Negotiating faculty contracts are moving along-at a snail’s pace.
“We’re certainly not moving very fast,” said Patrick Nedry, the chief negotiator of the faculty union, MCCCFA.
The college and faculty negotiators met Sept. 13 to discuss the contract, which expired in August. Chief among the unresolved issues is faculty salaries.
“The primary issue is pay,” said Attorney Robert Boonin, of the Ann Arbor law firm, Butzel Long, and the college representative during negotiations.
A state mediator has been hired to help the two sides find common ground.
The two sides began negotiations in March, and faculty began this semester without a working contract. An agreement was reached last month on health care benefits.
Nedry said there was some progress during the Sept. 13 meeting.
“We did make some very small gains. We haven’t made any big leaps,” he said.
The group spent at least 5.5 hours trying to reach an agreement, he said.
Boonin said the parties are still exchanging proposals. He added both sides are trying to iron out the differences.
“We have work to do to resolve them,” he said.
Nedry said he is optimistic the contract can be settled in a way that respects the roles and positions of both parties.
“There is a lot of rhetoric on campus about wanting to ‘get this done,'” Nedry said in an email. “But there is little evidence of that at the negotiating table.