The Central Michigan University Faculty Association held a day-long work stoppage on Monday, the first day of fall classes. Students joined with faculty on the picket lines to encourage administration representatives to return to the negotiations table.
A judge issued a temporary restraining order to halt the stoppage, and professors at CMU were back teaching classes on Tuesday.
Both sides have traded accusations about the other side’s intentions. The administration has claimed the strike was illegal, while the faculty union believes the university is refusing to bargain.
The union president kept her focus on the students in a statement:
“We’ve filed unfair labor practice charges against the university citing their refusal to bargain in good faith. This is why the faculty is not where they really want to be – with their students.”
On Friday morning, the two sides will argue their cases to a judge, who will then rule on whether to make the temporary restraining order permanent.
With both sides far apart on financial issues, a state-appointed fact finder will hear from the union and administration and make a recommendation on an agreement. The hearing dates are set for September, but it could take months for a final opinion.
We understand the predicament of our 600 colleagues at CMU. Ultimately, everyone that pursues academia as a career wants to spend his or her time in a classroom – not on a picket line. We know that the CMU faculty want what’s best for their 19,000 students, and we thank them for standing up for their rights and the rights of their students to a high-quality education with professors who are paid fairly.
For those who’d like to express their support for the CMU faculty, Progress Michigan has posted a petition calling on CMU administrators to return to the negotiating table.