MT. PLEASANT, Mich. — Faculty and administration at Central Michigan University remain far apart in contract talks, with faculty union officials saying the university can well afford to provide raises and university officials saying the union claims are misleading, according to the Midland Daily News.

A fact-finder is expected to make recommendations in November, the Daily News reported. The major dispute is the faculty’s requested salary increase and whether to continue the current health care policy through the Michigan Education Special Services Association, according to the Daily News. The amount of the requested increase was not reported.

CMU has $228 million in unrestricted net assets which Faculty Association President Laura Frey called “surplus” funds that could pay for faculty wage increases and health insurance, according to the Daily News. CMU spokesman Steve Smith said those funds are not “surplus” and have been earmarked for such things as capital projects, maintenance, departmental projects and other contractual obligations.

In related news, the university’s supervisory-technical employee group recently signed a three-year contract which includes no wage changes in the first year and “modest” increases in the next two, the Daily News reported.

SOURCE:

Midland Daily News, “CMU waits for fact-finding report,” Sept. 21, 2011

FURTHER READING:

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “CMU Strike: Standing Firm is not Bad Faith,” Aug. 22, 2011

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