MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — The head of the Central Michigan University faculty union says that not only can the university well afford to give all employees a raise this year, but that it has an obligation to stimulate the local economy by doing so, The Mount Pleasant Morning Sun reported.

Contract negotiations between CMU and its Faculty Association have ground to a halt; two sticking points are cost-of-living increases and health insurance, according to The Sun.

"With the financial health that CMU enjoys, to me it has an obligation to provide for the faculty and the employees wage compensations that will help stimulate and continue this local economy," union president Laura Frey said.

Frey was quoted in the article as saying that CMU has a 61 percent fund equity. The article did not include comments from university officials.

Until a new contract is signed, faculty will pay more for health insurance, Frey told The Sun. The Michigan Education Special Services Association raised the annual cost to CMU for a family plan from about $16,400 to $18,800, and under a new state law, faculty members must cover the increase until the two sides settle, according to The Sun and a report at MichiganVotes. Previously, faculty paid about 4.6 percent of their health insurance premium, The Sun reported.

In related news, the Union of Teaching Faculty, which represents non-tenure-track instructors, signed a contract with CMU earlier this year that increases their minimum annual pay to $24,000, up from $17,000, the Sun reported.

MichiganVotes is the legislative tracking service of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which also publishes Michigan Education Digest.

SOURCE:
The (Mount Pleasant) Morning Sun, “CMU, faculty talks at standstill,” July 8, 2011

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Votes, “2011 House Bill 4152: Limit certain automatic government union employee pay hikes

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