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University, faculty reach agreement

BIG RAPIDS - The University and the Ferris Faculty Association reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract Sunday, Aug. 27.

"We are very pleased to have resolved this by the start of the fall semester," said President David Eisler. "Both the University and the FFA understand that it is the education of our students that is of the utmost importance. This agreement helps assure that students who come to Ferris for a world-class education will get exactly that. Beginning the semester without disruption or delay is very important to both our University and the economic strength of Big Rapids."

The agreement calls for a 2 percent salary increase in the first year and 3 percent increases for the remaining three years of the contract. Other notable points of the agreement include

* Faculty will for the first time have health care options within coverage through MESSA, with the University paying 90 percent of premiums in the first year.

* $300,000 per year is included toward adjusting specific faculty salaries to be in line with the national average.

* The percentage of part-time faculty - currently at 15 percent - will increase by one percentage point each year of the life of the contract.

"The agreement is wonderful news for the faculty, the University and most importantly our students," Eisler said. "I want to thank everyone who worked on the contract negotiations. Both sides worked tirelessly to reach agreement. I want also to thank FFA President Mike Ryan, who played a key role in the process."

The language of the tentative agreement will be finalized and submitted to the FFA membership and the Board of Trustees for final ratification.