MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Central Michigan University should not “eat its seed corn” by spending too much on faculty pay and benefits, a state fact finder said in a recent report, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Barry Goldman of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission said that the university has made a reasonable offer to Faculty Association members during their current contract negotiations of no pay raises this year, followed by 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent increases in the next two years, respectively, the Free Press reported.

The association wants 2.2 percent this year, followed by 3.7 and 3.9 percent in subsequent years, according to the Free Press. The union pointed to the $228 million that CMU has in unrestricted reserves as evidence of its ability to pay, but Goldman said, “Circumstances are bad and getting worse. It would be extremely unwise for CMU to eat its seed corn,” the Free Press reported.

Goldman also supported the university’s proposal to offer faculty the same health plan as other employees, with the option of retaining their existing MESSA plan as long as faculty pay any difference in costs, the Free Press reported.

Goldman’s report is nonbinding, but both sides were waiting to receive it before resuming negotiations, according to the Free Press. The union is expected to meet during the first week of December, according to the Free Press.

SOURCE:

Detroit Free Press, “Fact finder sides with CMU in faculty union contract dispute,” Nov. 2, 2011

FURTHER READING:

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

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