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University, Bargaining Units Agree to New Five-Year Contracts

Jerry ScobyThe Ferris State University Board of Trustees has approved new five-year contracts with three university bargaining units.

These units include approximately 190 employees represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees working in such areas as food service, custodial, maintenance, skilled trades and grounds. The other agreements cover Department of Public Safety employees who are represented by the Police Officers Labor Council. There are nine individuals in the officers unit and three sergeants in the supervisory unit. The previous contracts between the university and the three bargaining units ended on June 30. 

“These contracts recognize the invaluable work these employees provide day-in and day-out on campus,” said Jerry Scoby, Ferris’ vice president of Administration and Finance. “In very tangible ways they work to fulfill the university’s mission of helping students achieve degrees and careers, and provide important services to the rest of the broader campus community. We are very pleased to have reached these five-year agreements.”

Scoby expressed that the university is appreciative of the members of the union and administration bargaining teams who worked diligently to reach fair and equitable contracts.

The five-year pacts help give the university predictability in its budget, which will help it to restrain tuition. For the 2012-13 academic year, the university’s Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase of 2.59 percent, the second-lowest of Michigan’s 15 public universities. Additionally, the trustees voted to hold room and board rates flat for the year.

The agreements include wage increases that are very competitive given the current economic environment. Additionally, the agreements provide some positive steps toward controlling health insurance costs while maintaining good coverage options for employees, including a joint union/management committee to review future health care options and cost-control methods. The agreed-upon options provide certainty on cost and coverage for the university and its unionized work force.