MEA, AFT both want new CMU members

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Michigan Education Association and American Federation of Teachers of Michigan are competing to add non-tenured faculty at Central Michigan University to their ranks, according to a report in Central Michigan Life, the campus newspaper.

The MEA already represents two employee groups on campus, including the Faculty Association, the report said. MEA volunteer members have launched an "awareness campaign" among non-tenured faculty about the benefits of unionizing under the MEA umbrella, CM Life reported.

Elizabeth Richard, a communications and dramatic arts instructor who is working with the AFT on unionization, told CM Life that AFT has experience in collective bargaining with non-tenured faculty at other campuses. She said the focus should be on needs specific to non-tenured faculty, CMU Life reported.

The MEA would like an organizing election to take place in December, but Richard suggested next semester, according to CM Life.

Steve Smith, CMU director of public relations, told CM Life that if the non-tenured faculty organize, the university will work with them. Richard cited job security and wages as issues that non-tenured faculty want to address, according to CM Life.

Central Michigan Life, "Non-tenured CMU faculty looking to unionize," Nov. 20, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Michigan's Public Employee Relations Act: Public-Sector Labor Law and Its Consequences," Sept. 3, 2009