YPSILANTI, Mich. — Eastern Michigan University may cut up to 70 positions — none of them faculty — depending on whether unionized employees agree to give up planned pay raises in the coming year, according to AnnArbor.com.

The university faces a $23 million budget gap next year, created by a spending plan that is $12 million higher than the current year against an anticipated $11.4 million decrease in state funding, the report said.

President Susan Martin said in an email to the campus community that if all employees forgo pay raises, it would save about $3.2 million, AnnArbor.com reported. She announced earlier that non-union employees will not receive a raise next year and that cell phone allowances will be eliminated, the report said.

The contract already in place between the university and the faculty union calls for a 2 percent pay increase beginning in September, according to AnnArbor.com. Union secretary Howard Bunsis told AnnArbor.com that the university is overstating the problem and that that there is “no justification” for a pay freeze.

Union leaders have suggested cutting administrators and their salaries, as well as athletic spending, the report said, which Martin told AnnArbor.com are already part of the plan. She said a tuition increase is likely, but did not predict the amount.

SOURCE:
AnnArbor.com, “Eastern Michigan University President Susan Martin asks unions to forgo raises for next year,” June 3, 2011

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Digest, “Public universities spending more on administrators,” March 29, 2011

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