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FSU Eligible Non-Tenure Track Faculty Vote for Union Representation

BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University non-tenured faculty eligible to vote in a union certification election have voted in favor of representation by the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.

A representative from the Michigan Employment Relations Commission was on campus Friday, July 2, to count the votes with the final vote tally being 47 to 7.

Seventy-two non-tenure track faculty who were identified as meeting the bargaining unit inclusions and who were on the University payroll as of April 1, 2010 were given the opportunity to vote.

Included in the new bargaining unit will be all non-tenure track faculty employed by Ferris who provided direct classroom instruction at the Big Rapids campus for three (3) or more credit hours per semester in any two (2) semesters within the previous four (4) consecutive semesters or who are employed to provide direct classroom instruction for three (3) or more credit hours in the fall and spring semester in the current academic year. The fall and spring semesters are defined as qualifying “semesters” under the bargaining unit, but not the summer semester.

The ongoing unionization process includes official certification by MERC; receipt of a written request from the AFT to bargain over wages, hours and conditions of employment; selection of bargaining team members for the non-tenure track faculty union and University administration; identification of key issues; and establishment of meeting dates.

Negotiations are not expected to begin until after fall semester classes start in late August, said University spokeswoman Shelly Armstrong. She added, “We are looking forward to establishing a cooperative working relationship with members of our new bargaining unit and advancing discussions in a thoughtful and mutually respectful manner.”