Bargaining teams for MCCC and the faculty will meet for the first time April 13 to begin faculty contract negotiations.
This is the first meeting where the teams will discuss the next steps in the negotiations process.
Chief Negotiator for the faculty Pat Nedry said the faculty has prepared for this meeting.
“We’ve met to talk about approach and things that we want to get done,” he said. “I mean, some of this is prescribed protocol.”
To begin the process of negotiations, either party could show interest in initiating bargaining for a new contract between Jan. 15 and May 1. The faculty did this on Feb. 15, MCCC Faculty Association President Mark Bergmooser said.
MCCC responded with an interest to enter into arrangements for negotiations on Feb. 19, Bergmooser said.
Since then, both teams have worked to arrange a time for their first official meeting.
“There was contact with the two chiefs, working out some of the preliminary details, floating some dates, and picking one,” Nedry said.
After contact was made, and MCCC gave the names of their team members, the faculty added another member to their team. The newest member is Tim Cady, Michigan Education Association Uniserv director.
With his addition, each bargaining team has three members directly related to the college, and one off-campus member.
Cady will serve as a team member for the faculty, along with Terri Kovach and Tracy Rayl.
MCCC’s team includes Randy Daniels, Grace Yackee, and Molly McCutchan. Rob Boonin, attorney for Butzel Long (the college’s law firm) will serve as chief negotiator.
After this first meeting, a time will be arranged between the faculty and MCCC to meet again and continue with negotiations.
“A major challenge is finding times convenient for all team members to meet at the same time,” MCCC President David Nixon said. “It is complicated, because each person on each team has a different schedule.”
The next meeting could be scheduled during the first one, Nedry said.
“It’s the easiest way to do it, when everybody is sitting in front of you.”
The results of this first meeting cannot be predicted at this time, but Nedry has his own expectations.
“I’m optimistic,” Nedry said. “Some of what’s going on around us could be more upbeat, but we’ll see what can come out of reasonable people.”