Magazine article Academe

Faculty Strike at Eastern Michigan

Magazine article Academe

Faculty Strike at Eastern Michigan

Article excerpt

Contract negotiations between the Eastern Michigan University AAUP and the university's administration broke down in September, leading to a weeklong strike by about 630 tenured and tenure-track professors. The parties had resolved their differences over choice of health care plans by the time of the strike, leaving salary parity with comparable faculty groups and what business professor Denise Tanguay calls the "final four" points on the table: implementation of online courses; ownership of intellectual property; replacement of tenure lines with non-tenure-track, part-time faculty slots; and an increased workload in the all-female nursing department.

The issue of online courses was settled to the chapter's satisfaction, says Tanguay, who was a member of the negotiating team. Faculty members who develop online courses for use at the university will receive a development fee; they must then teach the courses at least three times, unless the university waives this obligation. Professors retain ownership of such courses and may do with them what they wish. The EMU administration removed from the final contract language about intellectual property to which the chapter objected, permitting the status quo-faculty members' ownership of their intellectual products-to continue.

Some headway was made regarding increased use of lecturers at EMU. Although specific limits on use of parttime lecturers-full-time lecturers have a separate union and were therefore not included in negotiations-did not make it into the final contract, the university agreed that, "in the absence of a change in circumstances, it will not permanently replace regular faculty members by a change in its historical uses of part-time lecturers. …

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