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Memorandum to Faculty from Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Blake


TO: Ferris Faculty Members

FROM: Paul Blake, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

DATE: August 22, 2018

RE: Negotiations with the Ferris Faculty Association

We are days away from the start of fall classes without having completed agreement on a new contract with Ferris faculty in Big Rapids. As negotiations between the Ferris Faculty Association and the Ferris State University bargaining teams continue into the weekend, I would like to share a few thoughts with you as I am hopeful that a tentative agreement will be reached soon.

The success of Ferris State University depends on the hard work of a strong and dedicated faculty. This is central to our mission. As a learning-centered institution, offering students the opportunity to learn and improve their lives is why we are here. We are truly fortunate to have excellent faculty, whose work both in and outside the classroom makes a tremendous difference in the lives of our students at Ferris.

As evidenced by our collective bargaining history, the University remains committed to providing a compensation package that will attract and retain excellent faculty. The proposal will allow our faculty to continue to be among the highest paid faculty amid the Master’s IIA public institutions in Michigan.

The FFA and administration bargaining committees have been meeting since May; most recently with the assistance of a state-appointed labor mediator. Additional mediation sessions are scheduled for August 23 and 24 in an effort to reach an agreement before the start of classes. Discussions continue to center on compensation, including health insurance, summer pay, salary increases, Supplemental Market Adjustment (SMA), overload, etc. Although considerable work remains, I am hopeful and confident that our bargaining committees will find an appropriate path to a settlement.

The University has proposed an annual increase of 1.5% for each of five years. These across-the-board salary increases would be accompanied by a Supplemental Market Adjustment each year of the contract; further increasing base salaries. The parties are also discussing improvements to the summer assignments, and the University has proposed to maintain the current funding support for health insurance, summer pay, sick leave payoff, travel pay, tuition waiver, new faculty orientation pay, salary equity, promotion, merit, overload and the Voluntary Resignation Incentive Program (VRIP). This proposal is inline with settlements we have reached with other bargaining units at FSU.

I have every hope and confidence that as in past years a fair and equitable faculty contract will be reached through the negotiation process. I look forward to seeing everyone on campus.

Paul Blake
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Ferris State University