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Trustees ratify new contract with part-time instructors

May 6, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Voting during a conference-call meeting today, Western Michigan University's Board of Trustees unanimously approved a newly negotiated labor agreement with the Professional Instructors Organization, a union representing part-time faculty members.

The three-year contract, the first between WMU and the new union, was ratified by a unanimous vote of PIO members in an April 25 vote. All eight WMU trustees participated in the May 6 vote. Their approval of the agreement means the contract will go into effect immediately, with the exception of compensation and dues outlined in the agreement. Those will begin with the start of the fall 2010 semester.

Following the vote, Larry Tolbert, chair of the board, congratulated the bargaining teams on both sides for their work.

"To get a unanimous decision on a contract is an outstanding outcome," he said.

Highlights of the contract include a significant adjustment to the minimum total compensation package for the University's part-time instructors. That adjustment includes an increase in the minimum per-credit-hour payment, from $700 to $750, as well as a wellness payment of $20 per credit hour.

In addition, a scale was established for annual raises for those who already make between $800 and $1,000 per credit hour. As has been past practice, members of the union are able to negotiate with their academic departments for per-credit-hour pay rates that are higher than the newly established minimum.

The PIO, which includes approximately 450 members, is made up of non-tenure-track instructors who teach at least three and fewer than 10 credits per semester. The union was organized as the result of a vote in June 2009. Negotiations between the PIO and the University began in September and an agreement was reached in mid-April.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400