Negotiation Updates - August 15, 2014

Yesterday, Aug. 14, the WMU negotiating team presented the first economic proposal on Article 33, Health Care Benefits and Insurance. Earlier this week, a proposal was provided on Article 36, Other Fringe Benefits. The WMU-AAUP’s response to these proposals will help shape subsequent proposals on economic issues. We look forward to receiving a response and continuing the conversation.

Over the past weeks/months, we have offered many times to arrange additional or extended meetings with the WMU-AAUP team to facilitate settlement of the new contract before the current contract expires on Sept. 6. These offers have not yet been accepted, since progress continues to be made. We remain willing to expand the negotiation schedule and meet as needed.

Since April, we have received numerous information requests from the WMU-AAUP. Information has been sought regarding healthcare, compensation, and costs associated with specific University programs and service providers. We thank the many staff members who added that information gathering to their workload so we could respond quickly and accurately to the AAUP requests. Unfortunately, we were unable to respond to one request simply because the University does not possess the desired information. We appreciate the requests and remain committed to open and transparent sharing of information.

Although the work has been arduous and complicated at times, we remain hopeful that our combined efforts will continue to help us progress toward a strong and mutually acceptable contract that benefits the entire Western Michigan University community.

Western Michigan University believes in a strong model of shared governance. We recognize that there are many different groups that play an important role in ensuring the success of this model. Our conversations with the WMU-AAUP remind us of the roles and responsibilities that are carried out across campus by many constituencies. Throughout the conversations, due consideration is given to these constituencies and all who are vested in the University succeeding in its endeavors.

We look forward to our upcoming and continued economic discussions with the WMU-AAUP.