators.

While paying competitively for administrators is a great thing, faculty deserve to be compensated equally well, instead of allegedly making among the lowest salaries in the Mid-American Conference.

Doling out progressively larger salaries to administrators while leaving faculty with less and less competitive compensation could leave the school’s well-paid staff with little to administer.
Hat tip to EdJurist

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